Started by John Gravely on Thursday, June 3, 2010


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6/3/2010 at 11:43 AM

This is the article I wrote in the Summer 2008 of the Gravely Gazette. I will also send you the four pictures of tractors that were with this article. Glen Barnes

MYSTERY TRACTOR Jim Cherry wrote an article that appeared in the Winter 2006 edition of the Gazette. It was titled The Mystery Tractor. I have something to add to Jim's article as I have come up with facts that Ben Gravely was making tractors, about four years before he passed away. In 1949, York Corporation producers of York Air Conditioners, was interested in Ben's new version of the Gravely tractor. Ben convinced Alexander and Charles, his two sons to work with York Corporation and see what could be worked out. Alexander's family and Charles moved to York, Pa. Ben came to York three or four times and stayed for a week or two to consult with company. It was mentioned that Alexander's daughter, Betty, was happy to spend her sophomore year of high school at Red Lion H.S. The work with York Corporation was not successful, because the set up and tooling was too expensive and risky. So everyone moved back to Dunbar the following summer, after a full year in PA. Then Ben and his son Charles either rented or built a shop in Nitro, WV, and tired to perfect this prototype of Ben's new idea for tractor. They did make and sell some of these tractors. This venture did not produce very much income, so Alexander had to work at other jobs to keep his household going. Alexander was torn between helping his father and working at more income producing jobs. The pictures of Ben plowing with a Gravely were dated July 3, 1950. Could this be the tractor Ben and Charles were working with in 1949 or 1950? I have three different pictures of tractors made in the 1940's as they were previously thought to be. Notice on has two caps on the gas tank, and one has the hood covering the tank, and the last one is kind of a square version. Maybe someone has an answer. I would like to thank Betty Gravely Jancosek, Alexander's daughter, for this information. Permission given to print this small piece of history of the Gravely tractor. Thanks for taking the time to read this tidbit. Glen Barnes 677

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