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Old 16-03-2019, 01:17 PM
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Allis-Chalmers

Industry industrial machinery, grain-milling machinery, power plant equipment, mining equipment, agricultural machinery, heavy equipment (construction)
Successor AGCO, Allis-Chalmers Energy
Founded West Allis, Wisconsin (1901)
Headquarters U.S. based, global exports
Products generators, engine-generators, tractors, threshers, combines, farm implements, bulldozers, milling machinery, others

Allis-Chalmers was a U.S. manufacturer of machinery for various industries. It's business lines included agricultural equipment, construction equipment, power generation and power transmission equipment, and machinery for use in industrial settings such as factories, flour mills, sawmills, textile mills, steel mills, refineries, mines, and ore mills. The first Allis-Chalmers Company was formed in 1901 as an amalgamation of the Edward P. Allis Company (steam engines and mill equipment), Fraser & Chalmers (mining and ore milling equipment), the Gates Iron Works (rock and cement milling equipment), and the industrial business line of the Dickson Manufacturing Company (engines and compressors). It was reorganized in 1912 as the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company. During the next 70 years it's industrial machinery filled countless mills, mines, and factories around the world, and it's brand gained fame among consumers mostly from it's farm equipment business's orange tractors and silver combine harvesters. In the 1980s and 1990s a series of divestitures transformed the firm and eventually dissolved it. It's successors today are Allis-Chalmers Energy and AGCO.

History

Author-photographer Randy Leffingwell (1993) aptly summarized the firm's origins and character. He observed that it "grew by acquiring and consolidating the innovations" of various smaller firms and building upon them; and he continued that "Metal work and machinery were the common background. Financial successes and failures brought them together."

Former marketing executive Walter M. Buescher (1991) said that Allis-Chalmers "was a conglomerate before the word was coined." Whether or not it is literally true that Allis-Chalmers predated the sense of "conglomerate" meaning a widely diversified parent corporation, Buescher's point is valid: Allis-Chalmers, despite it's common theme of machinery, was an amalgamation of disparate business lines, each with a unique marketplace, beginning in an era when consolidations within industries were fashionable but those across industries were not yet common.
1800s to 1901

Edward P. Allis was an entrepreneur who in 1861 bought a bankrupt firm at a sheriff's auction, the Reliance Works of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which had been owned by James Decker and Charles Seville. Decker & Seville were millwrights who made equipment for flour milling. Under Allis's management, the firm was reinvigorated and "began producing steam engines and other mill equipment just at the time that many sawmills and flour mills were converting to steam power." Although the financial panic of 1873 "caught Edward Allis overextended" and forced him into bankruptcy, "his own reputation saved him and reorganization came quickly," forming the Edward P. Allis Company. Leffingwell said, "He set out to hire known experts: George Hinkley, who perfected the band saw; William Gray, who revolutionized the flour-milling process through roller milling; and Edwin Reynolds, who ran the Corliss Steam Engine works." Allis died in 1889, but under his sons (Charles Allis and William Allis) and the other principals, the firm continued to prosper, and by 1900 it had grown to become one of America's largest steam engine builders.

Overview

Author-photographer Randy Leffingwell (1993) aptly summarized the firm's origins and character. He observed that it "grew by acquiring and consolidating the innovations" of various smaller firms and building upon them; and he continued that "Metal work and machinery were the common background. Financial successes and failures brought them together."

Thomas Chalmers was a Scottish immigrant to America who came to the U.S. about 1842. By 1844 he was at Chicago, Illinois and had found work with P.W. Gates, whose foundry and blacksmithing shops produced plows, wagons, and flour-milling equipment.The Gates firm "built the first steam-operated sawmill in the country at a time when Chicago was the leading producer of milled lumber in the country." In 1872, Thomas Chalmers founded the Fraser & Chalmers firm to manufacture mining machinery, boilers, and pumps. By 1880 steam engines were part of the product line and by 1890, the firm had become one of the world's largest manufacturers of mining equipment. Thomas Chalmers's son, William James Chalmers, was president of the company from circa 1890 to 1901. Meanwhile, the Gates Iron Works, with Chalmers family involvement, had become a manufacturer of crushers, pulverizers, and other rock and cement milling equipment.

Another Scottish immigrant family, the Dickson family, came to Canada and the U.S. in the 1830s. By 1852, they had organized a small machine shop and foundry (Dickson & Company) in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1856 Thomas Dickson became it's president, and in 1862 the firm incorporated as the Dickson Manufacturing Company. By 1900 they were building boilers, steam engines, locomotives, internal combustion engines, blowers, and air compressors.

By 1901 the principals of the Edward P. Allis, Fraser & Chalmers, and Gates firms had decided to merge their companies. Edwin Reynolds believed Allis could control the industrial engine business. In May 1901 the Allis-Chalmers Company was formed. It acquired Dickson's industrial engine business. Dickson's locomotive business was rolled into the new locomotive consolidation, the American Locomotive Company (ALCO).

1901-1911
Allis-Chalmers Bisbee converter for smelting copper ore, 1902.
A photo, in the journal Cement Age, 1910, of a rotary cement kiln built by Allis-Chalmers.

The managing director of the new company was Charles Allis, his brother William was chairman of the board, and William J. Chalmers was deputy managing director. Shortly after the merger was completed, a new factory was built in an area west of Milwaukee that was then known as North Greenfield. In 1902, with this new factory, the locale was renamed West Allis, Wisconsin.

With the combining of the constituent firms, Allis-Chalmers offered a wide array of pyrometallurgic equipment, such as blast furnaces and converters for roasting, smelting, and refining; ore milling equipment, various kinds of crushers and pulverizers, including stamp mills, roller mills, ball mills, conical mills, rod mills, and jigging mills; cyanidation mills and other concentration mills; hoisting engines; cars, including skip cars, slag cars, and general mine cars; briquetting plants; and the pumps, tanks, boilers, compressors, hydraulic accumulators, pipes, valves, sieves, and conveyors needed within these products. Like other firms that build capital equipment for industrial corporations, it also supplied consulting, erecting, and training services, such as helping a mining company to design a plant, to build it's buildings and set up its machinery, and to teach the employees how to use and maintain it.

In 1903, Allis-Chalmers acquired the Bullock Electric Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, which added steam turbines to Allis-Chalmers's powerplant equipment business line.
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Old 16-03-2019, 01:17 PM
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1912-1919
An Allis-Chalmers Corliss type stationary engine.

By 1912, the Allis-Chalmers Company was in financial trouble, so it was reorganized. It was renamed the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company, and Otto Falk, a former Brigadier General of the Wisconsin National Guard, was appointed to turn it around. Falk pushed for new products and new or expanded markets. Falk saw great growth potential in the mechanization of agriculture, which at the time was blossoming all over America. Allis-Chalmers's first farm tractors, the 10-18, the Model 6-12, and the Model 15-30, were developed and marketed between 1914 and 1919, and the farm implement line was expanded.

1920s

An Allis-Chalmers tractor advertisement in Farm Mechanics, 1921, showing the models 6-12, 12-20, and 18-30.
United tractor on display at Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA.

As had also been true of the 1900–1920 period, the Roaring Twenties were a favorable time for consolidation and even conglomeration throughout the business world. It was also a time of strongly continuing mechanization on North American farms. At Allis-Chalmers, the 1920s brought yet more tractors, such as the 18-30, the 12-20, the 15-25, and the United tractor/Model U.

Famed inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla spent the period 1919-1922 working in Milwaukee for Allis-Chalmers.

In 1926 Falk hired Harry Merritt, who would be a senior executive in Allis-Chalmers's tractor business for many years. Merritt had worked in the sales and marketing of various brands of farm and construction equipment, most recently Holt, when Falk hired him away. Buescher, who worked under Merritt, credited Merritt with turning around Allis-Chalmers's ailing farm equipment business and transforming it into the main profit center for the parent corporation. He said, "Some say that General Falk pulled Harry Merritt into Milwaukee to liquidate the ailing tractor division. Others say that he was brought in to breathe new life into the moribund and unprofitable operation. Even if the first appraisal is correct, the second proved to be the way it turned out. After Merritt's arrival, the profit picture changed. The farm equipment business proved to be a financial lifesaver for the corporation. From next to nothing in 1927, Merritt saw the percentage of farm equipment business go to just short of sixty percent of corporate sales."

Also in 1926, Allis-Chalmers acquired Nordyke Marmon & Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, a maker of flour-milling equipment. In 1927, it acquired the Pittsburgh Transformer Company, a maker of electrical transformers.

In 1928, Allis-Chalmers acquired the Monarch Tractor Company of Springfield, Illinois, thus adding a line of crawler tractors. In 1929, it acquired the La Crosse Plow Works of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The La Crosse Plow Works had a good-quality plow and various desirable implements, which now expanded the Allis-Chalmers implement line. Also in 1929, Harry Merritt was in California when the bright orange California poppy blossoms inspired him to think about the use of bright colors in marketing. Brightly colored things that can be seen from far away had potential in farm equipment marketing. He soon changed the paint color of Allis-Chalmers's tractors to Persian Orange, the available paint color that he felt most closely resembled the California poppy's color. Thus began the tradition of orange Allis-Chalmers tractors. Various competitors would follow suit over the next decade, as International Harvester switched to all-red (1936), Minneapolis-Moline switched to Prairie Gold (late 1930s), and Case switched to Flambeau Red (late 1930s). John Deere already had a distinctive color scheme with it's bright green and yellow.

In 1928, Henry Ford canceled U.S. production of the Fordson. This disrupted the business of many firms: farm equipment dealers who sold Fordsons and aftermarket equipment builders whose attachments were designed to mount on Fordsons (for example, the Gleaner combines of the 1920s mounted on Fordsons, and many Fordson industrial tractors used aftermarket attachments). Many of these firms formed a conglomerate in 1928 called the United Tractor & Equipment corporation. United arranged a deal with Allis-Chalmers to build a tractor to substitute for the now-missing Fordson. Around 1930, the United conglomerate collapsed. The reasons that various authors have given have been disagreements between it's investors, the onset of the Great Depression, and the fact that Ford Motor Company Ltd of England, which was continuing the Fordson line independently of the U.S. Ford company, began exporting new Fordsons to America. The United tractor became the Allis-Chalmers Model U.
1930s

1930s
A two-row corn picker.
A 1939 Model WC.
A Model B, with a Fordson behind it.

The 1930s were a pivotal decade. Despite the Great Depression, Allis-Chalmers succeeded as demand for it's machinery continued.

In 1931, it acquired Advance-Rumely of La Porte, Indiana, mostly because Merritt wanted the company's network of 24 branch houses and about 2,500 dealers, which would greatly increase Allis-Chalmers's marketing and sales power in the farm equipment business. Also in 1931, the corporation's electrical equipment business expanded via acquisition when Brown, Boveri & Cie, in a financial pinch because of the Depression, sold it's U.S. electrical operations to Allis-Chalmers. After 1931 Allis-Chalmers was the licensee for U.S. sales of European products of Brown, Boveri & Cie.

In 1932, Allis-Chalmers collaborated with Firestone to introduce pneumatic rubber tires to tractors. The innovation quickly spread industry-wide, as (to many farmers' surprise) it improved tractive force and fuel economy in the range of 10% to 20%. Within only 5 years, pneumatic rubber tires had displaced cleated steel wheels across roughly half of all tractors sold industry-wide. Cleated steel remained optional equipment into the 1940s. Also in 1932, Allis-Chalmers acquired the Ryan Manufacturing Company, which added various grader models to it's construction equipment line.

In 1933, Allis-Chalmers introduced it's Model WC, it's first-generation row-crop tractor, which would become it's highest-selling tractor ever. In 1937, it's lighter and more affordable second-generation row-crop, the Model B, arrived, and also became a top seller. It's All-Crop Harvester was the market leader in pull-type (tractor-drawn) combine harvesters.

In October 1937, Allis-Chalmers was one of fourteen major electrical manufacturing companies that went to court to change the way labor unions excluded contractors and products in the building trades through the union use of the "Men and Means Clause". The action of Allis-Chalmers and others eventually resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision of June 18, 1945, that ended certain union practices that violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.

1940s
An M6 tractor for military use.
An Allis-Chalmers Model WD.

World War II caused Allis-Chalmers, like most other manufacturing companies, to become extremely busy. As happened with many firms, it's civilian product lines experienced a period of being "on hold", with emphasis on parts and service to keep existing machines running, but it's war materiel production was pushed to the maximum of productivity and output. In the late 1930s through mid-1940s, Allis-Chalmers made machinery for naval ships, such as Liberty ship steam engines, steam turbines, generators, and electric motors; artillery tractors and tractors for other army use; electrical switches and controls; and other products. Allis-Chalmers was also one of many firms contracted to build equipment for the Manhattan Project. It's experience in mining and milling machinery made it a logical choice for uranium mining and processing equipment. Allis-Chalmers ranked 45th among United States corporations in the value of wartime military production contracts.

Immediately at the war's end, in 1945–1946, Allis-Chalmers endured a crippling 11-month labor strike. Buescher was convinced that the corporation never entirely recovered from the effects of this strike. This seems debatable given the various successes that Allis-Chalmers did have during the next 30 years, including prosperity in the farm equipment business in the 1950s and 1960s. But it certainly gave competitors a chance to grab market share.

In 1948, the Model WC was improved with various new features and became the Model WD, another top seller. The WD was a milestone for the company. It included fully independent power take off, which was powered by a two clutch system. It also included power adjust rear wheels, which became an industry standard. Production of this model continued into 1953, with nearly 150,000 tractors produced.
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1950s
An Allis-Chalmers HD-15A bulldozer.
An Allis-Chalmers Model D15 tractor.

The 1950s were a time of great demand for more power in farm tractors, as well as greater capability from their hydraulic and electrical systems. It was also a decade of extensive dieselization, from railroad locomotives to farm tractors and construction equipment. In 1953, Allis-Chalmers acquired the Buda Engine Company of Harvey, Illinois. Allis wanted Buda for its line of diesel engines, because it's previous supplier, Detroit Diesel, was a division of General Motors, whose recent acquisition of the Euclid heavy equipment company now made it a competitor of Allis-Chalmers for construction equipment business. The Buda-Lanova models were re-christened the "Allis-Chalmers Diesel" engine line. Diesel engineers were busy during the following years updating and expanding the line.

In 1952, the company acquired Laplant-Choate, which added various models of scrapers to it's construction equipment line.

In 1953, the WD-45 was introduced, replacing the WD. The motor was increased to 226 cubic inches, giving it 30 horsepower on the drawbar at the Nebraska Tests. This was almost double the horsepower of the WD. A new Allis chalmers designed Snap- Coupler hitch was used. It allowed the operator to hook up to an implement from the seat of the tractor. A Buda diesel-powered WD-45 was introduced in 1955. This series stayed in production until the unveiling of the D-series in 1957.

In 1955, the company acquired Gleaner Manufacturing Company, which was an important move for its combine harvester business. Allis was the market leader in pull-type (tractor-drawn) combines, with it's All-Crop Harvester line. But acquiring Gleaner meant that it would now also be a leader in self-propelled machines, and it would own two of the leading brands in combines. The Gleaner line augmented (and later superseded) the All-Crop Harvester line, and for several years Gleaner's profits made up nearly all of Allis-Chalmers' profit. Gleaners continued to be manufactured at the same factory, in Independence, Missouri, after the acquisition.

In 1957, the Allis-Chalmers D Series of tractors was introduced. It enjoyed great success over the next decade.

In 1959, Allis-Chalmers acquired the French company Vendeuvre. Also in 1959, it acquired Tractomotive Corporation of Deerfield, Illinois, which it had been partnering with as an auxiliary equipment supplier for at least a decade.

In Haycraft's history of the construction equipment business (2000), he expressed the view that Allis-Chalmers relied too heavily for too long on partnering with auxiliary equipment suppliers, and acquiring them, instead of investing in in-house product development. In his view, this strategy limited the company's success in this business, and it eventually had to spend the development dollars anyway.Buescher's comments about the Buda acquisition and the need for subsequent improvement of its designs seem to corroborate this view. However, the topic is multivariate and complex; elsewhere in his memoir, Buescher presents a viewpoint in which investing in research and product development is an expensive move that often doesn't pay off for the innovator and mostly benefits competitor clones.[3

1960s and 1970s
An Allis-Chalmers D17



1965 Gleaner E harvester
An Allis-Chalmers D21 Series II tractor

In 1960, the U.S. government uncovered an attempt to form a cartel in the heavy electric equipment industry. It charged 13 companies, including the largest in the industry (Westinghouse, General Electric, and Allis-Chalmers), with price fixing and bid rigging. Most feigned innocence, but Allis-Chalmers pleaded guilty. Although one motive for the forming of cartels is so that amply profitable firms can try to become obscenely profitable, it did not apply in this instance, according to Buescher; rather, his view of the attempt at a heavy-electrical cartel was that it was a desperate (and foolish) attempt to turn red ink to black ink among fierce competition.

The D series continued to be successful in the 1960s. The factory-installed turbocharger on the D19 was the first in the industry. It was soon followed by the 190 and the 190 XT, which was a direct competitor for the John Deere Model 4020 with 98 horsepower (factory rating).

In 1965, Allis-Chalmers acquired Simplicity for it's line of lawn and garden equipment. Also in that year, the nuclear reactor SAFARI-1, a research reactor built by Allis-Chalmers, went into operation.

In the 1960s, the farm equipment, construction equipment, and heavy electrical industries were not as profitable for Allis-Chalmers as they had been in the 1930s through 1950s. Reasonable prosperity continued in the farm equipment line, but the economics of all the industries shifted toward greater uncertainty and brittler success for firms that didn't become number one or two in a field. Allis-Chalmers was often number three or four, as Deere and International Harvester led in farm machinery, Caterpillar and Case led in construction, and Westinghouse and General Electric led in heavy electric markets. In the late 1960s, a trend of conglomeration flared, as mega-conglomerates like Ling-Temco-Vought, Gulf+Western, and White Consolidated Industries went on buying sprees. Several takeover attempts by those firms were made on Allis-Chalmers. It was during the same era and business climate that Tenneco acquired Case.

In 1960, Allis-Chalmers built the first grate-kiln ore pellet plant at the Humboldt mine in Michigan. The company eventually built about 50 such plants.

In 1974, Allis-Chalmers's construction equipment business was reorganized into a joint venture with Fiat SpA, which bought a 65% majority stake at the outset. The new company was called Fiat-Allis.

In May 1975, the company closed it's 20-acre, 78-year-old Pittsburgh North Side factory that employed close to 1,100 full-time and produced both distribution and instrument control transformers.

In 1977, to compete in the recently expanding market segment of compact diesel utility tractors (such as the Kubota line and the Ford 1000 and 1600 built by Shibaura), Allis-Chalmers began importing Hinomoto tractors with Toyosha diesel engines from Japan. They were rebadged with the Allis-Chalmers brand for U.S. sales.

In 1978, a joint venture with Siemens, Siemens-Allis, was formed, supplying electrical control equipment.

1980s and 1990s
An Allis-Chalmers 7060 in Wisconsin.

The company began to struggle in the 1980s in a climate of rapid economic change. It was forced amid financial struggles to sell major business lines.

In 1983, Allis-Chalmers sold Simplicity, the lawn and garden equipment division, to the division's management.

1985 was a year of great dissolution for Allis-Chalmers—the year when it folded three of it's main business lines:

The Fiat-Allis joint venture in construction equipment, over which the firms' managements had long since had a falling-out, ended when Fiat bought out Allis's remaining minority stake. It renamed the company Fiatallis.

The Allis-Chalmers farm equipment business line ended when Allis sold it to K-H-D (Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Deutz AG) of Germany, at the time the owner of Deutz-Fahr. K-H-D renamed the business as Deutz-Allis and discarded the Allis Chalmers 8000 Series tractors and Persian Orange branding in favor of spring green tractors built by White Farm Equipment with Deutz air cooled engines.
The Siemens-Allis joint venture in electrical controls ended when Siemens bought out Allis's remaining minority stake. Siemens then blended the company into the Siemens Energy and Automation division.

In 1988, Allis-Chalmers sold it's American Air Filter filtration business (with 27 production facilities internationally and sales into 100+ countries) for approximately $225 million to SnyderGeneral Corporation of Dallas, a leading global air quality control firm.

In 1990, Deutz-Allis was sold to it's management and became Allis-Gleaner Corporation (AGCO). Tractors began selling under the AGCO-Allis name and were again painted Persian Orange. The AGCO brand of orange tractors was produced until 2010 when AGCO announced that it was phasing out the brand.

In 1998, what remained of the Allis-Chalmers manufacturing businesses were divested, and in January 1999, the company officially closed i'ts Milwaukee offices. The remaining service businesses became Allis-Chalmers Energy in Houston, Texas.
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Old 16-03-2019, 02:02 PM
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The BMB tractor was manufactured by the Brockhouse Company of Southport , England. the initials BMB stood for British Motor Boats, who designed the tractor. BMB also built a range of small engines. The tractors were available as a small garden tractor or two Iron horse type walk behind units for pulling market gardener's cultivation equipment. Built as a affordable machine using post war surplus production capacity, to help with the cultivation of small areas during postwar rationing.

The President model were built from 1947 to 1956 when falling sales led to the cessation of product. The Stock of spares being transfered to H.J. Stockton & Co. Ltd, who redesigned the machines to take either a Ruston & Hornsby or Petter engine. These were sold as "Stokold tractors" from 1956 to 1960.
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Earlier Marshall tractor line
1942 Marshall Type M tractor

The first single-cylinder Marshall tractor to be introduced was the Marshall 15/30 in 1930. It had a 8-inch (200 mm) bore with a 10-inch (250 mm) stroke (= 8.237 litres) and the maximum speed was 550 r.p.m., or 9.1666 revolutions per second. In 1932 the 15/30 was upgraded to become the Marshall 18/30. This model featured the same bore and stroke dimensions but the maximum r.p.m. was increased and the tractor's transmission was heavily modified.

The next single-cylinder Marshall to be introduced was the Marshall 12/20 in 1935. This tractor was of a completely new design, with a 6-inch (150 mm)-inch bore and a 9-inch (230 mm) stroke (= 4.17 litres). There were many smaller modifications such as a redesigned injection pump and cylinder head.

In 1938 the 12/20 model was redesigned and the model coding was changed so that the new model became the Marshall Model "M" tractor. During World War II tractor production was reduced greatly due to Marshall's factory capacity being engaged on war work. However, after the war, in 1945, Marshall's of Gainsborough introduced the improved diesel-powered tractor they had developed as the "Field-Marshall".

Field-Marshall tractor
1950 Model

The Field-Marshall and i'ts Track Marshall tracked stable-mate (Marshall-engined Fowler VF and VFA), were distinctive because of the use of a single-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine (of about 6-litre capacity) coupled to a very large flywheel, whereas tractors such as the Fordson N used a multi-cylinder engine. This single-cylinder design was quite common in Europe at the time, the Lanz Bulldog being another example. The Lanz, though, used a hot bulb engine.
Field-Marshall timeline

Field-Marshall Series 1 - 1945–1947 - 6 mph and 9 mph gearboxes available - Mark I & II variants
Field-Marshall Series 2 - 1947–1949 - 6 mph and 9 mph gearboxes available - Mark I & II variants
Field-Marshall Series 3 - 1949–1953 - 12 mph high and low gearbox
Field-Marshall Series 3A - 1953–1957 - 12 mph high and low gearbox

Starting
Flywheel and decompressor lever

To start the Marshall a smouldering piece of special paper, containing saltpetre, is inserted into the cylinder head by means of the special screw-in holder in the cylinder head (this smouldering paper acts as a glow plug).

The engine is then turned over with a starting handle placed in the starting dog on the flywheel. This is aided by the decompression valve, which decompresses the engine and makes it easier to turn over to allow the flywheel to gain speed and momentum to turn the engine through compression, and get the engine to fire. A spiral groove on the perimeter of the flywheel carries a wheel on the decompressor mechanism and is used to determine the number of revolutions before the decompressor disengages. This is generally up to three revolutions, but can be anything up to six revolutions. Depending on the condition of individual tractors, it may need considerable physical exertion to start a Marshall.

Starting cartridge breech

A cartridge starting system is also fitted to the tractor. A shotgun type blank cartridge is loaded into a breech on the engine's intake system. The smouldering paper is placed in the cylinder head, and the cartridge is fired by tapping the base of the protruding firing pin with a hammer. This puts a charge into the bore, sending the piston through it's stroke, bursting into life. This method, however, deposits carbon which often causes jamming of the decompression valve if cartridges are regularly used. It also puts significantly more strain on the engine.

Later versions of the Field-Marshall had more sophisticated starting systems available; electric starters were optional on the Series 3As.

Applications

The Field-Marshall tractors were commonly used to pull agricultural machinery such as threshing machines from site to site. Once in place, the Field-Marshall would be used as the powerplant for the threshing machine, the tractor's belt pulley coupled by a large flat drive belt to the threshing machine's pulley.

Field-Marshalls with tracks were produced under the Fowler brand name, being converted in the Fowler factory at Leeds. The first were designated the "Fowler VF", later ones being "VFA"s.
Mergers and subsequent demise

Later the two firms would be drawn together and a large number of complicated take-overs by such firms as British Leyland led to the wheeled tractor concern being owned by Bentall Simplex in the early 80s. They brought with the company the whole Leyland wheeled tractor range which had previously been built at Bathgate (which itself had started out as a Nuffield Universal tractor site). These were then badge engineered into the 'Marshall' range. The company even designed and built some totally new tractors but unfortunately due to the high costs and consequently high asking price, the tractors didn't sell well and the company slipped under. In the end only the Track Marshall concern was left, although even this has since gone bankrupt.

In the 1970s about 700 "Track Marshall" tractors were imported into Australia and fitted with dozer blades. These machines were powered by a 4-cylinder Perkins diesel engine and were considered very reliable in their time. They steered through an unusual wet band brake system through a differential gear system. This is known as a 'controlled differential'. It is impossible to stop one track, you pull the brake lever, the track slows down, the other track speeds up. This type of steering system absorbs a lot of power when turning. Several are still in use around the Northern Rivers area of NSW, Australia.






(The Massey Harris Pacemaker was a tractor built by Massey Harris (later Massey Ferguson)








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The Ferguson TE20 is an agricultural tractor designed by Harry Ferguson. By far his most successful design, it was manufactured from 1946 until 1956, and was commonly known as the Little Grey Fergie. It marked a major advance in tractor design, distinguished by light weight, small size, manoeuvrability and versatility. The TE20 popularised Harry Ferguson's invention of the hydraulic three-point hitch system around the world, and the system quickly became an international standard for tractors of all makes and sizes that has remained to this day. The tractor played a large part in introducing widespread mechanised agriculture. In many parts of the world the TE20 was the first tractor to be affordable to the average farmer and was small and light enough to replace the draft horse and manual labour. Many TE20s remain in regular use in farming and other work and the model is also a popular collector's item for enthusiasts today.

The model name came from Tractor, England 20 horsepower (not the true power delivered but from a formula based on engine size).

The TE range of Ferguson tractors was introduced in England in 1946, following 30 years of continuous development of 'The Ferguson System' from 1916. The first work was to design a plough and linkage to integrate the tractor with it's work in a manner that was an engineering whole. The automatic control system is now employed by almost all tractor manufacturers worldwide. A British patent was applied for by Harry Ferguson in 1925 and granted the following year.

By the early 1930s the linkage design was finalised and is now adopted as international standard category I. Just one prototype Ferguson System tractor, known as the Ferguson Black, was built to further technical development and for demonstrating to potential manufacturers. During 1936 the first production Ferguson tractors were built in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, by the David Brown Company. This tractor, the Ferguson Model 'A', incorporated Harry Ferguson's 'suction side' hydraulic control system, the key to solving sensitive automatic control of three point mounted implements and patented on 5 February 1936 (patent no 470069). The combination of Ferguson's converging three point hitch, patented on 3 July 1928 (patent no 320084) with his 'suction side control' valve is the key to the success of all subsequent Ferguson and later Massey Ferguson 'Ferguson System' tractors, the most important of which are the TE and TO 20 models. (It was the production of the Model 'A' that led in 1939 to the David Brown line of tractors).

In order to get volume production with lower costs, following a demonstration of his tractor before Henry Ford Senior in October 1938, Ferguson made a gentlemen's agreement or also referred to as the handshake agreement with Ford to produce the Ferguson tractor in Detroit starting in mid-1939.[citation needed] About 300,000 of these tractors, known as 'Ford Fergusons', were produced up to 30 June 1947.

During the war years the Ferguson design team developed many improvements to both tractor and implements and started to make arrangements to manufacture in the United Kingdom. The agreement with Ford in 1938 was to include production at the Ford plant at Dagenham, Essex, but the UK Ford company would not do it. By 1945 Ferguson had made a manufacturing agreement with the Standard Motor Company of Coventry to produce a Ferguson tractor incorporating all their latest improvements and to be known as the TE20. As well as allowing Ferguson to get his tractor into full production, the deal was of great benefit to Standard as the tractor would be built in it's huge 'shadow factory' which had been an aero engine plant during World War II but was now standing empty. Standard developed a new wet-liner engine for the tractor, which would in turn be used in Standard's road cars, such as the Vanguard.

Production started in the late summer of 1946, nearly a year before the last Ford Ferguson came off the line in Detroit in June 1947. The break with Ford left Harry Ferguson and his US company with implements to sell but no tractors. To make up the gap until the new Ferguson factory in Detroit started in October 1948, more than 25,000 Coventry-built TE20s were shipped to the USA and Canada. (Tractor Overseas) 20 was virtually the same as the TE20 with a Continental engine Z-126 fitted instead of the standard engine.

At the time of i's introduction the Ferguson three-point linkage was unique to the TE20, and to gain the full utility of the tractor the farmer also had to purchase specially-designed implements to work with the tractor. Ferguson initially designed and manufactured a range of implements for the TE20 in-house, but as the tractor's popularity spread other manufacturers began designing their own machinery for the TE20 in agricultural, industrial, construction and horticultural applications. The idea that the three-point linkage made the tractor and it's implement into a single mechanised unit was marketed as 'The Ferguson System', presenting a wholly new and entirely mechanised form of agriculture. By 1950 there were over 60 official Ferguson implements for the TE20, many of which had not been seen in mechanised tractor-mounted form before. As well as basic implements such as ploughs, harrows and cultivators the range included a number of trailers and loaders, seed drills, a side-mounted baler, a very rare 'wraparound' combine harvester, a muck spreader, a sickle mower and a powered auger. With it's Power take-off the tractor could also drive stand-alone equipment by belt or driveshaft, such as pumps, milking machinery or circular saws.

Ferguson became well-known for its effective and distinctive advertising, intended to demonstrate the abilities of the TE-20 tractor to farmers who previously had used only draft horses and had little experience with mechanised equipment. Public demonstrations of Ferguson tractors and implements were held throughout rural Britain towards the end of the harvest season. A typical demonstration was fencing off an area 27 feet by 20 feet (8.2 by 6 metres) and using a cultivator-equipped TE-20 to till the complete area - such an area was too small to be worked by a horse or a drawbar-equipped tractor of the time. Advertising also emphasised that in the 'Ferguson System' the tractor was not merely a replacement for the horse but via it's linkage and shaft-drive power take-off it could mechanise dozens of agricultural tasks previously performed either by separate machines, unwieldy drawbar-mounted trailed equipment or manual labour.

The TE and TO 20 tractors were so revolutionary that Ferguson set up a training school in the grounds of Stoneleigh Abbey, close to the Banner Lane factory. Here Ferguson dealers, salesmen and engineers were trained on the new machines they would be working on, and courses were also run for farmers to learn how operate the tractors and the various implements most effectively.

Coventry production up to 1956 was 517,651 units, with about 66% being exported, mainly to Continental Europe and the British Empire but to many other countries as well. To the above figure must be added TO production at Ferguson Park, Detroit. Including all 'Ferguson System' tractors from May 1936 to July 1956 brings the figure to approximately 1 million.

Harry Ferguson merged his worldwide companies with Massey-Harris of Toronto in July 1953, three years before TE and TO20 production ended, hence the change of name on the serial plate to 'Massey-Harris-Ferguson'. The Ferguson 35 replaced the old line in the US in 1955 and the TE20 in the UK in 1956; production in the UK starting in September of that year following re-tooling of the factory. Harry Ferguson remained Chairman of Massey Harris Ferguson until 1957, when he left over an argument over the Ferguson TE60 or LTX project as it is known. He continued his hobby of racing and set up Harry Ferguson Research, which produced the P99 Race car, which won the Oulton Park Gold Cup in 1961 with Stirling Moss at the wheel.

Harry Ferguson later helped the development of the 4-wheel-drive system which was used in the Land Rover, even though he had already made vehicles with a 4-wheel-drive system much earlier, just after World War I.



He died at his home (Abbotswood, Stow on the Wold) on 25 October 1960 due to a barbiturate overdose; it was never known if it was deliberate or not.
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Engines

The engine was the Standard wet liner inline-four engine. Dimensions were:

Petrol engine, 80 mm bore × 92 mm stroke, capacity 1,850 cc, compression ratio 5.77:1
Petrol-paraffin engine, 85 mm bore × 92 mm stroke, capacity 2,088 cc, compression ratio 4.5:1 [5]

The larger capacity of the petrol-paraffin engine was to compensate for the power reduction resulting from the low compression ratio. Newer versions of the petrol only engine has 85 mm bore as well.
Variants
A 1949 Ferguson TO20 on display at the Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Center and Museum in August 2015

The first TE20s ran on petrol until 1949 when the TVO tractor was launched incorporating the standard engine as early TE20s used a continental Z-120. There were later versions that ran on tractor vapourising oil (TVO), sometimes called petrol-paraffin or power kerosene. Some were converted in the UK to use a 3-cylinder Perkins diesel engine.

TE stood for Tractor England.
TO stood for Tractor Overseas.

Between 1948 and 1951, the TO20 with a Continental engine was built in Detroit, Michigan. These were built with the Z120 engines. TO30s were also built in Michigan with Z-129 engines. Production ceased in 1954.

Models and production years:

TE-20 Continental Z-120 petrol engine 1946–48
TEA-20 Standard Motor Company petrol engine 1947–56
TEB-20 Continental Z-120 petrol engine – Narrow wheelbase 1946–48
TEC-20 Standard 20S petrol – Narrow 1948–56
TED-20 TVO Standard 20S TVO engine 1949–56
TEE-20 TVO – Narrow 1949–56
TEF-20 diesel 1951–56
TEH-20 lamp oil engine 1950–56
TEJ-20 lamp oil engine – Narrow 1950–56
TEK-20 petrol – Vineyard 1952–56
TEL-20 TVO – Vineyard 1952–56
TEM-20 lamp oil – Vineyard 1952–56
TEP-20 petrol – Industrial 1952–56
TER-20 TVO – Industrial 1952–56
TES-20 lamp oil – Industrial 1952–56
TET-20 Diesel – Industrial 1952–56
517,651 TE20 tractors of all models were built at Banner Lane, Coventry. In mid-1953 Ferguson merged with Massey-Harris to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson. The new company continued both Massey Harris and Ferguson brands until December 1957, when it became Massey-Ferguson. The new FE35 was introduced in October 1956 in grey and gold livery and became the red and grey MF35 at the Smithfield Show in December 1957.
Ferguson 28

The colloquial term "Ferguson 28" is sometimes used in Australia and New Zealand for later models of the TE-20 including the petrol TEA-20 and diesel TEF-20. "Ferguson 28" has never been an official tractor model designation. Initially the TE20 had the 'Continental' Z120 23HP engine, as did the Detroit-built TO20 introduced a year later. The 80 mm bore 'Standard' petrol engine was phased in in mid-1947 as the TEA-20, approximately 3,000 of the 20,500 tractors built to 31 December 1947 being TEA-20s. Subsequent to the introduction of the 85 mm bore TED-20 in April 1949, the petrol engine was also made with an 85 mm bore, which increased its power to just over 28 hp. The term "Fergie 28" refers to the nominal horsepower of the later range of tractors. To benefit from the reputation of the later models in the used tractor market, the 23HP TE-20 is often advertised simply as TE-20; only very rarely is it referred to in Australia as a "Ferguson 23". In North America the 'Standard' petrol-engined TEA-20s with the 85 mm bore were known and advertised as TE-2085s.
Famous Fergies

There is a monument in Wentworth at the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers in Australia commemorating the time in 1956 when both rivers flooded and a fleet of little grey Fergies was used to build levee banks to save the town.
Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

A fleet of seven Ferguson TE-20s was used on the 1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition which was led by Edmund Hillary. Four petrol-engined and three diesel models were used. Some were supplied as half-tracks, with steerable front skis, whilst others of the New Zealand team were fitted with an extra wheel on each side and full caterpillar tracks, developed by the expedition in the Antarctic. In both cases, the track kits were easily removable and in light conditions the tractors were used on standard wheels and tyres. A canvas cabin was added for windproofing. Other than this, the tractors were totally standard – two were even fitted with a standard farmyard hydraulic front-loader for loading and unloading supplies. Reports were made at regular intervals to the Ferguson company and these show the tractors to have been reliable and effective – being capable of climbing a 1-in-7 slope of "hard polished ice where a man cannot walk without crampons", as well as operating in conditions of −10 degrees Fahrenheit. Under Hillary these tractors were driven to the South Pole, becoming the first vehicles to be driven to the pole, and the first overland journey to the pole since Captain Scott. The tractors were left at the pole for the use of American researchers. One of the tractors used by Hillary's party was later repatriated to New Zealand and is on display along with other British Trans-Antarctic Expedition vehicles in the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand.

One diesel (TEF-20) example, TEF320709 known as Betsy, earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records in May 2003 when Terry Williams drove it 3,176 miles (5,111 km) around the coastline of Britain, gaining the record for the longest journey undertaken by tractor. Betsy was donated to the Friends of Ferguson Heritage group in 2004, and can be seen on display at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming in York.

In popular culture

Between 1992 and 2015, a TEA-20 was depicted on the New Zealand five-dollar note. There was a portrait of Sir Edmund Hillary on the obverse (front), with one of the tractors used in his Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition at the bottom-left corner. A Ferguson tractor was also depicted on a New Zealand $1.50 postage stamp as part of a set of five commemorating the life of Sir Edmund Hillary, issued in 2008.

A TE20 is the star of a TV series for preschool children, "The Little Grey Fergie", which premiered in the UK on 17 October 2013. The show is based on the Norwegian children’s story and TV series Den lille traktoren Gråtass.

Australian folk musician Peter Pentland released an album in 1979 (enlarged 2001) Me Beaut Little Fergie Tractor. Track 6 is the song "Fergie Tractor".




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Leyland tractors was created after the merger of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) with Leyland Motors to form British Leyland in 1968. Nuffield Tractors had been started after World War II by Lord Nuffield owner of Morris Motors LImited which had become part of BMC in 1951.
Leyland 270 tractor

After the merger Leyland changed the colour from the Poppy Red of Nuffield to two tone blue which would eventually last right up to the early 1980s. Production moved to Bathgate in Scotland. When Leyland took over Nuffield the Nuffield name still appeared until 1969 before it was completely abolished.

Models included the: 154, 245, 253, 255, 262, 270, 272, 282, 285, 344, 384, 462, 472, 482 and 485. Then the "harvest gold" coloured: 602, 604, 702, 704, 802, 804 and the 904XL. BL then sold Leyland tractors in 1982 to Marshall Tractors Ltd and production moved to Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.
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