FTLComm - Tisdale - February 22, 2000
Looking more like toys or ornaments then working machines this line up of vintage Ford tractors in front of John Bob Farm Equipment here in Tisdale is quite remarkable. These machines all were produced in the 1950s, less then half a century ago. They are, when compared to modern equipment surprisingly modern each with integrated hydralic systems and smooth easy to use transmissions.

Although some machines of this era were purchased as chore tractors, to be used for special purposes like mowing and work around the farm yard, they were originally designed as the primary farm tractor for the farms of the era in which they were produced. Right after World War II farms in England, which is were the blue one came from, were little different then they are today. The field size and farming practices have changed little but in North America the situation has been revolutionary.

The tractor shown here on the right end of the line up was designed by a Mr. Ferguson who sold his design to Ford but also produced variants of this same tractor under his own name. (The track system on this machine is an add-on that was one of the many adaptations made to these little tractors during their long and useful lives)

My uncle a young man of perhaps twenty or twenty-one was going have a go at farming on a rather poor piece of proptery that was his farm. It was a quarter section of land and he was renting an additional quarter section nearby and he bought a little Ford like this one on the right brand new in 1952 from Early Meyers of MacDonald Meyers in Moosomin. I can remember the pride he had in showing us his new tractor and demonstrating the clever three point hitch with its plow and cultivator attachments that could be raised and lowered from the driver's seat with the flick of a lever.

The young man was not much of a farmer and the land was pretty poor but that tractor was more than adequate to handle all the work needed to be accomplished. In two years the farming venture was over for my uncle as this was the time when quarter section farms were simply no longer viable in Saskatchewan, even in the mixed farming area of the South East.

But each of the variants of machines seen here would be made in large numbers and go on to farms across North America working hard, some up until the present day do the chores and work that only a small and inexpensive machine could accomplish.

The interesting thing about these machines is that all of them are valued today about the same as they were when they rolled off the factory. Both inflation and demand for these tractors has allowed them to move through the decades retaining their value, I know of no other product that had enjoyed such remarkable success.