Centenary of Fordson Tractors

Text and video by Andrew Green

2017 marked the Centenary of the beginning of production of the first Fordson tractors. The devastating loss of both men and horses created a real problem for British farming during WW1. It became so severe that the UK government acted to bring in 6000 Fordson tractors in late 1917 from the USA on to British farms to help with the war effort.

These were called “MOM” tractors or Ministry of Munitions tractors. The Fordson tractor went into full production on the American market in 1918 priced at $750. Over the next 10 years 750,000 tractors were produced.

Photos by Cynthia Underdown, Stephen Williams & Cyril Chudley taken at various Country Shows

To celebrate this milestone, we were involved with organising special events during the past few months. The first of these was at the Devon County Show on the 18th to 20th May 2017 where a special display & parade of Ford & Fordson tractors took place in the main ring for the first time for several years. It was great to be back where it truly belongs, rather than tucked away behind the livestock arena!

The Fordson display represented about 50% of the total entry of tractors, so other makes were also there. A similar event was held at the Mid Devon Show on the 22nd July and also at the Okehampton Show on the 10th August. Ford and Fordson Association and MDTEMG members were also flying the Fordson flag at other events throughout the summer.