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#46 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2014 - 08:42 PM

Not starting a flame war or anything, but there are folks who think Bolens started the small GT. Do you have some kind of tractor time line?Bolens was

Bolens was far ffrom the first but you'll never get the Bolens guys to admit it. Continue below.

 

 

 

 

your righ t :thumbs:  the Bolens did make the first 4 weeeled self structered  G T it started as the Gilson bolens mfg co, then when gilson sold out to bolens, bolens went on to make the first  first 4 weeeled self structered  G T,i think it was around 1895 or just  befor there abouts.actually i think it was the first in the world  to be made like that a small  gt.

Bolens did start with Gilson but their first rider was the ridemaster that didn't start until mid 40s. (46-47 range??) Speedex was advertising America's first riding tractor long before Bolens advertised it. Speedex claims the 1936 starting date if I'm thinking right. That timeline corresponds with the time frame they left Shaw. even the FG (farm and garden) was built before the ridemaster. There's dated factory literature to prove this. I always took objection to Speedex's claim because the Utilitor Tractor Co was advertising a riding garden tractor in the 21-22 range.


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#47 TwoEagles OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 12:11 AM

that tractor the ride master came out in 1947 after FMC bought them witch was right after ww2 but they kept the bolens co in tact when the ride master came out their first compact tractor, but way be for that the bolens co  built the first self contained small 4 wheeled tractor  about 1895.5 


Edited by TwoEagles, December 23, 2014 - 12:21 AM.

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#48 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 07:43 AM

Bolens wasn't in the business in 1895.


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#49 TwoEagles OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 11:03 AM

your right they were all ready there

 

Founded in 1850, Bolens has grown to become the most respected name in outdoor power equipment. Seven thousand of these early machines were sold to enthusiastic customers, and Bolens outdoor power equipment was on its way to becoming famous. in 1894 they went on to invent and make the  world's first self contained four wheel riding garden garden tractor, this small tractor was introducd about 1895

 

 In 1935 Harold and Elmer Pond founded the "POND TRACTOR COMPANY", who built Speedex tractors. They developed the Speedx Model B which is the first four wheel riding garden tractor of its kind in America. It had tiller steering, steel wheels, Briggs & Stratton Model ZZ air coooled engine, a Ford model A transmission, and Ford model T rear axle. By 1940 it was sold with rubber tires and by 1941 it was sold with a 6HP Briggs engine. 


Edited by TwoEagles, December 23, 2014 - 11:34 AM.


#50 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 11:58 AM

your right they were all ready there

 

Founded in 1850, Bolens has grown to become the most respected name in outdoor power equipment. Seven thousand of these early machines were sold to enthusiastic customers, and Bolens outdoor power equipment was on its way to becoming famous. in 1894 they went on to invent and make the  world's first self contained four wheel riding garden garden tractor, this small tractor was introducd about 1895

 

I think you are falling for Bolens hype and propaganda there. I would welcome any copies of Bolens advertising before the early 20s. Are there any pictures of the rider in 1895? We may be able to rewrite the whole garden tractor history if we could find actual proof. I've never found anything where gilson was marketing anything for garden use that early.


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#51 TwoEagles OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 12:02 PM

as ive always stated the info i have comes from a lot of reading about 1800 hours and outright research 2300 hours, and talking with Cecil pond himself alot, and also, i have friends that were the marketing segment for  wheel horse , bolens and sears,  and they are still alive today  as i dont speek to them as often as i used to ,never the less i believe what they told me and only about 70% of whats read, and all of Cecil said befor he died ,  ans the problem i have now is remembering it all ,so im most likely to forget things and make mistakes or get twisted up from time to time , that why i like these forums, the people here help keep it all straight, and then its back to the books to make sure i got it right ,, THANKS to every one  that helps, as well as reading about it all.

:thank_you:


Edited by TwoEagles, December 23, 2014 - 12:05 PM.


#52 TwoEagles OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 12:15 PM

well that may be true i might be falling for a lot of hipe, but im not about to call the , Bolens , Ponds  and the Sears Group, liers just yet because,  just like you i would like to have proof of what they say and print is wrong  ,befor i would call them liers  and start dispelling the stuff thats all ready been written and told,or  as said, streight from the horses mouth,

 

 

 The earliest of the Bolens company was actually the J.E. Gilson / H.W. Bolens Manufacturing Co. working together making chair irons and garden tools. Then in 1914 Gilson sold out to Bolens and they went their separate ways


Edited by TwoEagles, December 23, 2014 - 05:42 PM.


#53 Racinbob OFFLINE  

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Posted December 27, 2014 - 11:31 AM

 

again i did not read the book ,STRIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH   byMartin A  Martino  as of  yet, and i do know of Cecil Ponds forwarding the book but as Cecil told The people at these geathering  for the little tractors., Cecil told every one as he signed their  books for them,,  that all the history was not  in the book yet ,only the major things, there was a lot more to be written ,. but that was never to come about, i have personally been to these such gatherings and talked with Cecil befor he died,

.

 heres a little more info that people might want to know and i was asked about , the idea for the small tractors did not originate witth the ponds alone , in stead it started with the Shaw tractor co,  they made mid sized tractors ." Elmer Pond ,Harold Pond and Glenn Hielman, worked for shaw for many a year . befor going out on their own with the idea to make a small yard tractor as the shaw co wanted to make mid sized and larger tractors only, Glenn Hielmans tractor was the  Garden Master,    Harold Ponds tractor was the Speedx model b, Elmer pond and his son Cecils  was to become the Wheel Horse  after a while after  the walkaway and the ride away these 3 worked togeather and did swap ideas of the making small yard style mower tractors,and incorperated outside ideas that were offered to them.                

 

Two Eagles, this is a very interesting thread. I would love for you to read Michael (not Martin) Martino's book. I believe the third, most comprehensive, edition is still available. I have been a Wheel Horse nut for 55 years now and grew up just 15 minutes outside of South Bend. Michael was very close to the Pond family and there's a reason the book is entitled 'Straight from the Horse's Mouth. There are items in your history that conflict with what's in the book. Please know that I'm not implying that you are incorrect. It very well could be for the reasons you have mentioned. With the extensive research that you have clearly done along with the wealth of information in the book it would be interesting to combine your knowledge with yet another source of information. I believe that Cecil made the comment about not all the history being in the book was at a signing of the first edition. The second edition expanded a bit more and the third included a LOT more. Thanks for what you've shared Two Eagles.


Edited by Racinbob, December 27, 2014 - 11:33 AM.

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#54 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted December 27, 2014 - 01:22 PM

There was a book written about WH history. I believe it was written by an author named Martino(sp?). Anyway,do you think that book is factual as far as it goes?

 

Yes, it was written with the input from Cecil Pond himself working with the Author.


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#55 Racinbob OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2014 - 10:20 AM

A must have for Wheel Horse collectors.

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#56 jerseyhawg / glenn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 05:03 AM

This thread took off like a rocket........then fizzled out. What happened?

Glenn
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#57 TwoEagles OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 11:58 PM

sorry havent been around for a bit ,found out i have cancer and need a operation to have it removed ,so thats been taking up a lot of my time, but in the meantime ,i did get some info from my friends who were the marketers for the wheel horse and were vary close with elmer and cecil pond  and stated that they have read all the wh books  by martino, and their statement to me was the books were factual and about 85% right but there were things in the books cecil never said in some uncerten terms, and that mr martino wasnt as close to the ponds, as he says ,wasnt there as much as he says and some of the things in the book  were , conclusions he came up with on his own,and they do agree that all the facts and times are not in any of the books and theres a lot about the ponds and their busness ways that werent writtin about and a lot that ceicl never told mr martino ,as they didnt want some things to ever get out to the public , and that ceicle pond even stated at his last public apperance that the third book still wasnt inclusive of all factual happenings,

these people are still in the small tractor marketing today and were in contact with cecil right up until his death, and they are writing their own books, so untill then they dont want their names mentioned at this point but they do read this fourm as i asked them to , so in closing again i guess it really what each and every person wants to believe, and what they want to read to be true  i dont think at any point any one will ever get all the facts ,or get all the facts right,  but it nice to keep getting bits and peices from every where and putting them togeather after all thats what history is really about gaining the knowlage,or at least as much as posible,we just got to keep digging 


Edited by TwoEagles, January 04, 2015 - 12:09 AM.

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#58 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2015 - 05:13 AM

TwoEagles, prayers to you and the family. Hope the operation takes care of things!



#59 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2015 - 08:35 AM

:ditto:
Hope the doctors get the troubles solved for you.
Thanks for the update, will look forward to seeing your friends books out when completed.

#60 TwoEagles OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2015 - 05:44 PM

hey thanks every one ,the op is 65% in my favor35% failure so its a chance i m going to take its better than none at all ,

ill try and get some info on the release of the small garden tractor books they are writing and the aprox time they will be made public  ,but for now my time is being consumed by this cancer thing always more tests almost every day it seems , o well no one ever told me life was easy, i just didnt want to face it this way , again Thanks  every one!!! 


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