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The Sears David Bradley Trailer

Discussion in 'Jeep Trailer Tech' started by maurywhurt, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. May 1, 2011
    johnnyc

    johnnyc .

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    maury did you get to find out what stamping is on that rim...would be cool if it were different from the others we has seen :)
     
  2. May 3, 2011
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I haven't asked the owner about the stamping, but that's an interesting thought....I'll see what I can find out, and post it here on the thread....
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  3. May 5, 2011
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Glad you asked that question, John!....I just got the following info and photo from the guy who has the 16" David Bradley wheel pictured in the post on the previous page:

    Darn, if it isn't stamped! From left to right it looks to me like 1 (with the round edge of the stamp), 53 over a bar, CLEV-WELD, a little guy (maybe) and finally, 16 over 450E.


    [​IMG]


    I believe CLEV-WELD was short for Cleveland Welding, a company which produced a variety of different wheels starting back in the 1930s or so. The '1' and '53' stamped on this wheel may very well be the month & year it was manufactured. I don't know, but I'd guess that the 16/450E refers to a 16" diameter and a 4.50" width.

    I have no idea what the "little guy" might represent, unless that was just C.W.'s company logo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  4. May 5, 2011
    johnnyc

    johnnyc .

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    hay thats cool...i would assume the same as you... 1/1953 ... 16" rim .... 4.5" wide

    funny its yet a new rim manufacturer...i am wondering if the inside bead area has any stampings on our rims ? Hmmmm.
     
  5. May 9, 2011
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    When my 15" DB rims were blasted, the only stamping that appeared was the International Harvester logo & part number on the front side of the wheel:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a close up:

    [​IMG]

    I didn't see any further stamping on the inside of the rim.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  6. May 10, 2011
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    The DB trailer below is owned by Justin in Wyoming. He got it from his grandfather, who may have been the builder of the homemade cover.

    This trailer has the model number 231.246 - a "new" model number not seen on this thread before - and a serial number of 5144. Interestingly, the serial data plate is attached on the front of the frame just above and to the right of the front tongue connector plate (though since it is bolted and not riveted, it may not be in its original location):

    [​IMG]


    This view reveals a two-bolt front tongue connector plate, as well as an unusual connection of the rectangular axle to the springs:

    [​IMG]


    Here's a closeup of the axle to spring bracket, which appears to be welded to the axle. Does anyone else's DB trailer have this same connecting hardware?:

    [​IMG]


    The side shot shows the original early type 16" wheels, and tapered-fin type early rear gussets:

    [​IMG]


    The rear view shows the welded long-backstrap, two-knuckle type tailgate hinges:

    [​IMG]


    Based on the above characteristics, I'd guess that this trailer was likely manufactured sometime in 1947-48 (though the owner says it is titled as a 1950).

    The model number, 231.246, sounds somewhat similar to the model number of the trailer that Ben-Hur made for Sears early on, the model 233.22-46 (see this post: http://www.earlycj5.com/forums/show...ars-David-Bradley-Trailer&p=854264#post854264). However, the 231- prefix indicates that this trailer was manufactured by Dunbar Kapple.

    I'm guessing that this must be a very early version made by Dunbar Kapple prior to the standardization of the Model 231-417. In support of that theory....compare the format of the data plate on this Model 231-246 trailer:

    [​IMG]

    ....to that of the lowest serial number (earliest) example seen yet of the Model 231-417 trailer:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  7. Jun 15, 2011
    ugly_jeep

    ugly_jeep New Member

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    Hello folks,

    I just picked up a later example of these trailers with a Sears tag on the front. I will try and get some pictures posted soon, it is rough and rusty, but was cheap!

    I may have to use this for a camping trip in a couple weeks if I can't finish my Bantam in time.

    However, one of the 5 bolt wheel hubs has a couple of broken spots at the lug studs, so it looks like I will need a replacement hub for that side....can anyone help me out with a spare one they'd like to sell? I would be very grateful!

    Daniel
     
  8. Jul 3, 2011
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I got a very interesting e-mail from Marc H. today, along with some great photos of his Dunbar Kapple trailer:


    I am sending you some pictures that include a DK data plate. Interestingly there is a second plate on mine (added later) saying "Property of ESSA 1". The only information I can find on ESSA 1 is a weather satellite launched by the Environmental Science Service Administration in 1966. Is this part of that program..? I don't know. http://science.nasa.gov/missions/essa/ There was something big and heavy mounted in my trailer at some point, I can tell by the pattern of holes drilled in the bed, and how bent up the bed is. I'm doing a lot of work on her and taking a lot of pictures. I picked her up on eBay with no title for $225 about a year ago, so a lot has been done. All by me.. welding, sanding, painting, rebuilding... the works. Its been extremely fun.

    Even though I found your page just after I got the trailer I keep coming back and love it. I'd love to share my story once I get my access issues resolved.

    Oh and this one had the "Silver Tonged Devil" text on the front. My original tongue (which was badly tweaked) was silver. I think that was original. Body was originally the standard green.

    Keep up the great work

    Marc H.
    Denver Colorado


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]


    In a single post, Marc has solved two different "mysteries" about these trailers:

    First, that Dunbar Kapple manufactured not only the David Bradley Model 231-417 trailers for Sears, but in fact also marketed the very same trailer - down to the roadster-style fenders - under their own brand name and model number....which, not surprisingly, was 417.

    Second, he has also established the identity of the elusive Silver Tongued (aka Tounged) Devil - look back at Post #4 on the first page of this thread - as one and the same as the Dunbar Kapple-branded version of the trailer. Here's a close-up of the front view of his trailer:


    [​IMG]


    Thanks very much, Marc. Once you get your access issues resolved, please let us hear from you directly!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  9. Jul 8, 2011
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    (Note - This post originally appeared on Page 6 of this thread, but I've updated it and moved it here, as it now includes a lot of information that came to light later, in Pages 7 through 13).

    Based on the information collected to date, here's what appears to have been the approximate timeline and sequence of events of the development of this trailer:


    Late 1945 - Early 1946 - Ben-Hur creates a new 3/4-ton civilian trailer design, the Model 22-46, which was loosely based on their highly successful 1-ton wartime trailer. The 22-46 was produced until sometime in 1947. It had round fenders, long-backstrap riveted tailgate hinges (though welded long-backstrap hinges appear to have been implemented at some point), a 'round' (though flat on top) axle, vertical c-channel rear bed gussets, and a single-bolt connection of the tongue to the front of the bed.

    The Spring 1946 Sears catalog lists the earliest known David Bradley version of this trailer which, as evidenced by the Milwaukee manufacturing location, was made by Ben-Hur for Sears. This trailer was available with optional fenders, which were almost certainly round like those on the Ben-Hur 22-46 trailer. The tongue and coupler on the earliest David Bradley versions were somewhat different from the Ben-Hur versions, however.

    Sears apparently contracted with Ben-Hur to allow Dunbar Kapple, which was partially owned by Sears, to produce the David Bradley version of the trailer in mid-1946. The Fall 1946 catalog lists the next iteration of the David Bradley trailer, which was a round-fendered version manufactured by Dunbar Kapple in their Geneva, Illinois factory (to see these catalog listings, go to Post #1 on the first page of this thread).

    For at least a short time in late 1946 - early 1947, Ben-Hur also produced a "roadster style" fendered version of this trailer for Sears, the model 233.22-46 (to see an example, go to Post #75 on Page 8 of this thread). The Sears Model 233.22-46 had the Ben-Hur name painted on the tailgate.

    Early 1947 - My best guess is that at this point in time, Sears bought the design rights from Ben-Hur and had Dunbar Kapple build all of the Bradley trailers for them on the basic Ben-Hur pattern, with a few modifications. On the David Bradley trailers, the fenders were changed to a "roadster" style fender. The tailgate hinges were the welded long-backstrap type, but the early DB trailers had pivot knuckles on both sides of the hinges, rather than just on one side like the Ben-Hur trailer. Also, the rear bed gussets were changed to slanted fins similar to the tailgate gussets. These early David Bradley trailers came with 16" wheels of varying design. At least some of these early Dunbar-Kapple manufactured David Bradley trailers were produced as Model Number 231-246 (for an example of this model, see Post #126 above).

    Mid 1947 - Ben Hur comes out with a revision of the Model 22-46 design, the Model 22-47. It appears to have been virtually identical to the Model 22-46, with the exception of the fact that it had short-backstrap, welded type tailgate hinges with a single pivot knuckle on each hinge.

    Late 1947 - Early 1948 - Apparently, the changes Ben-Hur made during their production run were likewise shared with Dunbar Kapple, which implemented those changes as well. The Dunbar Kapple-manufactured David Bradley trailers made after late 1947 or early 1948 with the model number of 231-417 adopted the updated tailgate hinge design of the Model 22-47 trailers. A few additional changes appear to have been made at the same time, including the axle being changed to a rectangular section channel, and the attachment of the tongue to the front of the bed being changed from a one-bolt connection through the tongue to a two-bolt plate. Also, the rear bed gussets were changed from the slanted fin type to the same vertical c-channel type used on the Ben-Hur trailers, and the design of the parking leg was changed. 15" David Bradley tractor wheels became standard equipment, though 16" DB tractor wheels were available an an option.

    1948-1958 - The David Bradley Model 231-417 trailer stayed in production for approximately the next 10 years. A few additional minor changes were made during that period, including further revisions to the parking leg. Production appears to have ended in 1958.

    During this same general time frame, Dunbar-Kapple sold the identical trailer, with the "roadster" type fenders, branded under their own name, as Model 417. In at least some cases, these trailers had the words "Silver Tongued Devil" stenciled on the front of the bed (and as one would expect, the tongues on these trailers were painted silver). Dunbar Kapple may also have produced and marketed the same basic trailer design, though perhaps as a different model number, with round military style fenders like the Ben-Hur design. Photographic evidence suggests that the Dunbar Kapple versions may have shared the David Bradley tractor wheels with the Sears David Bradley-branded version of the trailer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  10. Nov 14, 2011
    TRL WGN 1

    TRL WGN 1 New Member

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    well, first post on this forum but figured since I learned so much about these little trailers here, I would add some pictures

    this is the trailer I bought last week. I believe based on the information here that it is a 22-47 Ben-Hur. No data tag to be found (may be covered up by one of the patch panels on the sides?)
    title says it is a 1991 Homemade trailer so no help there. It does have a completely round axle, 16" wheels with no wheel weight holes, short welded tailgate hinges that only hang from one side, and obvously the more military style round fenders.

    It is in worse shape than I would have preferred as it has spent most if not all of its life outside but it was patched with stainless steel on the sides and the entire inside of the bed as well :)

    I need to replace the c-channel that the tailgate is mounted to as it is almost completely gone. Other than the very front c-channel, the rest of the underneath is pretty solid.

    I bought it for a wood hauler for behind my Jeep which I think it will work fine for. I am going to start working on it tonight. going to pack the wheel bearings then start painting it-will be white and black to match the Jeep (is currently a rust red color of paint but was originally green). At least it did come with a new light kit so that will be going on too as well as updating to a 2" coupler.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Nov 20, 2011
    TRL WGN 1

    TRL WGN 1 New Member

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    did some work to the trailer this week
    I think it looks a little better :)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Dec 12, 2011
    jo99403

    jo99403 New Member

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    Here is my 22-46 that I got off craigslist last month for $300. I changed out a few things that are still in pretty good shape if anyone is looking for original parts. I was interested in building a jeep trailer and didn't know what this was until I uncovered the ID plate and looked it up on the internet (found this site).

    JCJ[​IMG]
     
  13. Dec 12, 2011
    jo99403

    jo99403 New Member

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    another pic...[​IMG]
     
  14. Dec 13, 2011
    ojgrsoi

    ojgrsoi Retired. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Wow, that's really straight.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2012
    sqareyz

    sqareyz New Member

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    Hey from canada, been following this thread for some time now and finnally managed to get some pics up. Maury, you had emailed me back in the summer bout this trailer...i had it up for sale for awhile, but now decided to keep it and build it into a decent camping/ utility unit.
    sorry for crappy cell phone pics.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jan 13, 2012
    sqareyz

    sqareyz New Member

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    a few more from summer being parked out at farm:(

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jan 24, 2012
    tentmeister

    tentmeister New Member

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    Thanks, Maurywhurt, for that wonderful research on the Sears David Bradley Trailer.

    I happen to be doing similar research on Sears Allstate single-wheel trailers; in particular, I'm trying to find out who their sources were. Thanks to you, I know that Dunbar-Kapple made some of them, but I've run across a frame style that different from the SWT Dunbar-Kapples I've seen. If you could steer me towards some information on how to get in touch with any experts on the subject, I'd be very grateful. (And, yes, I've been to singlewheel.com, and while they've been very helpful and interested in the project, they don't have that information.)

    I don't know if this site uses Private Messaging, but you (or anybody else) can reach me at tentmeister AT yahoo DOT com. Thanks!
     
  18. Jan 24, 2012
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Hi Tentmeister,

    Wish I could help you with the names of some "experts" on single wheel trailers....but beyond those at Singlewheel.com, I'm really not aware of any. If in your research you can find visually identical trailers to the Sears models you're looking for, that may give you the information you need in order to establish the other manufacturers.

    The best advice I can give you, particularly if you have Sears' model numbers for the trailers in question, would be to try e-mailing Sears Historical Center Archives at <shcarchives@searshc.com> and ask if they can identify the manufacturer(s) from those model numbers' 3-digit codes. They may also be able to provide you with copies of Sears catalog pages for the trailers you're looking at.

    Good luck! Hope you're successful in your quest.

    Maury
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  19. Jan 26, 2012
    jo99403

    jo99403 New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Got some military canvas on it today, almost ready to go camping...
     
  20. Jan 26, 2012
    SKT

    SKT I Like CJ's...

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    Nice set-up!

    What did you use for the frame/bows?



    .
     

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