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In the fall of 1961 the Beaver division was sold to three fellows: Ed Ahern became general manager, Ray Merrigan, a real estate man, and Lennie Paul an inventor and onetime movie theatre owner owned the balance of the stock. They have aluminum stamped plates that were glued to the steering column support bracket.
I spoke with Lennie Paul in 2007, he described one guy that put the machines together and that same person loaded them onto a trailer and sold them around the countryside.
They aggressively pursued Baird’s strategy of selling tractors overseas.
India, Iraq, Afghanistan and Argentina bought containers of tractors.
(Smathers later did incorporate the tiller steering) Arts interest in the tractor was for use on his property, but Baird’s owners had taken an interest in what Art was doing.
This model was further modernized with a small red plastic hood and a gray front grill. While still producing single speeds (this indicated by serial numbers prefaced by 4470-) Baird added a 3-speed transmission (designed by Dave Knight) and a wider stance front end as options, (these serials begin with saw the intro of the 750 Beaver.1955 saw the introduction of what I call the “Red Handled” machines.The black ball on the tiller and lift handle had been replaced by a red bicycle grip.Art headed up Baird’s Machine Design Department until his retirement. The above is my edit of a history written by Al Lewis, grandson of Art, many thanks Al!also saw a move up in engine size to the reliable AKN Wisconsin.
Seems that Bob bought the company from the 3 fellows in New Hartford in 1968.