Massey Display Brings the Past to Life

Tractor, wagon and mower recreate Massey’s Canada Delivery Days of the 1880s.


| February 2018


What inspires a complex restoration project? For Daniel Peterson of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, it was a story he read about the delivery of new farm equipment in the late 1800s. The result is a handsomely restored Massey-Harris No. 33 mower and an exacting reproduction of the flare-box wagons once built by Bain Wagon Co., Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, for Massey Mfg. Co., then based in Newcastle, Ontario (the Massey-Harris merger did not occur until 1891).

An event known as Canada Delivery Day is at the heart of the project. When Daniel read about the event, the story captured his imagination. As he learned more, he began to sense the enormous impact of Delivery Day on the life of a community – and he began to dream about bringing that to life.

Delivering equipment to rural areas

In the 1880s, Massey Mfg. Co. – like most manufacturers of the era – did not have dealerships as we know them today. Instead, the fledgling company relied on travelling agents to represent the company. “In the late 1800s, Canada was a big, open country,” Daniel says. “There were not a lot of towns. So the agent would go to farms and sell equipment.”

It was a different world. When a farmer was finally persuaded to make a purchase, the order was not filled immediately. Because of the great distances between towns, orders were grouped until there were enough to warrant the expense of delivery.

When an agent accumulated enough orders in one area, a delivery date was scheduled. The resulting event – Canada Delivery Day – was a full-blown spectacle in a remote rural outpost.

jeffreym123
1/30/2018 11:21:00 PM

Hey Massey is and always will be the BEST... And my LAST NAME IS MASSEY.... My NickName in High School was What else but FERGIE