THE REAL FORDSON STORY


| July/August 1985



Henry Fordson Tractor

Front view of Henry Ford & Son tractor.

National Director, Fordson Tractor Club 250 Robinson Rd., Cave Junction, OR 97523

Thomas G. Brent, Canadian Fordson Branch Director Box 150, Dewdney, British Columbia, Canada VoM 1H0

 The general lines and front end were quite similar to the Ford car. The front axle was built up from three flat pieces with the top plate fashioned, at its center, into an upstanding eye piece which formed the trunnion bearing support. The axle was held in position with a triangular radius rod which closely resembled the 'wishbone' employed in the Ford car for this same purpose.

The question is often asked at Fordson Tractor Club displays: 'Is a 'Fordson' related to a Ford tractor?' While the quickest answer is 'Yes, the Fordson is a fore-runner and Granddaddy to the Ford and most other modern designed tractors',. . .usually a lengthy historical explanation has to follow for a full understanding of that short answer. To do this the full answer must contain chronology and evolution of Ford's involvement with his early attempts in tractor design starting with his experiments with steam engines, early car-type tractors, the first 'unitized' tractor, the English Ministry-of-Munition's tractors of World War I, the actual first Fordson 'F' of 1918-28, the Irish (Cork-built) Fordson 'N', the English 'N', the E-27-N, the Dexta, the Majors and Super-Majors. On the later Ford Tractor track would be the Ford-Ferguson 9-N, the 8-N, the NAA ('Golden Jubilee'), and the blue Ford tractors of modern times.

Most are not aware that the vintage Fordsons were developed in four stages, but not until the 'U-frame' was developed could in real Fordson be designed.

The following series of articles will be an attempt for the first time to trace the evolution of the real Fordson, and using the calendar to record the changes as they occurred, change by change, step by step. While a number of excellent stories have been written on the Fordson, including various authors like Professor David Lewis, it is hoped that the articles forthcoming will bring to light some new facts. Some speculation on this historical development will have to be included especially since production and records were destroyed by a museum fire at the Henry Ford Museum in 1970 according to David Crippen, reference Librarian. If any readers can provide some more correct or just additional information, they are urged to send documented evidence, or even just 'remembered facts to the addresses included.