A Maxville ‘marvel’

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

BUILT TO LAST: In the early 1900s, the Fer­gu­son Thresher Co., of Maxville, founded by James and Don­ald Fer­gu­son, was renowned for its mills. While the last ma­chine rolled off the pro­duc­tion line in 1954, many of the ma­chines are still around. In 2015, in St-Al­bert, many Fer­gu­son mod­els were among the 111 thresh­ers that helped set a world record for the most mils op­er­at­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously. All-metal thresh­ers were first pro­duced in the early 1900s and grad­u­ally re­placed wood-framed thresh­ers. James Fer­gu­son first be­gan man­u­fac­tur­ing agri­cul­tural im­ple­ments and thresh­ers in the 1870s. He built a new fac­tory in 1928, which pro­duced all-metal thresh­ers un­til the com­pany stopped pro­duc­ing thresh­ers. The Fer­gu­son “Marvel Grain Thrower” rep­re­sents the shift in the early 20th Cen­tury to all-metal con­struc­tion, and demon­strates the over­lap of tech­nolo­gies as thresh­ers re­mained in pro­duc­tion while com­bine har­vesters were be­com­ing more pop­u­lar. The first thresh­ing ma­chines were sta­tion­ary. Pow­ered by hand or tread­mill, they in­creased the amount of grain a farmer could sep­a­rate in a day. Wheeled thresh­ing ma­chines be­gan to re­place sta­tion­ary thresh­ers in the 1860s and fur­ther mech­a­nized grain har­vest­ing. Thresh­ers were ini­tially built of wood and pow­ered by horse-pow­ered wind­lasses; they were later built of steel and pow­ered by steam trac­tion en­gines and gas trac­tors. Thresh­ers were in turn re­placed through the 20th Cen­tury by com­bine har­vesters, which merged har­vest­ing and thresh­ing op­er­a­tions in one ma­chine.

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