The Brownie Tractor


| January/February 2001



Allah Herschell Logo

Logo from an Allan Herschell Company letterhead.

11500 Thrailkill Road Orient, Ohio 43146

It all started a couple of years ago. My son and I were out in the barn working on some old garden tractors I've been collecting and his friend, Eric came over and said that the neighbor had this old garden tractor that he didn't want anymore.

So, we all went over there to see it. It had a torpedo-shaped hood like a David Bradley, but no stamping on the. sheet metal. It had an aluminum tag that said Brownie Tractor Company, Model B, serial number 58335, U.S. Brownie Company, Joliet, Illinois. I asked the owner where he got it. He said that he found it in Oklahoma years ago. He also said that the motor block had a hole in its side so he threw it away. And he didn't remember what the motor was. It has a tricycle front end with two wheels and an automotive type rear axle with two 5-12 tractor tread tires. It wasn't long after talking with him that we were loading the little Brownie on my flatbed pickup truck.

The clutching action is done by a hand lever beside the steering wheel which tightens or loosens the V-belt pulley going to the rear axle.

I started asking people at the gas engine shows that I attend here in Ohio about my little Brownie tractor. No one had any information. So, I also attended the Portland, Indiana, engine show in 1999. I was looking at books and magazines and came across the Gas Engine Magazine Index Locator 1988-1992. Well, there it was, a Brownie Riding Tractor in the July 1988, GEM page 27. Now, I went hunting for old GEM magazines. Just a couple booths down from where I was, a man had boxes of them. The search was on, and of course, after looking through six big boxes of old GEM magazines, I found the magazine I needed in the bottom of the last box. I told the man my story and asked him how much for the magazine and he said that I could have it for free. I have met so many nice and helpful people at the gas engine shows I have attended. The article in the magazine gave the name of a man who owned three Brownie tractors, and also listed his state and city, but no phone number. Well, that was eleven years ago, but I thought I would try to get hold of him anyway. I got the operator on the phone with the information I had and she told me that he still lived there and gave me his phone number. I called Larry and told him that I had a Brownie tractor and would like and was looking for some information on it.

After seeing him in GEM I was hoping he could help me out. He told me that the Allan Herschell Company in North Tonawanda, New York, may have some more information. Larry also said he got his three tractors from Bell's Amusement Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma.