CANADIAN NOTES

THE MACPHERSON MACHINERY


| May/June 1952



Huber Engine

Front end view as the Huber made the incline. Mr. A. S. Losh is on the platform From the 1908 catalogue of Milford Rees

Ontario, Can.

Being almost completely surrounded by water, it was only natural that the early settlement of Upper Canada, now the Province of Ontario, should begin at the lakes shores and river banks and gradually work inland.

Daniel Macpherson first saw the light of day at Helmsdale, Sutherland, Scotland, and when he was only three years old his parents decided to emigrate and try their fortune in the New World. In 1819 the family arrived by boat at Port Talbot, and locate 1 in the settlement being developed by Col. Talbot on the north shore of Lake Erie. Here young Daniel grew up and married the daughter of another pioneer family by the name of Ferguson. To the union were born eight sons and one daughter.

Inheriting much mechanical ability, Daniel was always 'fixing things' as a boy and when he 'grew older he made up his mind to manufacture implements to meet the needs of the pioneer settlers. In 1847 he made a trip to Lockport, New York, to endeavour to secure experienced workmen. Here he enlisted the services of William Glasgow, a woodworker, and Metthias Hovey, an ironworker and the following year they built a small shop and foundry in the nearby village of Fingal, Ontario, and began the manufacture of pioneer tools and implements of many kinds.

The firm was called Macpherson, Glasgow and Company Their products met with ready sale and before many years the small shop had grown into an extensive establishment. Meanwhile roads were being built inland and settlers following in large numbers. To supply their needs Daniel Macpherson chose the village of Clinton, sixty miles north of the centre of the fast developing Huron Tract, as the location for a branch factory. In 1861 he had his new establishment built in Clinton and the following year sent William Glasgow, his own son D. F. (Ferg.) Macpherson and Mr. Hovey's son Charles to manage it. The branch plant assumed the name Glasgow, Macpherson and Company, the reverse of the parent title.

Both factories built ploughs, cultivators, straw cutters, grain crushers, etc., and the Fingal plant experimented with threshing machinery until they perfected the 'Climax' apron type thresher in 1869. This machine met with early success and the demand caused both plants to concentrate on the production of horse powers and threshing machines. The first shipment of twelve Climax machines was made to Manitoba in 1876 The following year they were improved by the adoption of an end shake shoe and the 'End Shake Climax' continued in general favour for many years. With the advent of the vibrator type machines the right to manufacture the 'Minnesota Chief' separator in Canada was acquired from Sevmour, Sabin and Co., Stillwater, Minn. This machine combined the best points of the vibrator and apron threshers. Twenty seven were built in 1879 and their production continued and increased along with the Climax machines.