Poll: What’s your favourite classic tractor brand?

The story of Massey Ferguson told through an archive of photographs spanning seven decades is the subject of a new book.

My Life as a Photographer with Massey Ferguson, by Ted Everett, charts 66 years in the history of the tractor manufacturer.

Starting with black and white photography with a bellows camera in the 1950s and progressing to the very latest digital technology, Mr Everett has taken thousands and thousands of shots covering virtually every Massey machine and model.

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The new book has an archive of more than 300 photographs, but also offers a fascinating collection of anecdotes and memories told from Mr Everett’s unique perspective.

 

“Over the years, a lot of people told me I should write a book about my experiences and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said.

“It took about 18 months to put it together and, in the end, I found it quite easy as the memories just came flooding back.”

Ted Everett with tractor

© Ted Everett

The pictures tell many stories too – from the development of manufacturing techniques over the decades, to the advances in farm machinery design and agricultural practices.

On a social level, there are insights into the changing workplace, culture and fashions. It reflects the massive transformations that have taken place in just one man’s lifetime.

Of all the thousands of photographs he has taken, Mr Everett can pick out several favourites.

© Ted Everett

“I like it when there’s a story attached to the picture,” he explained. “There’s a shot of a Ferguson TE 20 tractor with trailer taken in a Cotswold village, which is a particular favourite.

“I’m also very fond of a shot of an MF 600 tractor in a snow scene, and another of an MF 600 tractor pictured amidst a field of daffodils.”

Tractor in snow setting

© Ted Everett

Mr Everett was employed as a photographer for the Massey Ferguson farm machinery brand from 1952 to 2018.

Ted Everett on his book cover

© Ted Everett

He saw the merger of Coventry tractor maker Harry Ferguson with the Canadian harvesting equipment giant Massey-Harris in the early 1950s, and the birth of the brand name, Massey Ferguson, in 1958.

He was there, too, when US-based Agco took over the company in the mid-1990s.

  • · My Life as a Photographer with Massey Ferguson, by Ted Everett, is available from Amazon from 25 November 2019, priced at £25 plus post and packaging.