Massey, Daniel

Massey, Daniel
b. 1798 Vermont, USA
d. 1856 Canada
American agricultural machinery manufacturer and co-founder of the Massey Harris Company (now Massey Ferguson).
In about 1800 Daniel Massey's family moved to Upper Canada. At the age of 6 he was sent back to stay with his grandparents in Waterton, USA, where he attended school for three years. He returned to his parents in 1807, and for the next twelve years he remained on his father's farm.
At the age of 19 he forfeited his rights to his inheritance and rented land further west, which he began to clear. By the age of 21 he owned 200 acres, and during the next twelve years he bought, cleared and sold a further 1,200 acres. In 1820 he married Lucina Bradley from Water-town and returned with her to Canada.
In 1830 he decided to settle down to farming and brought one of the first US threshing machines into Canada. From frequent visits to his family in the US he would return with new farm equipment, and in 1844 he handed his farm over to his eldest son so that he could concentrate on the development of his farm workshop. In 1845 he formed a brief partnership with R.F.Vaughan, who owned a small factory in Durham County near Lake Ontario. He began the production of ploughs, harrows, scufflers and rollers at a time when the Canadian Government was imposing heavy import duties on agricultural equipment being brought in from the USA. His business flourished and within six months he bought out his partner.
In 1848 he bought another foundry in Newcastle, together with 50 acres of land, and in 1851 his son Hart joined him in the business. The following year Hart returned from the USA with the sole rights to manufacture the Ketchum mower and the Burrell reaper.
The advent of the railway four years later opened up wider markets, and from these beginnings the Massey Company was to represent Canada at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. The European market was secured by the successes of the Massey reaper in the "World" trials held in France in 1889. Two years later the company merged with the Harris Company of Canada, to become the Massey Harris Company. Daniel Massey retired from the company four years after his son joined it, and he died the following year.
Further Reading
Graeme Quick and Wesley Buchele, 1978, The Grain Harvesters, American Society of Agricultural Engineers (gives an account of harvest machinery development, in which Massey Harris played a vital role).
Merrill Denison, 1949, Harvest Triumphant: The Story of Massey Harris, London.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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