A History of the GIBSON

Manufacturing Company

| July/August 1985

10060 Lewis Ct., Broomfield, Colorado 80020

The following article is the result of many years intermittent research undertaken by Dave Baas, a member of the Front Range Antique Power Association of Denver, Colorado. Sources of information included newspaper articles, company ads and literature, and interviews with the former company employees including Mrs. Gladys Gibson, widow of the founder.

Dave undertook the research in part because he was given a Gibson model 'D' by his late grandfather, Thomas Baas, who worked a few acres with it at Falmouth, Michigan. The restored 'D' is seen on this month's cover, and on these pages.

The Gibson Manufacturing Corporation, Longmont, Colorado, was founded in March, 1946 by Wilber Gibson. This company was an offshoot of the original company which had been formed by Wilber's father, Harry Gibson, at Seattle, Washington. The Seattle plant had made specially built rail cars and had begun experimentation with tractors. The decision to produce tractors at Longmont was, at least, partially motivated by the desire to escape a setting where pressure to unionize was great. Longmont, located 40 miles northwest of Denver, was a small agricultural community with little or no industry at the time. The millions of dollars invested in the land, plants, and equipment coupled with the job opportunities for hundreds of local residents meant that the company was welcomed with open arms.

The first production tractor was a model 'A' which, along with the latter models 'D', 'SD', and Super D, was powered with a six horsepower Wisconsin air cooled model AEH engine (some early 'Ds' had a nine HP AHH engine). The 'A' had 7.50 x 16 rear tires and 4.00 x 12 fronts. It came with a three speed transmission and had two independent rear wheel brakes. Its wheelbase was 42' and it weighed 875 pounds. It came with a full range of implements and was touted as being able to operate a 13' plow and handle two to three acres per 10 hour day. Under maximum load, the fuel consumption was one and one half quarts per hour.

Next came the model 'D' which began with 22' rear tires and ended up with 24' tires on rims that were adjustable, enabling a 33' minimum tread and a maximum 53' width. The 'D' had 4.00 x 12 front tires and its wheelbase was 46'. It weighed 955 pounds.