Photo from Stephen's Ferguson Tractor Site
Harry Ferguson, chairman of the board of Harry Ferguson, Inc., Dearborn; and of Harry Ferguson (Motors) Ltd, Ireland, wasn't always in the farm tractor business.
He begins flying at Belfast, Ireland, and solos December 31, 1909 at Hillsborough, County Down, in a Ferguson monoplane, at the early age of 25 (born November 4, 1884, County Down, Ulster).
He has his ups and downs in the flying project, for the newspapers of October 12, 1910, tell of a fall and a wreck. He is not entirely downed, hovever, for the papers report the 1911 "mid-air maneuvers at Magilligan Sands" where Ferguson is visited by no less than the well-known British air engineer T. W. K. Clarke.
And Grey takes note of the Ferguson exploits in The Aeroplane that fall describing and illustrating the machine which generally resembles the Antoinette of 1910, except for the addition of a third wheel in front, and carries two on a J. A. P. 35 h.p. engine. The article hopes Ferguson will find "sufficient financial support to devote himself entirely to aviation" which is a nice wish, anyway you look at it.
He enters for the 1912 Grand Prix in France but sustains another accident and it is surmised he does not compete.
A British correspondent in 1910 says "There is only one British subject born and bred who has designed, built with his own hands, and has actually flown on a power-driven machine heavier than the atmosphere."
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
There are several references to Harry on the internet.
Perhaps one of the most interesting may be found
by clicking on:
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper