The Bradley Tractor

| February/March 1992

  • Bradley Tractor Company
    The tractor was manufactured by the Bradley Tractor Company

  • Bradley Tractor Company

7964 Oakwood Park Ct., St. Michaels, Maryland 21663

In the July, 1990 issue of GEM, I asked for information on a Bradley tractor that my father purchased and we used on our farm south of Valparaiso, Indiana. The tractor was sold by Sears, Roebuck. Although I remembered the mechanical details of that tractor, I did not know where it was built.

In answer to my request, Mr. Edsel Pierce, 6133 East - 300 North, Craigville, Indiana 46731, sent me copies of the items in his Bradley tractor file. He sent some very interesting information on this little-known tractor and has given me permission to share it with GEM readers.

The September 11, 1930 issue of Farm Implement News carried a report that Sears Roebuck & Company were testing and demonstrating a tractor called the Bradley. They were not then offering it for sale. The tractor had been designed by Dent Parrett and a few had been built by W. M. Blair Mfg. Co. of Chicago, at their Benton Harbor, Michigan plant.

Despite the deepening depression, Sears did decide to market the Bradley. It received Nebraska Test 192, June 10-18, 1931. There was a note in the July 16, 1931 Farm Implement News that the Bradley Tractor Company, Chicago, was increasing its capital from 10,000 to 20,000 shares. The proceeds would be used for expansion.

The tractor was sold by Sears for approximately three years, starting in 1933. It was being sold at 31 Sears farm equipment stores in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky. One of the stores was in Valparaiso. The full-page ad at right is from the spring, 1933 Sears Farm Equipment Catalog. Note that Sears also sold planters and cultivators to mount on the Bradley.