Gibson Trademark

Glenn's Gibson

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Glenn acquired his 1947 Gibson Model D garden tractor in 2011 from a friend who was more interested in antique engines than tractors and had lost interest in spending time and money on the tractor. Restoration work proceeded in spurts during 2011 and 2012 according to motivation and time available. The engine turned out to be in amazingly good condition and only required work on the magneto to restore it to excellent running condition. New tires, brake bands, a complete rebuild of the clutch assembly, and a new paint job produced a tractor that was ready to go to work. The lift mechanism for the hitch and that for the front blade had been replaced at some time during the tractor's long history and these were retained as found because they worked well and were unique to this tractor.


Unrestored Gibson D
Unrestored
Restored Gibson D
Restored


SPECIFICATIONS

Rated as a one-plow tractor capable of working 2 to 3 acres in a 10-hour day while consuming 1 1/2 quarts of gasoline per hour under load.

Powered by a 1946 Wisconsin Model AEH Industrial Engine which produces 5.9-HP at 2,200 RPM.

Tractor Serial Number D624; Engine Serial Number 618482.

955 pounds dry weight.

46-inch wheelbase.

7.5 x 22-inch rear tires; 4.00 x 12-inch front tires. Later Model D's had 24-inch rear rims--the same size as those on Farmall Cub's.

Rear-wheel rims adjustable from 33 to 53 1/4 inches.

1933-36 Chevrolet 3-speed transmission: 1st gear-2 MPH; 2nd gear-4 MPH; 3rd gear-7 MPH; Reverse-2.5MPH.

Model-T Ford differential gears.

Independent rear-wheel brakes.

A front blade was standard; fenders were optional.

Plows, discs, cultivators, and other implements were available as options.

The Model D was manufactured in Longmont, Colorado, from 1947 to 1949.



HISTORY OF THE GIBSON COMPANY

Harry A. Gibson founded the Gibson Manufacturing Company in Seattle, Washington, in 1933 to build railroad cars to transport loggers and supplies to and from logging camps. The company began to build small tractors as a sideline during slack periods. The Gibson trademark was registered in 1943. Tractor production continued in Seattle after a plant was opened in Colorado.

When workers threatened to unionize, Harry’s son Wilber F. Gibson moved tractor production to a new factory in Longmont, Colorado, in 1945. Longmont is located forty miles northwest of Denver. The company's arrival was touted as "the first new heavy industry to locate in Longmont in over forty years." A variety of models were produced from 1946 to 1952, including the Model A, the D Series (D, SD, Super D & Super D2), the E Series (E, EF, EW & EWF), the Super G, the H Series (H, HFS & HFA), and the I Series (I, IFS & IFA). Models A, D and SD were steered with a tiller (lever). Models beginning with the SD had hoods, grills and fenders. The Super SD was the first to have a steering wheel; the Super D2 was the first to have a two-cylinder engine. Tractors from Model G on were full-sized tractors with four and six-cylinder engines. Row-crop models, adjustable front axles, tire options, and electrical and hydraulic systems were available in later tractors. The two longest-lived Gibson models were the Super D and the Super D2--both being built from 1948 into the 1950's.

Model A’s were yellow or gray; Model D’s were gray with red wheels. All other models were red with steel-colored rims (some had yellow inner rims).

Approximately 50,000 Models A, D and E were built; less than 500 each of Models H and I were produced. Gibson tractors were sold throughout the United States and in over two dozen foreign countries. By 1948, the company had expanded its facilities and employed over 200 workers. A Gibson tractor was advertized as the "Master of 1000 Chores. The tractor is ideally adapted for use on the small general farm, truck farm, orchards or as a auxiliary tractor for large farms, ranches, country estates and municipalites, along with park systems."

The Gibson Company manufactured forklifts for the Navy during the late 1940's and early 1950's. Tractor production had ceased by 1952, when the company was sold to Helene Curtis Industries.  The Gibson Manufacturing Company then was reorganized as a division of  the Fox Metal Company of Denver, Colorado. No tractors were produced; the firm sold parts. Western American Industries in Longmont, Colorado, took over tractor production and built approximately 1,000 Models D, SD, and Super D until 1958, when production was discontinued and the company ceased to exist.