In 1857, Alanson Harris purchased a small foundry in Beamsville and began producing tools such as hand rakes and pitch forks under the name A. Harris, Son & Company, Ltd. The company was very successful and expanded rapidly, eventually making farm implements such as a "flop-over" hay rake, the Kirby Mower and Reaper, the Osborne Rake-Reel Reaper which rivaled the Ketchum Mower manufactured by Massey, and an open-end binder. Business was so good that a new factory was built in Brantford, Ontario, in 1872.
Competition over reaping machines led to a merger of the Massey Company and the Harris Company in 1891, creating the Massey-Harris Company, Ltd., the largest agricultural equipment maker in the British Empire. The Massey-Harris Company produced reaper-threshers, combines, plows, disc, wagons, manure-spreaders, etc., which were sold worldwide.
Massey-Harris developed a combine based on the type perfected by Benjamin Holt of Stockton, California; this was marketed in 1910 as the Massey-Harris No. 1 Reaper-Thresher. There were seven variations of this reaper-thresher produced between 1910 and 1926.
In 1916, Massey-Harris acquired the rights to sell the Big Bull tractor in Canada. The Big Bull tractor was a three-wheeled machine made by the Bull Tractor Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bull tractors were built under contract by the Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company, which also built Twin-City tractors.
Find more history at: tractorfriends.org.
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