A History of the GIBSON
(Page 2 of 3)
The model 'SD' followed and was distinguished by having
a hood, grill and fenders (fenders were optional for the
'D'). The 'SD' tipped the scales at 1065
All three of theses models had the distinctive characteristic of
being steered with a lever. Mounted on the right side of the frame,
by pushing it forward, the tractor turned left. Pulling it back was
necessary to turn right. This design was probably chosen for a
combination of reasons including uniqueness, simplicity, quickness,
and cost effective production rates.
The Super D introduced the steering wheel design but kept most
of the other features of the 'SD' including the AEH engine,
hood, grill, and fenders. Electrical and hydrolic systems were
optional and added to its 1105 pound weight.
The Super D2 was also a steering wheel model and boasted a two
cylinder, 12 horsepower model TF Wisconsin air cooled engine. On a
52' wheelbase, it weighed 1375 pounds. It rolled on 4.00 x 12
fronts and 7, 8 or 9.00 x 24 rears.
The model 'E' series consisted of an 'E',
'EF', 'EW' and an 'EWF. The 'E' and
'EW' were row crop types whereas the 'EF' was a
wide front, and the 'EWF' was listed as a wide tread (84
inch) four wheel cultivating tractor. The same tire options as the
Super D2 were offered.
Production of full sized models began in 1948 with the model
'H', a 25 belt horsepower unit equipped with a four
cylinder 1XB Hercules engine. The 'H' was rated as a two
plow unit and weighed in at 3650 pounds. On an 86' wheelbase,
it had 5.00 x 15 front tires and 10 x 38 rears. The 'H' was
tested by the University of Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory in
May, 1949, test #407.
The model T was a 40 belt horsepower six cylinder ZXD Hercules
engine model. Rated as a two to three plow unit, it had a 94'
wheelbase and sat on 5.50 x 16 fronts and 10 x 38 rears. Its weight
was 4,000 pounds and was also tested in May, 1949, under test
Production of A's, D's, and E's resulted in an
estimated 50,000 to 60,000 total units, whereas there were probably
less than 500 each of the H's and I's made.
In addition to tractors, the Gibson company was also engaged in
the production of forklifts under Government contract for the Navy
during the late 1940's and early 1950's. Stories conflict
somewhat and there was probably no one single reason for the
company's demise. A combination of factors including
competition, and pressure to meet production quotas of forklifts at
the expense of turning out tractors were probably chief ingredients
in the company's downfall as it was originally known. Wilber
Gibson died in 1959 at the age of 44 from a heart attack.