This is the first prototype of the Model 9N tractor. This tractor marked the first practical hydraulic three-point hitch on a tractor, a feature standard on all tractors today. Henry Ford helped debut this machine when he demonstrated its versatility on April 1, 1939 at a media event on the property of his Dearborn home.
Ford 9N Prototype
Harry Ferguson, of Belfast, Northern Ireland spent 18 years developing a hydraulic system of implement draft control. This lightweight, two-plow-size Ferguson-Brown, the first production tractor to implement this control system, was specifically designed to employ the Ferguson hydraulic lift and three-point hitch. It went into production in 1936 and was manufactured until early 1939, about 1200 were made.
Harry Ferguson brought this particular tractor to the United States in October 1938 to demonstrate it to Henry Ford. Ferguson and Ford shook hands to seal an agreement to manufacture tractors. A paper contract was never created, and the partnership dissolved in a lawsuit in 1948.
Calling it his “automotive plow,” Henry Ford had Joseph Galamb and C.J. Smith construct this experimental machine. It is powered by a 1905 Ford Model B engine with copper water jackets. This tractor represents either the first or, more probably, the second of several experimental lightweight tractor designs which culminated in the production of the Fordson tractor in 1917.