The first tillers sold by Rototiller were imported from Switzerland and Germany. In 1932, they began manufacturing the Rototiller. The first model in the series, the B1-2 Rototiller, was built in about 1937.
Several different models, AA, A-1, A-2, B1-1, B1-2 and B1-3, were developed over the next few years. Models ranged from 1 to 10 horsepower and could also be used as a small stationary power plant, providing a source of power for running saws, grinders, conveyors, water pumps, and small equipment.
The Rototiller factory was turned over to defense production during WW II. At the end of the war, Rototiller, Inc. turned the production of this heavy duty tiller over to Graham-Paige and granted them the use of their trademarked Rototiller name. Rototiller, Inc. then began exclusively producing the Roto-ette, a smaller home gardener model.
Graham Paige Motors Corp. started building tillers for Rototiller, beginning with the B-1-4 model, in 1944. Graham Paige became Graham-Paige Frazer, then Kaiser-Frazer. They sold the Rototiller through their auto dealerships. However, Frazer Farm Equipment, which manufactured the tiller, remained a separate entity. No other name was used on the tillers besides Rototiller.
R.C. Antram of Somerset, PA wrote that he believes this to be a B1-3, a commercial tiller built around 1941 by Rototiller, Inc. If this is correct, he said the color should be dark green. The Graham-Paige lettering on our tiller is a reference to the company's later involvement in the manufacturing of the Rototiller.
An excellent source of information on Rototiller is Gardening Beyond the Plow (1981), according to a handout prepared by Robert Antram of the Kaiser-Frazer Owner's Club.
Roaring Twenties copyr. 2000 - 2010