While displaying our Super D2 at the 50th Gibsonfest in Longmont, Colo., in 1996, we noticed a trailer at the back of the display ground with an unusual small tractor on it. Attached to the tractor was a "For Sale" sign. Now, a "For Sale" sign is enough to get any collector's heart beating faster. For two days we admired the "little darling." On the third day, we tracked down the owner. After negotiating (always necessary when buying or trading tractors), we became the new owners of a 1948 Shaw Du-All Model R6.
Shaw Manufacturing of Galesburg, Kan., built its first steam engine in 1895. Shaw purchased Kokomo Motorcycle Company of Kokomo, Ind., in 1911. Shaw's "Du-All" was first patented in 1924. In 1933, Shaw started production of a Shaw Du-All Walk-Behind D series garden tractor. The RD series of riding tractors was first produced in 1938, and the R series tractors in 1945. Mr. Shaw sold the company to Bush Hog in 1962, and all serial number lists, records, advertisements and patterns were destroyed.
During negotiations, we were delighted to learn that not only did our Shaw have a five-foot sickle mower, but also a disc, cultivator, and plow. We made arrangements to pick up the implements later that fall in Wichita, Kan.
Our departure date was Thanksgiving Day: We left at 4 a.m. loaded with an Empire to be delivered en route. Our trip was uneventful until we got into Kansas and the weather forecast called for ice storms. Living in Wyoming, we have limited knowledge of ice storms, but were certain we did not want to be in one. At the edge of Wichita, we stopped to call for directions, and then hit the road again. We dropped off the Empire, loaded our implements, and were handed an envelope full of documents. We headed out of town (with a quick stop for a truck stop turkey dinner). We were still ahead of the storm, so just kept heading toward home.
On the way, we opened the envelope and were thrilled with the contents: Original letters from the manufacturer to the original owner, as well as price lists and a set of three company checks. We added these pieces to a large Shaw brochure we already had. Getting those documents was a real treasure. You don't normally get background information or materials when buying these old tractors.
This little tractor and its unique display of literature always draws a crowd. We are so glad this tractor makes its home with us in Laramie, Wyo. FC
For more information: Dale and Lynn Hiatt, 3071 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070; (307) 742-5525.