Cover of 1911 Sawyer-Massey catalogue (CSTM L02090)
Like many of Canada’s agricultural implement manufacturers, Sawyer-Massey traced its roots to a blacksmith shop of the mid 1830s. Thirty years later, L. D. Sawyer and Company of Hamilton, Ontario, was building portable steam engines, threshing machines and horse sweeps (the device connecting as many as twelve horses walking a circular path to a drive shaft powering a threshing machine). The firm made much of its Canadian ownership and used it to play on farmers’ nationalism.
In 1910, Sawyer-Massey entered the kerosene tractor market with the introduction of their 25-45 kerosene tractor. By 1918 their product line had expanded to include 11-22, 12-25, 18-36, 20-40 and 27-50 tractors. The tractor manufacturing business was very competitive, and only those firms with mass production techniques, and proximity to the market to keep prices low, were likely to survive. By the 1920s, Sawyer-Massey ceased manufacturing kerosene tractors to focus on the production of road-building and maintenance equipment.
Video of the Sawyer-Massey 20-40 from the Canada's Got Treasures website. Canada’s Got Treasures is an innovative online destination where museum treasures and your treasures come together.