This page covers the sulky and gang plows of B.D. Buford & Co and the Rock Island Plow Co until 1900. Although I have tried to give some idea of the date ranges, these should only be considered rough estimates in most cases, especially for the discontinuance of the lines. In rare cases, I have some advertising or mention in trade magazines to point to an introduction date, but this is a rarity; so mostly I have to rely on appearance in advertising, particularly the pocket guides issued all through the 1880s-early 1900’s. As new literature comes available, my hope is to narrow some of these date ranges and model questions down further.
|Buford Gang||1874? – ?|
|“The celebrated Buford Gang Plow is the most perfect piece of farm Machinery we have seen” -opening of an article in the May 20 1874 Rock Island Daily Argus. This is the earlies mention of a Buford riding plow I have so far found. The description of the plow reads: “First The draught being direct from the end of the beam, there is no tongue-pressure, and the driver’s seat sliding backward and forward the plow can be made to balance, whatever the weight of the plowman. Second the depth of the plowing can be regulated in a moment, or lifted out of the ground to any required height, by means of two levers within” easy reach of the driver, and which can be operated as well by a boy of twelve years as by an experienced plowman
One of the levers raises the plow in front, the other behind. Third-the plows are suspended from the frame and carried by it; and though the weight of them is saved in draught, still they are free to conform themselves to any inequalities of the ground and consequently will do good work in places where other gangs would be worthless. These plows are made with curved iron beams and can be furnished
with or without circular cutters as desired.” No other pictures or description exists but it was likely this first Buford plow was renamed the Browne in honor of William J Browne, whom the paper gives credit to as the inventor of this plow.
|Browne Sulky / Browne Gang (AKA Buford Sulky/ Gang)
|The Browne Sulky & Browne Gang models were likely introduced sometime around 1874, by 1878 B.D. Buford & Co were advertising improvements to the design over the previous years versions. The Browne sulky was advertised heavily as the flagship plow for the company and references can be found from various entries into a number of contests, as well as refernces to William J Browne, foreman of the Buford shops and inventor of the companies riding plow. There is some confusion about cast iron artifacts with the Browne name due to Morrison Mfg also having a Browne Sulky that used the same cast seats with the additions of their name. I address this HERE in a discussion on William Jerome Browne and his connection to both companies, but feel many of the Browne artifacts are in fact B.D. Buford products. The 1878 Missouri Trials shows an illustration with a Browne Sulky seat. A Morrison Mfg “Morrison” competed against it in the trial. The Buford Gang is advertised in the 1881 atlas, however, it appears this is the gang version of the Buford and not a separate model. There is no separate mention of the Buford besides the one image until later years as it was being phased out, In part due to loosing Browne. In the 1900 parts book, no mention is made of the Browne, however the images of it are now listed under Buford Sulky & Gang, likely renamed after William Jerome Browne‘s departure to Morrison after a fight with L.M. Buford.