James B. Hill

Photo of James B. Hill
James B. Hill

Invented the Buckeye Traction Ditcher in 1894 that helped quickly drain the Great Black Swamp in Northwest Ohio and large parts of Florida, Louisiana, as well as many wet areas in the rest of the world. One improvement Hill made in his ditcher machine, in 1907, when having problems with mud in Louisiana, was developing a continuous track (aka ‘tank’ tread) one sees on various construction vehicles today. Hill also invented a variety of corn that could grow in wet places like Louisiana. The Buckeye Traction Ditcher was produced in Findlay until 1970. Hill lived in Findlay for many years. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.

(b. 1856 – d. 1945: inventor)

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