In Reply to: Sherman Brothers and Ford tractors posted by Michford on September 15, 2013 at 21:36:23:
The Sherman Manufacturing Co. supplied many products, specifically for Ford Tractors, with back-hoes, loaders, excavating equipment, and such being big items. The company was located in Royal Oak, Michigan, on 14 Mile Rd. I recall the building well with the 'Sherman Products' name on the front of building. The Dearborn Motors Corporation world headquarters was a mile up the road (Coolidge Hwy.) at 2500 E. Maple Rd. (15 Mile Rd.)in Birmingham, MI. The area was interesting because it bordered on three cities -Birmingham west of Coolidge, Troy to the north and east, and Royal Oak to the south and southeast. I grew up on Leroy Avenue in Clawson, MI, 2-1/2 miles from Dearborn Motors, so I know the area well, though nowadays everything is long gone and completely changed. From Maple and Coolidge, you could go south one mile to 14 Mile Rd. There you had no choice -turn right or left. When you turned right, you immediately passed under the Grand Trunk Western Railroad trestle and Sherman Products was right there on the right. The name and building stood for a long time -perhaps into the seventies because when I was 15, I caddied at the Birmingham Country Club 2-3 miles west of there, past Woodward Ave. I often would hitch hike to and from the club and sometimes would walk past the Sherman building. Whether walking or driving past, I always would peer over to see what was in the back storage yard there. Yellow, blue, and sometimes red backhoes and loaders could be seen. The Sherman Brothers were once partnered with Harry Ferguson selling waterloo and later, Fordson tractors. When the 9N Tractor was born, the handshake agreement was such that Henry Ford would manufacture the tractor and harry Ferguson would be the distribution company also in charge of procuring implements and selling those as well. The new distribution company was called the Ferguson-Sherman Mfg. Co. In the early '40's, the Sherman Bros. had a falling out with Harry Ferguson and dissolved their partnership. Ferguson continued alone simply as the 'Ferguson Mfg. Co.' up until '47 when Henry II fired him and he went over to England to begin his TE20 tractor production. There are three phases of the Ferguson/Ford story as stated here. In England, all new implements were built too for the TE20 and subsequent models that followed. An interesting side note here. In December, 2005, I had a telephone conversation with Mr. Harold Brock which he graciously allowed me to tape record and of which I still have the cassette tapes, about 1-1/2 hours worth. In June of 2006 I was honored and privileged to have met him in person and talked further about Ford Tractor production. When he asked me where I was from, I told him Michigan and that I had grown up in Clawson, only 2-1/2 miles from the Dearborn Headquarters in Birmingham. He was fascinated and told me that Charlie Sorenson, Henry Fords' second in command (excluding the thug Harry Bennett) and the brains behind most all of Ford projects up until he retired, had a farm in Clawson. I believe I know where this would have been because growing up in the '60's as kids, the whole western part of Clawson was fields and woods. We'd get lost there all day playing army as 'Combat', about WWII in Germany, was our favorite TV show. Main roads were two-lanes, some still dirt tracks. There were a few abandoned farms in that part of the town so I believe that is where Sorenson had his farm. Out of all the greats in history, "Cast Iron" Charlie is the foremost person I personally would like to go back in time and spend the day with.
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