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1947 B.F.AVERY V The Little Tractor That Could

19063 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Paul J
Here are a few Pictures of the little 1947 B.F. Avery that I am getting ready to restore. The tractor is in pretty good shape for its age and I am not planning on a full restoration as it really don't need it. Basically I plan to sandblast everything and then repaint it as it would have been in 1947. I have lots of pictures that I will add later. I just wanted to share a few of it before I break it down into smaller pieces. The tractor also was built here in Kentucky so that makes it a little more special to me as well. Below is some Basic History of the Avery Tractors. Below is an article I found on the company history if anyone cares to learn a little more about the Avery Tractors. There is not a lot of information out there about them and parts seems to be scarce to say the least, but that is one thing that makes this hobby fun for me as I enjoy a good challenge and locating a few missing parts was just that until I found a Gentleman in Baldwin MS, by the Name of Bill Williams. He's a great guy and has been invaluable with all his help in finding what I needed and just to set and talk with about everything under the sun. I'm sorry for the long winded post here but as I said I just wanted to share something that was a bit different. Hope you all enjoy as much as I do. I will add more pictures as I go along. Thanks for taking the time to view.
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Now for a little B.F.Avery History that I found on the web. I did not write this article.
"As a youngster growing up on a dairy farm in rural mid-20 century Howard County, our next door neighbor, another dairyman, farmed for a number of years with several small tractors that he had purchased mostly from Montgomery Ward & Company on Monroe Street in Baltimore. Some of those little tractors carried the name B.F. Avery and were designated Model “A”. During that period, he also had one called The General (Model “GG”). A distinguishing characteristic of all these tractors was their unique front wheel arrangement. They were all fitted with one single rib tire. Some of the early models were equipped with hand brakes rather than foot brakes. Perhaps you too may have wondered about these little tractors – who manufactured them, and whatever became of them?
In my search for information on the Avery tractor, there was one matter that confused me, at least initially. After having attended many antique tractor shows over the years and having also reviewed numerous antique tractor reference books with interest, I eventually discovered a real enigma. At one time years ago, there were some fairly large, (no – actually huge) tractors with the name Avery on them. These mammoth machines were very impressive in size, and were sometimes shown pulling large 8-bottom or 10-bottom moldboard plows. These huge tractors certainly did not fit into the mold of the small Avery tractor that I was familiar with as a youngster. Not long after that, I discovered that at one time there were at least two different Avery companies in the tractor business. Even though the names are spelled the same way, there was no connection between the companies – the Avery Co. of Peoria, IL and the B.F. Avery & Sons Co. of Louisville, KY.

The Avery Co. of Peoria was formed by brothers Robert H. and Cyrus M. Avery in 1874 and began as the Avery Planter Company at Galesburg, IL. Their growing business included planters, cultivators and stalk cutters. They relocated to Peoria, IL in 1884. They began building steam traction engines in 1891 and their innovative under mounted steam engine was a great success.

Moving into tractors powered by internal combustion engines, in 1913 they introduced the 4-cylinder model 40-80. This huge machine weighed in at 22,000 pounds and could pull 8,600 pounds at the drawbar. The 40-80 was modified in 1920 though, after the Nebraska Tractor Tests, showed that it did not come up to the factory’s advertised horsepower rating. Subsequently, it was more accurately, renamed the 45-65.

The Avery Co. remained in business until the beginning of World War II. During the approximately 30 years that they produced tractors, quite a number of new models were introduced. But, faced with hard economic times following World War I, they went into bankruptcy in 1924. Reorganized, the company did fairly well until 1931, the midst of the “darkest days of the depression”. Once again, the company had to be reorganized after which it did well again until the beginning of WW II. At the very end of its existence, the reorganized Avery Farm Machinery Company introduced the Ro-Track model. This modern, streamlined two-plow tractor, equipped with an improved 6-cylinder Hercules engine, might have gained appreciably higher market share eventually had it not been for the need to halt production due to wartime material shortages.
According to the book B.F. Avery and Sons, Pioneer Plowmakers by Luther D. Thomas, the other Avery, the B.F. Avery Company, began as the Avery Plow Factory in 1825 with a blacksmith shop at Clarksville, VA. Benjamin Franklin Avery moved his business to Louisville, KY about 1847. In 1875, it was reported in the New York Daily Graphic that B.F. Avery & Sons, along with other agricultural implement manufacturers, made Louisville the world’s largest producer of plows, shipping about 190,000 plows a year.

Prior to 1914, the B.F. Avery & Sons Company manufactured tillage implements – plows, cultivators, harrows, etc. They ventured into the tractor business in 1915 with the Louisville Motor Plow, a 5,000 pound, 20-belt horsepower machine that was fitted with two 14-inch moldboard or disc plows. The company claimed that the machine was capable of plowing six acres in a 10-hour day. The Motor Plow was in production until about 1917. With the failure of the Louisville Motor Plow, Avery soon realized that it had to become a “full line” company if it were to compete successfully with manufacturers like IHC, John Deere, J.I. Case, Allis-Chalmers, Oliver, etc. By 1930, they entered into an arrangement with the Huber Manufacturing Company of Marion, OH whereby they agreed to market 355 of the Huber 20-36 (four plow) and 32-45 (four to six plow) Huber tractors. Weathering the depression successfully, B.F. Avery developed its own design of implements which they named “Tru-Draft”. This line was meant to counter the popularity of the innovative Ford-Ferguson three-point hitch. Avery’s initial system utilized a manual lift rather than a hydraulic lift though.

By 1939, Avery engineers had designed a new tractor to take advantage of the “Tru-Draft” system, which the Cleveland Tractor Company (Cletrac) began building for them. The first model released was “The General model GG”.
It had a 113 cid Hercules engine that developed 19.29 belt horsepower. This distinctive 2,105 pound tricycle tractor had a single front tire and a three speed transmission. It sold for $595 in 1939. This same tractor was sold by Avery, Cletrac and Massey-Harris dealers. It was also sold under the Co-op name for the Farmers Union Company. From 1940 to 1942, Montgomery Ward sold the model GG as the Wards Twin-Row. The only difference between the General and the Twin-Row was color – the General was painted bright orange and the Twin-Row was painted dark red. Montgomery Ward also sold Avery’s implements, only they named them Tru-Pull rather than Tru- Draft.

By 1942, the B.F. Avery Company had purchased the equipment, inventory, dies, rights, etc. from Cleveland Tractor. Both Avery and Cleveland Tractor continued to produce the General, but they were all painted Avery’s Tar-Tar Red and on each side of the hood was the lettering B.F. Avery. This tractor was known as the “B.F. Avery General,” “The General Model A,” or simply the “Model A.”
During the mid to late 1940’s, Avery upgraded the Model A with new sheet metal, a larger engine, optional dual front wheels, wide adjustable front axle, or a single front wheel (the most popular option), and a hydraulic system. During its last year of production (1951), the 2,280 pound Avery Model A sold for $1,420, about double the price that it had started out at 10 years earlier.. After World War II, Avery prospered and introduced several new models. Among them was the little 1,600 pound Avery Model V which was just slightly more powerful than the Farmall Cub. It could handle a single 14-inch plow. To satisfy the demand for a heavier, more powerful tractor, the two-plow Model R was introduced in 1950. It weighed 2,940 lbs. and sold for $1,450. The Korean conflict and the declining farm economy eventually took its toll on the struggling B.F. Avery Company. In 1951, Avery merged with the Minneapolis- Moline Company. Ultimately, to save costs, Avery’s classic Model A was dropped from production. The Model V was continued except that the paint color was changed 8 to M-M’s Prairie Gold and combined with new M-M decals. The Model R was re-named the M-M Model BF. Unfortunately, hard economic times continued through the 1950’s and the Avery Division of Minneapolis-Moline continued to suffer heavy losses. With huge equipment inventories carried over each year and losses mounting, workers were laid off at the big Louisville plant and remaining production capacity was moved to other M-M plants. The B.F. Avery line of farm tractors and equipment ceased to exist by the mid-1950’s. Allan Bandel
Newsletter Editor"

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Great looking machine. I would love to see some more.

I especially want to see "in progress" pics as well.

Great find!
:wwp: yes keep the pics posted on this restore
Good luck with it

B.F. Avery Company, began as the Avery Plow Factory in 1825 with a blacksmith shop at Clarksville, VA.

You know that's a fantastic find. You are going to have a blast with it. I live just outside of Clarksville VA and I was interested to read the info quoted above. I'm going to do a little research when I get a minute and see what I can dig up and remember :wwp:
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What a great find! It sure looks like it's in great shape. With a new paint job, it'll be a hit in a parade, say, pulling a hay wagon load of kids, big and little kids naturally.
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