Ford Tractor Was Not What It Seemed
W. Baer Ewing capitalized on the Ford name by producing “Ford” tractors.
In 1917, tractors built by
Henry Ford were named Fordsons because another Ford tractor (manufactured in Minneapolis) already
existed (see The Fraudulent Ford Model B). However, the Ford Tractor Co.
sought to trade on Henry Ford’s name. A 1915 newspaper article minced no words
on the character of W. Baer Ewing, one of the owners of the Minneapolis Ford
organization: “The next exploitation taken up by Ewing
and the Federal Securities Co. was the Ford Tractor Co. There seems to be a sort
of magic in the name of Ford when it comes to doing business with the farmer,
and Ewing prepared to take advantage of this
fact by taking a young fellow named Paul B. Ford into the concern and naming it
the Ford Tractor Co. The direct statement is not made that there is any
connection between the Minneapolis
company and the Ford Motor Co. of Detroit, but that impression is given by the
character of advertising sent out by the company.”
Paul Ford knew nothing of
tractors. When questioned, he said he was a mere figurehead, employed so Ewing could use the Ford name. Though Ewing
claimed Ford designed the tractor, a man named Kincaid actually had. Apparently
the company knew nothing of business. As an article in the Twin City
Reporter observed, “Everything is in large figures except the cash on hand
and in bank.”
And the number of tractors made. Despite claims that the factory was operating day
and night, fewer than a hundred Fords were manufactured from 1915-1918. When
the company went bankrupt, many farmers who’d ordered Fords and paid in advance
were left in the lurch.
To read about real Henry Ford tractors, visit Fordson Model F Crawler Worth the Wait.