Determined at an Early Age: A.B. Farquhar

Learn about the story and trials of the young A. B. Farquhar, a man who would go on to become an innovator and leader of American Industry.

| December 2019


At 20, A.B. Farquhar had already set his sights on the prize

If he is remembered at all today, Arthur Briggs Farquhar is remembered as a brilliant and successful businessman and leader of American industry. Creator of Pennsylvania Agricultural Works, which later became A.B. Farquhar Co. Ltd., Farquhar built farm machines and implements, including steam traction engines.

As one of the first American farm manufacturers to play a key role in machinery exports, Farquhar was considered an expert on the global economy, finance and tariff legislation. Friend and advisor to several American presidents, including Garfield, Cleveland, Roosevelt and Taft, Farquhar occupies a unique position in the history of the industrialization of the U.S.

Thanks in large part to his 1922 autobiography, The First Million the Hardest, a richly detailed, first-person account of Farquhar’s life and business success survives. Much of that history has previously been reported in the pages of Farm Collector.

Less well known is the story of the young Farquhar: the 20-year-old who had the audacity to barge in on titans of industry, demanding an answer to the question that nearly consumed him: How can I make a million dollars?



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