Letters & Miscellanies:

Fordson Tractors

| December/January 2001

Harvey Franz's Fordson Manual

There seem to be as many opinions on the origin of the Fordson tractor as there are people writing about them.

Page 2 from Harvey Franz's Fordson manual. A copyright of 1917 is barely visible at bottom center of this photo copy.

I was sorry to see Mr. Jack Heald (see GEM, April 1999) discredit Mr. Reynold Wik's article (see GEM, December 1998). Admittedly, it appears the picture of a 1917 Fordson is incorrect. However, he does submit a quantity of credible material.

It seems Mr. Heald may be in error, also, at least according to my 1917 copyright Fordson tractor manual and parts list. My original copy of the manual and manufacturer's parts price list clearly shows the Fordson trademark copyrighted in 1917, not February 1918, as Mr. Heald stated. I have enclosed copies.

Harvey Franz 1683 Olympic St. Mora, MN 55051

(Editor's Note: I had a conversation with Jack Heald shortly after reading Harvey Franz's letter, and I asked Heald for his reaction to Franz's letter. Heald is of the opinion that a copyright date is of little meaning, noting that his 3rd edition manual (effective July 1, 1918) also shows a 1917 copyright date. Further, Heald notes that this same manual cites a Fordson factory in Cork, Ireland, which there wasn't at that time. It is Heald's opinion that the copyright refers to the material printed within the manual, not the Fordson name, which he maintains did not appear until 1918.)