More Bantam Plows and a deepening mystery

This summer we have been contacted by two individuals who were researching American Bantam tags on their plows. The first is a 16″ single bottom plow that has been in the same family since it was purchased. It is located in Virginia and is still being used to plow with a tractor.

The Bantam model is an “NSGP-16.” All Bantam plows we have seen used the same model number as used by Newgren. Newgren used a 5 or 6 character model code. The first two characters indicated the manufacturer and number of mouldboards. The codes we have seen are either “NS” meaning (we assume) “Newgren Single” bottom or “ND” meaning “Newgren Double” bottom. The next two characters indicate mouldboard types: GP – General Purpose, SB – Slat Base, or F-Forgy Base. The last characters are actually digits indicate the plow size – 12, 14, or 16 inch. So we know the above plow is a Newgren made single bottom 16″ plow with a general purpose base.

Our Bantam labeled plow has the model number “NDGP-12″as expected. Our working assumption has been that Bantam simply took the current stock of Newgren plows and replaced the tag with the new Bantam tag, copying over the model and serial number. But something else may have been happening too.

The second plow is located in Ontario, Canada and is the first example of a 10″ plow – Newgren or Bantam – that we have seen. This one is also still in use behind a Ford 8n.

The “Type” or model is “NDSC10” and the serial number is 114. As stated, all examples of Bantam plows discovered thus far had used the same model designations as Newgren. We have never seen the “SC” code, nor have we seen any 10″ model plows in the Newgren literature we have collected.

Is it possible that Bantam produced a plow that was not in the Newgren line? The “SC” code and the lack of the “-” before the “10” would indicate that this was not a direct copy. Did they expand what had been the Newgren line with a new product? Did “SC” stand for a new type of base or was it an error (it appears to be a “GP” base)? This simply adds to the mystery surrounding the final years of American Bantam. Stay tuned.

UPDATE – Clint Dixon has provide the following in an exchange of emails. As always, Clint is the source of a wealth of knowledge on all things Monroe and Newgren.

Clint writes –

“Take a look at this image:

This is Lonnie’s (DeWeese) plow (tag). It is a slat base, but the slats, furrow wheel, and bottom look out of place – more like those found on the early Newgren plows or a Wiard plow. I think this particular plow was assembled from more than one plow and have even pondered the idea that this plow may have started out as a fire plow.

Then there is this image:

Notice that the serial number is the same as the serial number of Lonnie’s plow. Too bad we cannot read the model number. It does look like it ends in a “-2”. This was on a double disk plow that sold along with a dirt scoop on ebay several years ago. Or, it may have been on the Dellinger dirt scoop. The auction really did not give a clue to which piece of equipment that particular tag was on.

I know this does not help answer your question, but it may add more to the mystery. It seems that Newgren/Bantam did not always adhere to a set model numbering scheme.

As a side note, the Monroe literature for the Dodge Power-Wagon lists a 10-inch double along with a 10-inch triple and they call both “Scotch Bases”. Both were obviously de-badged Newgren plows.

Interesting finds. Thanks for sharing.”

And then Clint writes this…

“Looking at your picture of the plow in Canada, it does indeed look like a Scotch Base. Ferguson used those bases too but I believe they did not use the “Scotch” description. They are supposed to stand the turned sod on edge – not lay it completely over – so that it can better absorb rainfall.”

So, based on Clint’s information, the Canadian plow may be a re-branded Monroe plow made by Newgren. Perhaps the “SC” code stood for “SCotch base.” In any case, this is additional data for us to use as we explore the Bantam plow story.

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