I have what I call very valuable information regarding the handshake agreement between Harry Ferguson and Henry Ford.Il about 25 years ago, Ellis Hunt, Barton, Vt., divider for Amyot Bros., a John Deere agency. He told me about Massey-Ferguson`s work in Illinois. He said they were going to clean a warehouse and a black box was on the floor. He asked what would happen to that. He was told he could have it. It contained the model tractor visible in the photo taken during the handshake agreement; The box is visible in the same photo on a shelf under the table. Hunt (who died in the meantime) says he later left for England where he met Ferguson and told him about the box and the model. Ferguson reportedly said, „I`d like to get that back.” Hunt said he delivered the box and model manually to Ferguson. I hope it`s at the Ferguson Museum, not in a landfill. I think the handshake agreement between Harry Ferguson and Henry Ford is the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of agricultural machinery. I still have a Ferguson 30 from 1952. In 1941, I sat on a brand new 9N on my neighbor`s farm.
But I`ve never seen it walk, or seen it work, and I`ve never seen it again. I was four years old. We had a 2N from 1946 for many years. I had completely cut and rebuilt this engine when I had to report to the army on May 5, 1959 – so my brother-in-law had to set it up. Everett W. Demeritt, North Walcott, Vt. hooniverse.com/2009/12/14/the-ferguson-mustang-ff-awd-and-a-427/ In 1938, Ferguson and Henry Ford concluded their famous „handshake”, which led to the presentation of the new 1939 Ford Ferguson 9N model. I think that`s why you don`t make handshake deals if you`re a big tractor manufacturer, because Henry Ford II made the deal in 1947 and Ford continued to build the next tractor model, the 8N, with Ferguson`s inventions, and Ferguson went without a tractor to sell it in North America.
Ferguson wanted to increase production to one million tractors a year. But by the mid-1940s, Ford`s tolerance for the handshake agreement had become scarcer. A questionable accounting study claimed that Ford was losing money for the deal, and so the company announced that another company would take over the sale of the new Ford 8N tractor, which by the way had a very similar three-point coupling system. Ferguson filed a patent infringement lawsuit and eventually agreed to $9.25 million after years of litigation. The Fordson was initially revolutionary because it was smaller than many of the tractors manufactured at that time by other companies. The Fordson`s smaller design allowed the tractor to be affordable and easy to produce. The engine, gearbox and axle housings were all screwed together to form the basic structure of the tractor. As a result, the machine was able to be sold at a much lower price, affordable for average farmers. Just as Ford had put the car in the middle class by making the assembly line, the tractor was now at hand. Fordson tractors were manufactured in Cork and then in Dagenham, England. This would prove costly for Ford on the road, since all tractors sold in the U.S.
were at least three thousand miles from the plants. Production was transferred from Cork to England in 1922. Henry Ford II, Ford`s grandson, struck the handshake agreement on June 30, 1947 after unsuccessful negotiations with Ferguson, but continued to produce a tractor, the 8N that contained Ferguson`s inventions, almost all of whose patents had not yet expired, and Ferguson remained without a tractor to sell in North America.