|Tim Daley(MI) ||
Posted 10-12-2018 at 10:17:54 [URL] [DELETE]
[Reply] [No Email] |
This Day In FORD History
In 1938 after Eber Sherman had met Harry Ferguson in England and witnessed a demonstration of his new Draft Control system, he returned to the USA and informed Henry Ford he ought to see it for himself. On October 12, 1938, Harry Ferguson and his engineer, John Williams, sailed to New York with a crated 1936 Ferguson-Brown Type A Tractor, serial number 722, and a few implements on their way to Dearborn, Michigan to meet with Henry Ford. The purpose was to demonstrate the new 'Ferguson System' 3-Point Hydraulic Lift System with Draft Control. On November 1, 1938 they arrived in New York and Ferguson and Williams traveled by train to Michigan as did the crated tractor and implements. On November 8, 1938, a demonstration was scheduled at Henry Ford's estate, Fair Lane, in Dearborn, MI. After Henry Ford and his team witnessed the 3-point draft control system, Henry declared "...this is it!...". A table and two chairs were brought out from the house and set up in the field. The two men sat down to discuss a partnership to produce a new tractor with draft control. This was the day the famous 'handshake agreement' was made right then and there at that table on Henry Ford's land. The next day, November 9, 1938 the Ferguson-Brown tractor and implements used for the Fair Lane demo were moved a terminal at the nearby Ford Airport where Experimental Engineering operated from. Ferguson returned to England, foremost was breaking his partnership with David Brown and secondly to arrange for his family to return to the United States. They arrived back in New York on January 14, 1939. On January 25, 1939 Ferguson arrived in Dearborn with his wife Maureen and daughter Betty, and his team of engineers, Willie Sands, John Chambers, with their families, and Harold Willey, a Ferguson-Brown sales staff member. Fergusons' other chief engineer, Archie Greer elected to stay in England. Ford gave Harry a $10,000 advance and put him and the others up in a series of houses near and operated by The Dearborn Inn, a Ford owned hotel. Design and production would soon begin at the Rouge Building 'B'. On June 29, 1939, the new Ford with Ferguson System 9N tractor was unveiled to the world at Fair Lane. The rest is history. One important point is that though Ferguson is credited as being the designer of the 3-point draft system, he merely owned the patents. Henry Ford did not believe in patents or lawyers after his encounter and victory over the Selden patent suit on his Model T. Ferguson applied for many patents on the 9N tractor and got them in his name, though he technically was not the inventor. The real inventors and designers of the 3-point draft control system were his team of Archie Greer, Willie Sands, and John Chambers. Harry Ferguson was not an engineer. He had some mechanical ability and technical training, but he was not the true father of draft control. He was a shrewd businessman but one thing is for sure, neither Ford nor Ferguson would have accomplished this feat on their own. They needed each other. In the end, after 1946 when Henry Ford II fired Ferguson and he filed a lawsuit against Ford, both parties continued on their separate ways and further developed better tractors and implements. The lawsuit was tied up in the courts for several years and the result was an out of court settlement of $10 million in Fergusons' favor, only 1/10th of what he originally sued for. Both Ford and Ferguson tractors are fine machines. The world became a better place due to these two men.