MOM Characteristics and Parts


| September/October 1987



Rear oil filler

(1) Rear oil filler: Phil Reed's MOM #307, England.

Carl D. Vogt

The MOM, being a 'breed apart' has some easily identifiable characteristics as manifested in its parts. They were not 'Fordsons' because they were neither identified nor called this. At best, they could be called 'Henry Ford and Son' tractors, which is too long for euphoneous pronunciation. It was inevitable they had to have a new name before reaching the vast American market.

We have all read the story of the Minneapolis based Ford Tractor Company. Originally incorporated in S. Dakota, it first went into receivership, and then in November, 1916, was incorporated again in Delaware as were so many companies of that time. Evidently the promoter, W. Baer Ewing had hired a man by the name of Paul Ford (no relation to Henry), appointed him secretary-treasurer(?), and patented the 'Ford Tractor' name.

From what has been written, very few of these 'Ford Tractors' were built, and only a few exist today. Attempting to trade off of the 'Ford name', the Robert P. Matches & Company who sold the stock were eventually convicted and sentenced in 1917 for conspiring to defraud investors in another case. The 'Ford Tractor Company' then went into receivership for the second time on December 5, 1917, after having to appear before the grand jury in New York the previous July.

Ford with all his millions could have simply purchased the company and its patent rights, but more likely he did not want to be associated with this tractor since it was not in any way, a Ford Motor Company or 'Henry Ford & Son' project.

With 'Henry Ford and Son' too much of a mouthful, the name 'Ford-son' was settled upon, since the idea of this name was 'suggested' for the MOM tractors as in the first Parts Book, and used occasionally in the cablegram address and perhaps other uses as well. Since Henry chose not to use 'Ford Tractor', perhaps for the reasons stated in the paragraphs above, why not settle for an alternate name, already 'thought up'.

Therefore the MOM is neither a 'Ford', a 'Henry Ford & Son,' nor a 'Fordson' tractor but a completely separate tractor. The real MOM had some easily identifiable characteristics as shown from its 'parts' (English: 'bits' or 'spares'). These have now been identified from either actual MOM's, the first English MOM parts book, or the first two American manuals and parts books. The English MOM parts book does not bear a date; the earliest of the U.S. (combined) books is dated December, 1917. While it says 'Fordson' on the front of each section, it shows pictures and drawings of tractors which say simply 'Ford-sons' on the front; others which have two words below, some saying 'Trade Mark', while others appear to read: 'Tractor Company'. But since these are artists renditions, judgment is reserved on this. More will be told in 'Part IV' when 'Trade Mark' appears to be in the casting of the first 10 or so Fordsons for the American market off the line after April 23. We mentioned earlier that 'Henry Ford & Son' is seen on the front of some Canadian GPF models (considered by some to be in the casting), but no proof exists, so the words are probably just painted on. Others which actually do say 'Fordson' were evidently produced before the American market Fordson F models.