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Old 10-10-2012, 01:43 PM
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hammmerhead hammmerhead is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: ozarks
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Some old info about Gravely's early, early days (From Wiki)

Benjamin Franklin Gravely (29 November 1876 – January 1953) of Dunbar, West Virginia manufactured in 1916 a hand-pushed plow fitted with an auxiliary Indian motorcycle engine and driven by belts.[2] His goal was to build a tractor which would revolutionize gardening and lawn maintenance for the homeowner.

A friend who owned a machine shop allowed Gravely to build more tractors at his shop. It was there that Gravely designed the engine and built six or seven of the first tractors, which weighed about 190 pounds each. He also developed several new tools for the engine and drive train.

IncorporationThe Gravely company was incorporated in 1922. In the mid-1920s, Gravely decided to build and market the tractors commercially. He and several backers raised enough capital to purchase an old factory in the Dunbar, West Virginia area that had previously been used for the manufacture of tires.[2] One of the stockholders, Eustace Rose, a close friend and a mechanic, inventor and engineer, collaborated closely in the development of the tractor. Rose is also reputed to have invented the first automatic transmission used by the Chrysler Corporation.

Survival and growthStrong sales assured the company's profitability through the Great Depression. Customer loyalty was an important element in this success. In the company's earliest years, Gravely would load several tractors into his Studebaker tourer car and sell them to farms as far away as West Virginia and Florida at $175 each. He would then drive back and pick up another load.

Within a few years, sales outlets had been established from coast to coast, with international sales representatives in Germany, France and Switzerland.

Ben Gravely sold his stock in Gravely Tractor in 1940 and died 13 years later. His company was gradually acquired by the Studebaker Corporation by 1960 and later sold off by Studebaker-Worthington.


1959 model Still getting it done

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