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Tractor Parts: Massey Harris

A Brief History About MASSEY HARRIS

Daniel Massey established his business in 1847 with a small shop to do repairs and make implements for local farmers in Toronto, Canada.  Alanson Harris started his farm machinery company in 1857 of Ontario, Canada.  Producing harvesting equipment such as mowers and reapers, both Canadian companies developed a strong reputation throughout the world.  They developed a robust export business.

In 1891, the decision was made to merge the two companies creating a large and international farm equipment company.  Massey-Harris was slow to embrace the industry for powered farm equipment.  They purchased the Deyo-Macey company (producers of gasoline engines) in 1910.  This was the first step towards entering the power farming business but there were no plans for any tractor development.  It would take a war to spur interest in that market.  The outbreak of World War 1 helped usher in a revolution in the use of machinery.  So many who would ordinarily be working on the farm were now at war, and they still had to be fed.  The only answer to the food crisis throughout the world was to increase production by making the industry more efficient.  Farm tractors were needed to accomplish this.  The Massey-Harris company was forced to come to this realization in 1917.  They began to import the "Big Bull". 

After the failure of the Big Bull to sell due to poor design and other agreements that eventually failed, Massey entered into an agreement to sell Wallis tractors for J. I. Case Plow Works.  Massey eventually purchased the Plow Works Company in 1927 for $1.3 million with the assumption of $1.1 million in outstanding debts.  The rights to the Case name that had been held by Plow Works were sold back to the Threshing Machine Company for $700,000.  For a relatively small investment they gained a foothold in the important American market and a design that was popular and well-known among farmers.  Although the Wallis name was highly respected, the name was phased out by 1932 and all tractors carried the Massey Harris name. 

Long story short, Massey-Harris continued to produce a popular line of tractors in several different models.  Massey-Harris acquired the Ferguson company in 1953 in a deal worth $16 million to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson, LTD which eventually shortened to Massey-Ferguson.

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

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