Alanson Harris

Alanson Harris, manufacturer (b near Ingersoll, UC 1 Apr 1816; d at Brantford, Ont 3 Oct 1894). A sawmill operator in Brant County, Harris bought a foundry in Beamsville in 1857 and began manufacturing farm implements. His firm prospered by aggressive marketing practices and by technological leadership secured through the acquisition of Canadian rights to American patents, and later through the development of its own machinery designs.

Massey Harris Advertisment
The chromolithograph (an innovation of the 1840s) helped make a once-expensive technology competitive with wood and steel engraving (photo by T.E. Moore/courtesy Varity Corp).

Alanson Harris

Alanson Harris, manufacturer (b near Ingersoll, UC 1 Apr 1816; d at Brantford, Ont 3 Oct 1894). A sawmill operator in Brant County, Harris bought a foundry in Beamsville in 1857 and began manufacturing farm implements. His firm prospered by aggressive marketing practices and by technological leadership secured through the acquisition of Canadian rights to American patents, and later through the development of its own machinery designs. In 1872 he moved to Brantford and in 1879 began marketing his products in western Canada. His firm, A. Harris, Son and Co Ltd, merged in 1891 with its major competitor, the Massey Manufacturing Co, to form Massey-Harris Co Ltd (later Massey-Ferguson Limited, now Varity Corp), Canada's largest farm-implement manufacturer.