The Gibson Manufacturing Company

Harry A. Gibson founded the Gibson Manufacturing Corporation (located at 2910 1st. Avenue South) in Seattle, Washington, in 1933, to build railroad cars to transport loggers and supplies to and from logging camps. Gibson also dealt with equipment refurbishment, repairing and reselling used logging equipment, generators, engines, locomotives, and tractors.  The company decided to capitalize on the demand for tractors after World War II, and it began to build small tractors (now called the Model A) as a sideline during slack periods. The Gibson trademark was registered in 1943. Papers of incorporation were noted in the Seattle Times on October 1, 1946. Harry and Florence Gibson and attorney Carl E. Croson, all of Seattle, filed the forms with the Washington Secretary of State stating the amount of capital at $15,000 for the Gibson Manufacturing Company.

In 1946, Harry’s son Wilber F. Gibson began tractor production to a new factory in Longmont, Colorado. The move may have been motivated by the need for a more centralized rail distribution location for sales. Longmont is located forty miles northwest of Denver. The company’s arrival was touted as “the first new heavy industry to locate in Longmont in over forty years.” The first Gibson tractors rolled off the assembly line in Longmont on March 2, 1946. Tractor production in Longmont production ceased in February 1952 and the factory closed in June 1952. Tractor production ceased in Seattle when Harry died on November 18, 1953. Various companies in both Seattle and Longmont bought up the stock and continued to make and service tractors: Utility Machine Works (Seattle) and Western American Industries (Longmont). Wilbur started another tractor company, the Powerflex 10, in 1958 but died on March 18, 1959 at the age of 44. The Powerflex was bought by Duane Harvey and was renamed the Harvey Powerflex.

Published by Duane Dietz

Event Manager for the Gibson Tractor Festival 2021 in Shelton, Washington

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