Antique Fordson Tractors
Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company in 1903, and the Model T was released in 1908. As we all know, the Model T (and subsequently Ford Motor Company) had substantial success, and was the major starting point for the automobile industry. Being the son of a farmer, and realizing the difficulty and frustrations that came along with it, Henry Ford wanted to attempt to ease the life of a farmer.
Since the industry was relatively untapped, Henry began experimenting and developing a tractor. However, since this was a new venture, and they had just recently entered the automobile market, Ford Motor Company’s board didn’t feel comfortable with his move. Passionate about the farming community, Henry created a new company, Henry Ford and Son Corporation, solely with the intent of creating tractors. The new company would be nicknamed Fordson.
Fordson’s first tractor, the Fordson F, was introduced in 1917, and was an instant hit. It was much lighter and easier to operate than previous tractors, and was very affordable. The Fordson F was so affordable, in fact, that it allowed many smaller farmers buy a tractor for the first time. Since Ford had been producing so many Model T cars in their factories, and the Model A was already in the works, Fordson soon began producing their tractors in Ireland and England. Britain actually ordered 6,000 tractors from Fordson to help with the food production during the First World War.
Henry gained full control of Ford Motor Company in 1920, and made Fordson an official part of Ford. In 1928, all new Fordson tractors were being produced in Europe. This was a time of growth in the farming industry, too, with an increase in competitors. The cost of Fordson tractors in the United States increased because of distribution costs, and Fordson began losing market share.
Henry was nearly desperate by the late 1930s and went into an agreement with Harry Ferguson. Ferguson had a new Ferguson-Brown tractor that really impressed Henry, so they made an agreement that Ford would produce a new tractor, using patents from Ferguson’s tractor, and Ferguson would market it. The two worked together, and the Ford 9N was born. The name "Fordson" continued to be used on models in Europe, but in America, "Ford" would be used on all new models.