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Ever hear of a "Brown Boy" tractor ?


Kent

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I received this email tonight... other than suggesting that he look at Midland to see if his non-Simplicity attachments look like those... Anyone know anything about Brown Boy walking tractors?
First, allow me to congratulate you on perhaps the best "tractor website" I have yet to visit. Your awards fall short of the service you perform by maintaining such an excellent site. Secondly, please allow me to bore you with a story. Last summer my father gave me his walk behind garden tractor which he says he purchased in 1953....the year after he bought his home (in 1952). He claims this is how he remembers purchasing his tractor. The tractor is a "Brown Boy" and in this case a Model L-1..... 1 1/2 - 2 h.p. Since last summer, I have in vain searched the web for "any mention" of a Brown Boy tractor. However, in the past two days, after re-reading the "undated manual" closer.....the manual states, "All attachments feature the famous "Quick -Hitch. This special hitch permits mounting of attachment in only a few seconds. Jim Brown Attachments also fit Ward's and Simplicity Garden Tractors." After perusing your site on March 04, 2003, I discovered a version of an old "undated" Simplicity manual apparently contributed by Mark Waite and Joel Wicker concerning the Simplicity Models L and M. I sat in disbelief as I browsed the "Waite and Wicker" manual. The manual is nearly verbatin of my "Brown Boy" manual. Nearly, all of the drawings including part numbers and prices are exactly the same. BINGO! I say "nearly" the same, as there are a few differences, which I suspect Jim Brown of Jim Brown Town and Country Store, "made a deal" with Simplicity to manufacture the tractor but probably through some agreement or another made a few alterations to make Jim Brown's "Brown Boy" tractor unique. My "Brown Boy" tractor body is painted orange (or what is left of it). The engine is green....a model Series 700 Clinton engine (my father kept that manual also, which came with the tractor manual as a separate manual.). The sulky in the manual is of a "bench seat type" not a "seat type" as displayed in the Waite-Wicker manual you have on-line. I also believe the dump cart to be somewhat different. For all of this, everything else in my "Brown Boy" manual reads exactly the same including the illustrations and how they are numbered (with a couple of small exceptions in numbering sequence). Note: My father also gave me several of the implements that he had purchased for the tractor, i.e. 8 in. plow, disc harrows, shovel cultivator, snow plow, log and brush saw. I know at one time my father also had the sickle bar, but I do not believe he has had that for some time. If you are interested in this manual, I can send you a copy by snail mail. I presume the address as provided on your website is still correct. I would certainly like to hear from you, as I believe the "Brown Boy" to be an "off shoot" Simplicity tractor (with some modifications). Richard Cooley
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I used to work in the outdoor power equipment industry at the manufacturer level, corporate sales department for Huffy. We sold more units with proprietary labels on them than we did our own brands, so I know it is certainly possible for a large volume retailer to command such a product. A company with a dealer network has to be careful not to undermine their own brand, though. A proprietary label would have different color and graphics, and often different features, especially those that could be changed easily by purchasing like seats, steering wheels and tires. It was to costly to change anything much that involved tooling. Huffy, for example, had the Huffy brand for mass market retailers, a distributor line named Turfmaster (named after the mower company in Richmond, IN that they bought out putting them in the power equipment business) and many proprietary labels. Sometime I'll have to dig out my old sales brochures and post some pictures. Huffy's mower division folded in 1974.
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Kent, after talking with some of the old timers around my area of Kentucky no one has a clue about the "Brown Boy" line. One old time Simplicity dealer thinks he remembers a time years ago when some farm stores and hardware chains were offered the "private label" deal. I will keep posting any further info I get. Larry
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