722 Main Street, Winona, Minnesota 55987
Harold Brock, Ford's Project Manager responsible for overseeing development of the joint 1939 venture between Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson, was featured speaker at the National 9N 50th Anniversary Celebration held in Rochester, Minnesota July 29-30, 1989. An audience of over 250 people listened in fascination as the 74 year old Brock recalled his experiences working with American industrialist Henry Ford and Irishman Harry Ferguson on development of the 1939 9N Ford tractor featuring the revolutionary Ferguson three-point hydraulic hitch system. Brock related how the project was moved from drawing board to production in only six months and gave personal insight into the relationship between Ford, Ferguson and other key players in the project. (Videotapes of Brock's program are available from the Olmsted County Historical Society, P.O. Box 6411, Rochester, Minnesota 55903.)
The celebration, organized by Minnesota Ford tractor enthusiasts Palmer Fossum and Ron Tepol, was held in conjunction with the 15th Annual Mechanical History and Steam Threshing Show sponsored by the Olmsted County Historical Society in Rochester, Minnesota. Billed as the 'National 9N Ford Ferguson 50th Anniversary Celebration,' the event received financial and promotional assistance from Ford New Holland and drew participants from throughout the United States.
A weekend of cloudy skies and drizzle did little to dampen the enthusiasm of visitors who attended the event to enjoy demonstrations of threshing, plowing, early crafts, and to see the display of over three dozen 1939-1952 N class Ford tractors and attachments. Sunday's tractor pull featured a special class for the 1939-1952 Fords. The event was won by Dan Storhoff of Winona, Minnesota pulling a distance of 119.9 feet with a Ferguson 30, followed by Homer Clark of LaValle, Wisconsin pulling 96.3 feet with a 1940 Ford 9N.
The celebration concluded with presentation of awards to Ford enthusiasts and the sale of 'official celebration souvenirs.' Award winners were Dwight Emstrom of Galesburg, Illinois for the the best restored 9N; Gene Bicknese of Worthington, Minnesota for the most unusual accessory (a road grader attachment); and Bob Brown of Vineland, New Jersey for the furthest distance traveled by an exhibitor.
Ten limited edition souvenirs, each consisting of a numbered model 9N tractor, mounted and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Harold Brock were sold by sealed bid. High bid for souvenir number one was $253 and over $1,900 was raised from the sale of souvenirs, to benefit the Historical Society. In spite of the uncooperative weather, all participants felt the celebration had been a great success and look forward to returning to Minnesota to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ford 2N in 1992.