Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Massey-Harris: Tractors

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Im20110529Car-MH9.jpg
1929. Model 12-20.
Im20110529Car-MH-Tc144a.jpg
1931. Four Wheel Driven Tractor.
May 1935.
July 1938.
Exhibit at Oakham Treasures.
1952. Massey-Harris 30.
1956. Model 745.
Model 550.

Note: This is a sub-section of Massey-Harris

General

In 1917 Massey-Harris entered the tractor market, the decision was made to import a tractor into the Canadian market. This tractor was the Big Bull model of the Bull Tractor Co, sold in England as the Whiting-Bull. The Big-Bull tractor was already established in the United States and England with its 25 HP engine and three wheel design.

The tractor was sold for about a year then due to a problem with obtaining parts the import agreement between Massey-Harris and the Bull Tractor Co was ended.

Massey-Harris then entered into an agreement with the Parrett Tractor Company of Chicago to produce a tractor under the Massey-Harris name for the Canadian market and some export markets.

1919 The production of the MH1, MH2 and MH3 models commenced. These featured engines which could run on petrol or paraffin and ranged from 12 HP to 28 HP. Production of these models finished in 1923.

1926 Massey-Harris next worked with the J. I. Case Plow Works Co of Racine, Wisconsin.

1928 They were able to acquire the company and used the factory in Racine to produce tractors and break into the United States market.

In the 1930s Massey-Harris started looking at designing their own tractors. The first tractor was the General Purpose machine but although it was advanced in some respects, it had certain limitations and was not a complete success.

Further machines were tried - the Challenger, the Pacemaker and the Four-Wheel Drive

1936 Colour changed from green to red and yellow

In 1938 Massey-Harris updated their range of tractors and launched a new model, the 101. The 101 series was produced through World War II. The original 101 had a Chrysler 201 cubic inch six-cylinder truck engine and a cast iron chassis.

In 1946 the Model 30 was introduced. It had a Continental four-cylinder engine and was produced until 1953.

UK Production

By 1948 Massey-Harris had started British production of its tractors at Manchester

British production started with the model MH744PD. The number 44 related to the Canadian designed model 44 tractor, the number 7 indicated British manufacture and the letters 'PD' denoted that the engine was a Perkins diesel.

In 1949 a new factory was opened at Kilmarnock to continue tractor production. About fifty tractors a week were being produced at this time.

Massey-Harris, although producing tractors, were struggling to compete with the equipment attached to them.

Harry Ferguson also designed tractors and agricultural equipment and had successfully designed a hydraulic attachment and control system which is known as the 'Ferguson System'. He was looking for someone to produce his tractors and Massey-Harris required his expertise in attachment control and equipment.

In 1953 the two companies signed a deal which resulted in Massey-Harris buying out Ferguson. The name by which the company was first known, Massey-Harris-Ferguson became Massey-Ferguson, the name by which the company is known today.

List of Models

See Also

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Sources of Information