Re: Harry Ferguson

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Posted by Tim Daley(MI) on November 27, 2019 at 06:59:53 [URL] [DELETE] :

In Reply to: Harry Ferguson posted by Steve Dabrowski on November 26, 2019 at 13:56:42:

Yes, all true Steve. Henry George "Harry" Ferguson was determined to improve farming the same way Henry Ford was. Ferguson had been attempting ways to improve plowing since his EROS Plow days with the Model T. His Duplex Hitch Plow was getting closer but it took the Ferguson-Brown unit to achieve a working 3-pt. My statement that he was not the inventor of the 3-pt; it was his team of Willie Sands and Archie Greer, is written about in several books (Fraser, Sorensen, Brock) on Ferguson, not just my opinion. When Sands invented the suction side pump valve, Ferguson rejected the idea at first mainly because he didn’t fully understand the workings of the unit. Charles Sorensen wrote in his memoirs, “…Ferguson was a machinery salesman when we met; had I been able to foresee the consequences of that meeting I would have avoided it”. Sorensen went on to say, “…he could sell you the birds out of the trees”. Now, Harry had the ideas and determination, but his team provided the technology and did all of the grunt work. Ferguson took credit for many of the 9N patents because Ford didn't believe in patents and hated lawyers. Both Sorensen and Harold Brock say in their books that Ferguson was shrewd and devious. Ferguson tried to take credit for a few 9N parts that Brock had actually designed and created. You wouldn't expect Ford or Ferguson to have actually singed any blueprints. They were CEO's and paid designers and engineers to do all that. 12 sets of 10 volumes each were made for all the lawyers involved in the Ferguson vs. Ford filed in January, 1948. The Machine Analysis Ford Tractor Production 1939 - 1950 volumes have detailed lists with copies of many of the 9N and 2N drawings with the actual step by step machining functions they performed. I own the complete set, Copy #7, that Dan mentions. The purpose of those lawsuit volumes was to fortify and demonstrate that Ford owned production rights for the 9N. Ferguson had merely copied the 9N for his own TE20 & TO20 tractor models, had been shopping around since 1942 for his own builder with a set of 9N prints heck he even copied many of the Ford part numbers minus the ‘9N’ prefix. Harry did modify his models to have an OHV engine, flip up hood, and 4-speed transmission –things he wanted on the 9N but was denied. These actually were better designs and sometimes I think Brock & Crew denied these things just to spite Ferguson as NOBODY liked him. The lawsuit lasted until 1952 and was settled out of court as Ferguson settled for 1/10th of his original suit asking cost. By then Ford had designed a better pump system and introduced it with the NAA anyway. Ferguson and Ford were alike in many ways, even looking like and often mistaken for brothers. One thing is certain; neither could accomplish what they did without the other. The 9N Ford-Ferguson was beneficial to both men. Ford didn’t need the money and wasn’t never in it for the money on any of his projects. Ferguson did need the money –he had invested practically his last dime in 1938 to demonstrate to Ford the 3-point system. The ‘handshake agreement’ was one of the most unusual business proposals ever comprised and lawyers have seen to it that it will never happen again.

Tim Daley(MI)

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