A little model B history...

Both of the new John Deere A and B models were designed between 1932 and 1934 by an engineering team led by Theo Brown.  Brown's new designs were row-crop tractors, or "tricycle" types, and were designed to fill the needs of farmers who wanted a multi-purpose tractor.  John Deere's Decision Letter Number 4600 proposed for the production of the new tractor was on April 26, 1934, and was made official on the first of June of that year.  The experimental model HX was approved, and the first model "B" was built on October 2, 1934.  The basic model had a two wheel narrow front end, with options such as a wide tread model "BW", high clearance model "BH", and single front wheel model BN, (and two combinations of these options the models "BWH" and "BNH"), a model called the "model B Garden Tractor", as well as special narrow model "BW-40" and narrow high model "BWH-40", a "regular" model "BR", and an "orchard" model "BO" was available with either wheels or crawler treads would all be produced.  A total of 18 model "B" tractor designs were available.

The first production model B tractors were produced in 1935, and incorporated all of the improvements found in the model A, which was introduced the preceding year.  These improvements are in relation to the model GP tractors, which were replaced by the model A and B, and included:

The primary reason the model B was produced was to replace the model GP in the horsepower lineup, as the model GP's horsepower had increased over it's eight year life (1928 to 1935) to equal that of the new model A, and a smaller tractor was needed.

The new model B was more efficient than the older model GP as well, producing one - horsepower - hour more than a model GP from a gallon of fuel in Nebraska Tractor Test # 232.  The tractor was intended for farms where horses were used to do plowing, planting and harvesting.  A model B tractor would perform the same work as a four horse team, thereby replacing six to eight horses.

Standard features on the new model B of 1935 included:

Optional equipment was extensive in 1935:

Two narrow designs were offered in 1937

In later years, electric starters, generators, batteries and headlights were made available as both dealer installed options and add-on kits for existing tractors.  They became standard equipment in 1947.

A "high crop" version of the single wheel tricycle, two wheel tricycle and wide tread options became available in 1938.  These were the BNH, BH and BWH models.

Serial numbers began with 1000, and end with 310775, and are divided into three groups, separated by major changes in design.

The following list will provide the year of manufacture from the serial number:

Model B
BWH BW-40 BWH-40
BR & BO (Regular)
BI Industrial)
BO (Lindeman)
Starting Sn
Starting Sn
Starting Sn
Starting Sn
1935 1000 132 34 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1936 12012 319 104 N/A N/A 6 N/A 325000 325617 N/A
1937 27389 398 88 10 18 N/A N/A 326655 326655 N/A
1938 46175 152 20 56 33 N/A 5 328111 328111 N/A
1939 60000 351 45 90 12 N/A 2 329000 329000 N/A
1940 81600 418 74 74 22 N/A 8 330633 330633 N/A
1941 98711 517 96 93 72 N/A 2 332039 332039
1942 126345 618 162 66 32 N/A N/A 332427 N/A N/A
1943 143420 274 174 N/A N/A N/A N/A 332780 N/A 332901
1944 152862 498 289 35 16 N/A N/A 333156 N/A 333110
1945 173179 315 208 23 43 N/A N/A 334219 N/A 333666
1946 183673 326 255 37 43 N/A N/A 335641 N/A 335361
1947 199744 294 203 28 28 N/A N/A 336746
337514 (Last)
N/A 336441
337514 (Last)
1948 215055 ? ? ? ? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1949 237346 ? ? ? ? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1950 258205 ? ? ? ? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1951 276557 ? ? ? ? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1952 299175
310775 (Last)
? ? ? ? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

In 1936 the BO "Orchard" and BR "Regular" models were introduced, starting with serial number 325000, with production ending in 1947 with serial number 337514.  These tractors share the BR number series, as the basic tractor is very similar.

In 1936 the BI "Industrial" model was introduced, starting with serial number 325617, ending in 1941 with serial number 332157.  Model BI tractors have low mounted intake and exhaust systems, and a bright yellow paint job.  These tractors share the BR number series, as the basic tractor is very similar.

In 1943 the BO "Lindeman crawler" model was made available from the factory.  Serial numbers began with 332901, and are actually model BO tractors which were taken from the production line and reworked in Yakima, Washington by the Lindeman Power Equipment Company into crawler type tractors.  These tractors share the BR number series, as the basic tractor is very similar.  Lindeman had been converting John Deere tractors for individuals as early as 1936.  About 2000 tractors were converted by Lindeman between 1936 and 1947.  John Deere purchased the Lindeman Company in 1946.

Many changes were incorporated into the Model B along the way (by serial number):

The model B was replaced in 1952 by the model 50, which shares the same 190 CID engine.

My sources were:

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