This article is reprinted with permission from Farm Profit,
Spring 1985 issue. Norman Skinner, who sent us the article, adds
that his 1927 Wallis tractor will be on display at the Skinner Farm
Museum Gas & Steam Show, August 24 & 25 near Perrysville,
The oldest working Massey in the world, Orland Nicholson’s
1918 Massey-Harris No. 2, still pulls a plow on the 100-acre
Cameron, Ontario, farm.
Norman Skinner says there are a few advantages to his 1927
Wallis tractor. The crank starter eliminates dead battery worries
and the steel lugs are great for breaking up ice on roads.
Massey-Ferguson’s global search for the world’s oldest
working Massey tractor has come to an end in Cameron, Ontario.
Orland Nicholson’s Massey Harris No. 2 carries out chores
including plowing, running a hammer mill and a manure spreader
around Nicholson’s 100-acre farm. A sticky valve is the only
repair the old MH has needed since Nicholson bought it in 1962. The
four-cylinder, two-speed mechanical mule rolled off the assembly
line at the Massey-Harris Plant in Weston, Ontario, in 1918.
Weighing in at 5,200 pounds, the No. 2 was rated at 12 drawbar
horsepower. It has two forward gears and one reverse and could be
bought off the showroom floor for $1,000.
As the owner of the world’s oldest working Massey, Nicholson
received a new Massey-Ferguson 240 tractor, $1,000 and a trip to
London, England, including a visit to the Smithfield Agricultural
Norman Skinner of Perryville, Indiana, won $1,000 for running
the oldest working Massey in the United States. He owns a
Massey-Harris Wallis Tractor, circa 1927.
Skinner’s Wallis powers a feed grinder and a saw with a belt
pulley. He keeps the old Wallis around because he likes ‘to see
and do things the old timers did.’
Massey sponsored the contest to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of Harry Ferguson. Over 10,000 entries from around the
world were screened. To qualify, the tractor had to be made by one
of the ancestor companies of the Massey-Ferguson organization, be
fitted with the original engine block, gearbox and transmission and
be used around the farm at least two days every month.