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Tractor Parts: Massey Ferguson

A Brief History About MASSEY FERGUSON

In Belfast, Ireland, after starting out working with his brother in a repair garage and establishing his own garage, the war presented opportunities for Harry Ferguson.  He started selling the Waterloo Boy Model N tractor.  He later accepted a job with the Irish Board of Agriculture to instruct farmers in ways to better use their tractors.  It was during this time while observing the workings of the tractors that Ferguson began to develop the "Ferguson System".  He started by developing implements for Model T's that had been converted into farm tractors.  Around 1920, Harry Ferguson began developing a linkage system that would connect his plow to the Fordson tractor.  Ferguson contracted with Sherman Brothers of Evansville, IL in 1925 to manufacture his plow design for use on the Fordson Tractor.  This ended in 1928 when production of the Fordson was discontinued in the United States. 

Ferguson provided a large contribution to the tractor industry when his "three-point-hitch" system was unveiled on his first tractor in 1933.  Ferguson succeeded in convincing the principles of David Brown to form David Brown Tractors, LTD to manufacture his design.  He formed Harry Ferguson, Ltd. to market the new tractor.  These first designs were known as Ferguson-Brown A or sometimes just the Ferguson A or Irish-Fergusons.  This relationship did not last long.  When David Brown wanted to make changes to the design to try and improve sales, David Brown and Ferguson drifted apart.  Brown went ahead with their chanages over Ferguson's objection. 


Harry Ferguson, armed with one of the machines he was building with Brown in England, found himself presenting his design to Henry Ford in 1938 in Dearborn.  Ferguson and Ford came to their handshake agreement by which Ford would produce a tractor using the Ferguson 3 point System and Ferguson would market the machines under Harry Ferguson, Inc.  In 1939 the Ford 9N was introduced.  The 9N was a true first in the United States tractor industry with its 3-point hitch and built-in hydraulic systems. 


All was not well, Ferguson  was angry that Ford's British division continued to refuse to produce a model with the Ferguson System.  To address this situation, Ferguson made plans to develop his own tractor to complete against Ford in England.  Working with Standard Motors, they launched the TE-20. 


Following the death of Henry Ford, Ford decided to begin producing its own tractor designs independent of Ferguson.  Issues revolved around patent violations by the new 8N.  Ferguson filed a lawsuit that would drag out for years.  Ferguson was unsuccessful and returned to England and continued producing tractors with intentions of distributing them to the American market.  He launched the TO-20 in 1948. 


Ferguson merged with Massey-Harris in 1953 to form Massey-Harris-Ferguson.  The name was shortened in 1958 to Massey Ferguson.  In 1994, Massey Ferguson was purchased by the AGCO Corporation.  Tractors are still being sold under the Massey Ferguson name. 

Free online parts books for Massey Ferguson, Massey Harris, and others now owned by AGCO can be found here


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