Linbrook Heritage Estate is home to the Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum, which displays a collection of rare tractors and industrial equipment. The museum houses twenty-two fully restored John Deere® tractors, a large collection of John Deere® memorabilia, a restored 1926 return-tube boiler from the P&P Chair Company in Asheboro, a 19th century steam engine, antique electrical apparatus, and a rare Otto-Langen engine. All tractors and equipment displayed at the museum have been restored, both mechanically and aesthetically, and are periodically operated in demonstrations held on Linbrook Heritage Estate.
In the section of the museum dedicated to John Deere® tractors, the focus is placed on vintage tractors with low production numbers. A few highlights of the museum are several hi-crop tractor models, an orchard model, and a Model 630 All Fuel Standard that is one of eleven tractors built. Most of the tractors on display were found in extremely poor condition and in need of serious refurbishment. As a result, all of the tractors seen at the museum have been completely restored. Two very special pieces of equipment found in the museum are the Allis-Chalmers Model G tractor once owned by Jerry Neal’s father, Albert Neal, and the sulky plow once owned by Jerry Neal’s great-grandfather, Edd Hoover. These treasured family pieces have been restored to like new condition as well. The museum also features an extensive collection of John Deere® memorabilia, including a wide range of precision and custom built miniature tractors.
The museum also features antique industrial equipment, including rare pieces from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The industrial display features as its centerpiece a 1926 return tube boiler from the P&P Chair Company of Asheboro, made famous by the production of the Carolina Rocker used by President John F. Kennedy. The 1926 boiler was used to produce energy for the P&P Chair Company from 1926 to 1962. It was relocated to Linbrook Heritage Estate and fully restored to like new condition. Where possible, original materials from 1926 were used in the restoration of the boiler. Soon, the boiler will be used in conjunction with an 1890s steam engine to produce electrical power for other museum exhibits. The 1890s steam engine was relocated from Virginia, where it was originally used to power a saw mill for more than 30 years.
Several examples of unique electrical instruments are on display at the museum. Most of the instruments are from vintage power and industrial manufacturing plants and were used for electrical power monitoring and control more than 60 years ago. One especially interesting instrument at the museum is an antique electrical panel that is fully operational and is currently being used to monitor the currents, voltage, and frequency of electricity used at the Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum.
Also of particular interest at the museum is a three-quarter scale model of the Otto-Langen Atmospharische Gaskraft Engine. This particular engine was invented by Nicolaus Otto and Eugene Langen in the late 19th century and represents the first commercially viable internal combustion engine. It is the predecessor of the 4-cycle engine, also invented by Otto. The model on display at the Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum runs on hydrogen gas and was built by Wayne Grenning, who spent more than a decade researching the design and development of the original Otto-Langen engine.
On site at the Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum is the gift shop for all three properties of Linbrook Heritage Estate. Stop by after you have concluded your tours at our various properties to browse our selection of items. Visitors will find a variety of unique gifts, including postcards, clothing items, and children’s souvenirs. Our gift shop has something to help everyone remember a trip to Linbrook Heritage Estate.
Owned and Operated by Jerry D. and Linda S. Neal. No connection to Deere & Company is suggested or implied.