Jabez Love 1947-1950

While Jabez Love ended his relationship with Willys, he continued to sell his hydraulic lift and implements for the Farm Jeep.

Love Lift Instruction Manual

Note the change in company name. The word tractor is removed, but this name never appears again, at least in the press. Also note that the 3-point disc is shown Love’s lift pictures. As we shall see the lift is one of Love’s most important inventions.

The 1947 Jeep Equipment Book contains two entries from Love.

In 1948, Willys replaced the hydraulic lift designed by Love and used by Newgren with the Monroe Auto Equipment Company Hydraulic Lift. This lift, which was mounted in the bed of the Jeep rather then being underneath got a reaction from Love.

love Lift Ad
1950 Love Hydraulic Lift ad

Paul Zoschke wrote of the this period:1

“A 1947 article in Prairie Farmer indicates that during World War II Friday took over the manufacture and service of Love tractors, and that after the war, Friday obtained rights to manufacture a “new, improved Love Tractor.”

When Ford introduced the Dearborn line of implements for the N series tractors in 1947 the line included a lift disc. Ford Tractor dealers had been the primary outlet for Love lift discs, but now they were expected to sell the Dearborn discs instead.

With Love’s implement business for Ford tractors under pressure, he expanded his non-Ford related activities. Already during the war he had served as a consultant to Willys-Overland in adapting a three point hitch for the Jeep. Love developed into a major supplier of a variety of farm implements for Sears and other merchandisers. Love also sued Ford for patent infringement regarding the lift disc and, although he prevailed in the first judgment, Ford won on appeal in the Detroit Circuit Court.

Not surprisingly, Love got back into the tractor business as the implement line struggled. David Friday soon found himself competing with Love even though Friday had felt that he had obtained the exclusive rights to manufacture Love tractors In 1948 Friday and Love were selling tractors that were substantially the same in both appearance and composition, both using the Chrysler 2I8 ci six-cylinder engine mated to a truck transmission and either an auxiliary transmission or two-speed truck rear end. Love was always an improviser, and he also offered a Ford six-cylinder engine, as well as a smaller model equipped with a Jeep four-cylinder motor.”

Daryl Dempsey writes of the same period:2


Article from May 16, 1946 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

“In 1946, Love once again sold all of his tractor parts to David Friday. Friday dropped the Love name and began calling his tractors Friday Orchard Tractors. He also advertised he had a large stock of Love Tractor parts to sell. Some of the early 1947 Fridays had the I-Beam frame, probably using up some of Love’s stock and possibly some partially built tractors. “

Love did challenge Ford –


Article from Sep 27, 1948 The Daily Star (Niles, Michigan)

The Dearborn suit wasn’t Love’s only legal entanglement –

19471030LoveSuit119471030LoveSuit1 30 Sep 1947, Tue The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) Newspapers.com


Article from Sep 30, 1947 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

“The company manufactures disc harrows, farm sprayers and other farm implements. Its president, Jabez . R. Love, states that in the near future the company may resume the manufacture of Love tractors.” Here is proof that Love did indeed return to manufacturing tractors, regardless of agreements made with David Friday and others.

Love did indeed get back into the tractor business. Daryl Dempsey writes –

“Around 1949, Love once again began building another tractor. This time, it wasn’t an orchard tractor, but a four wheeled row crop tractor with adjustable front axle and rear wheels. The operator sat up high above the rear axle and the tractor had PTO and three point hitch. It is unknown how many were built, but they did not sell very well.” 


Article from Sep 16, 1949 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)


Article from Nov 7, 1949 The Herald-Press (Saint Joseph, Michigan)

Daryl Dempsey provided this 1949 Love brochure. It is filled with information about the many features that made the Love tractors special.

The story continues at Jabez Love 1951-1960

  1. From “A Love Story” by Paul Zoschke Antique Power Magazine September/October 1997 page 42 ↩︎
  2. From a private correspondence from Daryl Dempsey to Barry Thomas, March 2024/ ↩︎