Fall 2015

Who Knew!  Sometimes I am just in awe of how much history there is around us and we don’t even know it.  I have grown up with tractor history in my house, and I didn’t even know some of these things.  I can’t imagine all the other history out there….but that info will be on other websites, just in case you were wondering where all this was going!  But, really, who knew there were so many different Fordson models!?  I am sure there are some of you who do, so help me if I get this a little off.

Aside from the MOM tractors, the Fordson F and the Fordson N, there were some that traveled here by way of the sea instead of train or truck.  In Dagenham, England, there was a Fordson plant that continued on with the Fordsons after production had stopped here in the states.  Overseas, they had made the All-Around, Major, New Major, Dexta, Power Major, Super Major and the Super Dexta.  All with a little bit of tweaking along the way.

Henry Ford already had intent on establishing a production site in England when he began work on the MOM tractor.  The production plant didn’t open until much later, but all production of the Fordsons had  moved to Dagenham by 1933.  Back in the states, International Harvester Co. and other tractor competition were creeping in on up-and-coming tractor designs, which posed a difficult market for Henry to keep his production here.  All the while, he was also preparing the assembly lines for the new Model A Ford car.  As the row crop design was becoming more popular, and car production had started, we started importing Fordsons.

In the states and over in England, the design of the Fordson F and N was starting to become obsolete.  The R&D in Dearborn had many designs that never were produced; however, the All-Around made it in 1937, to England.  The All-Around was produced to compete with the Farmall and was a row-crop model.  During the years Fordsons were going through changes, Henry Ford applied for many patents on designs that never made the cut for production.  Even experimental V8 powered tractors that had made it to the prototype phase, never made it to production.

After the All-Around, England’s next big move was the Major (E27N).  These were produced from 1945 until 1951.  This was a popular tractor among farmers in Australia.  From 1952-1958, the E1A, or among family, the New Major featured a diesel option for the engine.  When purchasing the New Major, an owner had the option of choosing between kerosene, gasoline or diesel engines.  The New Major was nicknamed the High Major by many because the farmer sat higher on the tractor.  The Power Major was introduced in 1958 and production stopped in 1961.  The names of these tractors couldn’t be more indicative of their improvements, the Power Major obviously having more power.  The Super Major was to follow in 1961.  The Super Majors were so super they were exported from England to the states; however, they were dubbed the Ford 5000 here.

While the Majors had their run, the Dextas were also launched and improved upon.  The Dexta was a smaller three-cylinder version made to compete with the Massey Ferguson 35.  The Fordson Dexta was made from 1957-1961.  The Super Dexta, known in the states as the Ford 2000 Diesel, was produced from 1962-1964.

Henry Ford had a vision to have a world-wide tractor line.  Although I have only written about the production plants in Cork, Ireland and Dagenham, England, there were others.  There was production in a plant in Leningrad which produced the Fordson-Putilovets.  In Antwerp, Belgium production was necessary to fulfill the European demand for tractors.  During this time, Henry Ford had also unified and strengthened the name he desired on all of these machines:  Ford.  The tractor division was no longer separated into Ford and Fordson.

As always, I have to give a shout out to where I got my information.  This time around, I want to thank Farm and Dairy as well as Tractor Data for their help.  Google is my friend.  Keep an eye out for a plot twist in the next article.  I like my order, but some of the directors chose a different path!

www.ssbtractor.com                   www.farmanddairy.com              www.tractordata.com

Any errors in the accuracy of this information, I do apologize, I am just a Mom writing some information for you to peak your interest as it has peaked mine.  Feel free to send me an e-mail and let me know what you’re interested in reading about, too.

Your tractor girl,