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Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch

interested person

11-16-2002 17:55:28

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Jim W

11-17-2002 15:26:52

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 Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to interested person, 11-16-2002 17:55:28  
I think it's all to do with what we now think of as the three point hitch.
If we think of it as the system, comprising all the parts and features that Iowa guy describes, then it can be said that Harry invented it. In fact the tractors that had it were described as using "The Ferguson System", as opposed to the "Ferguson Three Point Hitch".
If we are just talking about implements being fastened to the back of the tractor at three points, I think someone else gets the credit, but I think it doesn't matter much who, because it is the "System" that revolutionized farming.
Jim W.

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Iowa Guy

11-17-2002 06:04:04

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 Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to interested person, 11-16-2002 17:55:28  
I am a Ferguson fan as much as anybody on this board.

I still believe Harry Ferguson did not invent the three point linkage. His various patents refer to such things as "converging" three point linkage, direct hitching, weight transfer, depth control, anti-sway blocks for three-point hitch, etc.

I have seen a three-point hitch on an early 1920's tractor (not a Ferguson). The tractor had a three point hitch that pulled and raised a rear- mounted plow. There was a plow attached to the tractor. The plow was raised with a mechanical lift. This tractor did not have "converging" three-point linkage, depth control, weight transfer, anti-sway blocks. Neverless, it had a three-point system. The plow was attached to the tractor at three points. Two points pulled the plow; one point raised the plow. It was not a sophisticated system, but it had three points. Therefore, Harry Ferguson did not invent the three-point system.

Harry Ferguson worked extensively with tractors in the early part of the century. He was a dealer for the Overtime Tractor company (known as the Waterloo Boy in the United States, the forerunner of John Deere). There were many brands of tractors with rear-mounted plows at that time, one as early as 1911. Ferguson was commissioned by the Irish government to improve farming systems. He had to have been aware of these other linkage systems.

Harry had a lot of inventions, and I agree he improved the three-point system with draft control and made it a workable system. The three point system was not new. What was new was "converging" three point lingage, draft control, rigid top link.

A patent does not have to be a brand new idea. Changes or improvements in an existing system can get you a patent. Harry Ferguson improved the three point system; he didn't invent it.

Iowa Guy

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11-16-2002 18:54:25

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 Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to interested person, 11-16-2002 17:55:28  
I feel silly posting this followup. Kind of like I have been drawn in. You have to be a real newbe or just surfing the web looking for the answer to your question. Well luck be yours for not asking a John Deere, Ford, or Allis sight this question. It was Harry Ferguson who invented the 3 pt. hitch, he also invented the everyday lynch pin we use.

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11-16-2002 20:41:22

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 Re: Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to Terry, 11-16-2002 18:54:25  
I agree Terry, a simple internet search will find the history of Harry Ferguson and the long list of his inventions. One of which is a 4WD formula 1 racer Sterling Moss won a race with.

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Iowa Guy

11-16-2002 20:16:09

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 Re: Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to Terry, 11-16-2002 18:54:25  
This will probably cause a storm. Harry Ferguson may have perfected the 3-point hitch with draft control. However, I don't think he invented the 3-point hitch. I have a tractor encyclopedia that shows several makes of tractors with rear-mounted equipment back before 1920, one as early as 1911. Some of these had various types of mechanical lifts. The Reed One-Man tractor advertised that with its detachable mounted plow it was able to get close to fences, back into corners, and could finish headlands; Ferguson later used similar advertising. I saw a tractor from the early 1920's at a local show that had a rear mounted plow with 3-point hitch, although one of the attachment points was a chain.

Ferguson gets the credit for draft control. I don't think he gets the credit for rear mounted equipment or the invention of the 3-point hitch. He perfected it and made it workable.

It appears that many manufacturers prior to 1920 tried rear-mounted equipment, apparently including some with various versions of three-point hitches. They must not have worked very well, because they seem to have fallen by the way until Ferguson came along and made it all work.

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Jim W

11-17-2002 06:32:29

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 Re: Re: Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to Iowa Guy, 11-16-2002 20:16:09  
Iowa guy,
Actually it was my own great grandfather who invented the three point hitch. He attached his horse with to his plough at three separate points. The horse couldn't lift the plough, but it could pull it very effectively, and since it was attached at three places, he's the inventor :)
Jim W

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Iowa Guy

11-17-2002 09:25:35

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to Jim W, 11-17-2002 06:32:29  
I should have expected as much. That often happens on these boards; someone disagrees and their only answer is to respond with sarcasm because they don't have any original thoughts of their own.

What I said was the idea of a 3-point attachment was not new. Did you see me attribute it to any one person? Maybe it was your Granddad. More power to him.

You still have to explain how Harry Ferguson invented the idea of a three-point attachment when it was already being used before his patents. If you have some explanations, I'll listen. If all you can do is answer with sarcasm, then I'll know you don't have any ideas.

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Jim W

11-17-2002 15:16:40

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to Iowa Guy, 11-17-2002 09:25:35  
Hey Iowa guy,
The smiley thing at the end of what I said was meant to show that it was a joke.
As it happens, I do not disagree with you, nor am I sarcastic, nor do I lack original thoughts. I am sure if we had been talking in person you would have understood me. Cheers,
Jim W

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11-16-2002 21:08:42

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 Re: Re: Re: Who Realy Invented The Three Point Hitch in reply to Iowa Guy, 11-16-2002 20:16:09  
Iowa Guy, This website will answer your questions too.

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