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Massey Ferguson Limited was founded in the very distant year of 1847 in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada, by Daniel Massey. Then the company was still quite another name - Newcastle Foundry and Machine Manufactory. One of the first companies in the world began to assemble mechanical combines, first using parts from the United States, and later going on to design and build their own machinery.
After the death of the owner, the firm passed into the hands of his eldest son - Hart Massey, who significantly expanded production, renamed the company in Massey Manufacturing Co., and in 1879 and completely transferred production to the city of Toronto, where Massey soon became the main employer.
Massive factory buildings in the area of King St. West became one of the most important of its sights. And Hart's next step was to enter the international market. Inside the country, thanks to a competent advertising campaign, Massey Manufacturing Co. became the most famous enterprise in its field. This allowed the firm to lead a healthy competition with American manufacturers in Canada. The labor shortage in the country's agriculture also affected the increased popularity of Massey Manufacturing Co.'s technology.
In 1891, the merger of Massey Manufacturing Co. and A. Harris, Son & Co. Ltd, which resulted in the formation of Massey-Harris Co. Soon this corporation was the largest supplier of agricultural machinery throughout the British Empire. In 1898, Massey-Harris began manufacturing bicycles, previously producing only combines and plows. In 1910, another acquisition of the company was the Johnson Harvester Company, located in Batavia, Illinois. Thus, Massey-Harris became one of the first Canadian multinational companies.
The models created at that time included such tractors as Massey-Harris GP, Massey-Harris Pacemaker, Massey-Harris Pony, Model 20, Model 81, Model 101, Model 744, and many others.
Later, the Massey family turned to the magnificent engineer Sawyer from Hamilton, Ontario, who, with the help of his steam engine, created a tractor. This engine was successful and was used on several types of tractors. Cooperation between Sawyer and Massey continued until 1910, until it was decided to roll the entire line of tractors on Sawyer engines - this was due to the transition to gasoline power units. Prior to this, Massey Corporation produced two lines - Sawyer-Massey and Massey-Harris.
Despite the fact that experiments with the gasoline engine began in 1910, the first success came to the company only in 10 years, with the acquisition of the line of tractors Wallis. In the 1930s, the company presented a self-propelled combine harvester.
Massey-Harris was also a pioneer in the production of four-wheeled tractors. The sons of Hart Massey - Charles, Chester, Walter and Fred - became active participants in his father's business and, ultimately, succeeded him as head. However, it was Massey's last generation, engaged in family business - the other heirs did not dare follow in the footsteps of their ancestors (however, Vincent Massey became Governor-General of Canada, and Raymond Massey is a fairly well-known actor in American cinema).
In 1953, the company merged with the firm Ferguson Company, receiving a new name - Massey-Harris-Ferguson. And already in 1958 the company acquired its last name. Together with the reduction of the name to Massey-Ferguson, the company also tried to put together two product lines and dealer networks. At that time, the optimistic singing of a man from television and radio advertising became the symbol of Massey Ferguson: "He's a get-up-early, keep-'em-rollin", "Massey-Ferguson kind of a man". Despite the media success, the company's financial position left much to be desired. The firm was forced to fight for the market, as international competition intensified with each month.
Back in 1955, the management of Massey acquired the Australian company H.V. McKay, who was the parent of the world-famous Sunshine brand. This company since 1930 was engaged in the official sale of Massey-Harris technology in Australia. The next purchase was the Italian company Landini. In 1959, Massey-Harris bought 100% of its shares. Landini designed a large number of models to order Massey-Harris. In the same year, Perkins Engines from Peterborough was acquired in England. This company for many years has become the main supplier of diesel engines for Massey-Harris.
In 1966, Massey-Harris acquired 32% of the shares of the Spanish tractor and automobile holding Motor Iberica (Ebro). Initially, Ebro was built under the license of a Ford tractor, but in 1966 they started the production of Massey. It happened until the moment when in the 1980s the company sold these shares to Nissan. Since 1969, Massey-Ferguson began to produce a snowmobile line called the Ski Whiz. This production was curtailed in 1977 due to a sharp and rapid drop in the number of sales.
In the 1970s, Conrad Black became president of Massey-Ferguson. By the end of the decade, production was moved to a new large enterprise in Brantford, Ontario. And already in 1978 Massey-Ferguson was the first company in the world to introduce an electronic control system on tractors.
A little earlier, in 1973, the management of Massey-Ferguson bought out the German company Eichers, as a result of which many Massey tractors were manufactured under license in Germany and were manufactured under the brand Eichers. Later Massey-Ferguson sold the company to a German owner.
In 1981, Black sacrificed his share of the shares to pay employees a quarter of a billion wage arrears, which were taken on the collateral of a crumbling company from the government of Canada and Ontario. At the same time, the company was renamed the Varity Corporation.
In the mid-1980s, the Varity Corporation created several separate units merged into the Massey Combines Corporation, however, this business brought only additional financial losses. Massey Combines Corporation, headquartered in Brantford, became an insolvent enterprise on March 8, 1998, and Massey-Ferguson was re-absorbed.
By 1992, Massey-Ferguson was part of the Fermec concern, which was acquired by J.I. Case in 1997. Despite certain difficulties, the company sold 25% more of its tractors than its most "important" competitors.
All foreign Massey-Ferguson networks were sold in 1995 to AGCO Corporation from the United States of America. In August 1996 the company together with Lucas Automotive formed LucasVarity. Nevertheless, after a series of mergers and acquisitions, the remains of LucasVarity were sold to TRW.