Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ford Tractor History

ford-tw35-1.gifHenry Ford had grown up on a farm, and had taken a personal interest in providing an affordable tractor to the small farmer. He built his first experimental tractor in 1907 and was said to have made more than 50 different prototypes until the development of the Fordson F in 1917. The Fordson name was selected for two reasons. There was already a Ford Tractor Company in Minneapolis at the time, and the Ford Motor Company shareholders did not approve of tractor production. So Henry established an entirely new firm, Ford & Son Inc., which was shortened to Fordson.

Ford stopped tractor production in the US in 1928, choosing to focus on the Model A car that was replacing the Model T. Fordson production, however, continued in England. In 1938, Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson made an agreement for Ford to build tractors with the Ferguson three-point hitch system, and the Ford 9N was developed. The Fordson name was continued to be used in England until 1961, when the two branches of the company were consolidated.

Ford purchased New-Holland in 1985, but was soon looking for a way out of the tractor business. In 1991, Ford-New Holland was sold to FIAT. The deal required that FIAT stop using the Ford name on tractors in 2000.

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