A quarter-horsepower motor can operate any machine that can be manually operated by an able-bodied man. Such a motor can drive any farm machine ordinarily turned by hand at a cost of about 1 cent per hour for electricity.
A 1/4-horsepower motor costs from $5 to $18; a good reliable heavy-duty motor costs only $11.50, and it will last for many years. In this time it will do dozens of chores such as pumping water, turning separators, grinding corn, driving fanning mills and shelling corn.
With proper care electric motors will give years of low-cost, trouble-free service, but with improper care a motor may wear out in a year or burn out in a few minutes. Unlike a gasoline engine which stalls when overloaded, the electric motor will continue to do work even when overloaded and run until its winding insulation goes up in smoke.
Beaty, H. H. and Thomas, W. A.
"Electric motors for the farm,"
Bulletin P: Vol. 1
, Article 1.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletinp/vol1/iss13/1