Tracing the Roots of the Albion
At right: Cover of a 1913 advertising brochure for Albion mowers, reapers and binders manufactured by Harrison, McGregor & Co. Ltd., Leigh, Lancashire, England. The catalog is imprinted with the name “H. Plowright & Sons, Ironmongers, Swaffham, Norfolk, also at Methwold.” (Image reprinted courtesy McCormick-IH Collection Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society.)
The Albion brand name, familiar in the U.S. into the 1950s, got its start in England. The Albion brand was originally attached to a broad range of agricultural implements: animal fodder (turnips, mangles, roughage, etc.) cutting machines, grinding mills, horse gears and more, produced by Harrison, McGregor & Co. Ltd. The firm was founded in about 1873 in Leigh, Lancashire, by Henry Harrison and Alexander McGregor and later became known as Harrison, McGregor & Guest.
By the early 20th century the company had achieved world-wide sales and an excellent reputation. A progressive organization, Harrison, McGregor's factory had developed very modern assembly-line methods for the time, allowing efficient manufacture of large numbers of binders and other machines.
In 1955, the David Brown Co. purchased HM&G Ltd. and for the next several years offered a broad line of implements with the name David Brown Albion. Eventually, David Brown was purchased by Tenneco and later was folded into Case.
Advertisements from many farm publications printed at the turn of the 20th century were more than mere methods to hawk tractors and farm equipment. To share those ads from days gone by, Farm Collector periodically reproduces some of the most-spectacular ads used to promote farm equipment and products.
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