Monday, March 30, 2015

Massey/Anderson

 Repurposed farm equipment factory, Newcastle

Some buildings are built so well that they reincarnate more than once, which is not always the case in North America where builders tend to tear down structures to construct new ones.

In 1849, two years after an Ontario farmer named Massey began making labour-saving ploughs and agricultural tools in his farm workshop, he moved his business a mile or so north to the town of Newcastle. The wheat market was expanding and Massey recognized an opportunity.

Sadly the original foundry burned down in 1864, but Massey quickly built a replacement on the same land. The photo above is of that building.

Massey, his sons and later his grandsons were astute businessmen, promoting their machinery across North America and Europe. When the Massey harvester won the grand prize at the 1896 Paris National Exhibition, the company began exporting their products worldwide. In 1953, the company merged with another company to become Massey Ferguson. (I bet all you farmers have heard of that name!)

J. Anderson Smith

By 1879, the company had moved to Toronto. But in 1910 J. Anderson Smith bought the abandoned building and turned it into a factory for making containers for ammunition, which later morphed into a factory for making jewellery boxes.



The Massey Building has morphed again! The ground floor has been renovated for commercial use and there are apartments on the second and third floor.


Added later in answer to Pamela's question: the company's first name change was to Massey-Harris, then Massey-Harris-Ferguson and later shortened to Massey Ferguson. :)

More photos from Our World can be seen by clicking HERE.

45 comments:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Well I learned something!!

Tulsa's warehouse district has a bunch of stout brick buildings that have been repurposed into bars, restaurants, condos, art galleries, and museums. I love to see that kind of redevelopment.

".E." Lizard Breath Speaks, It's Beth said...

i always enjoy when you see writing like this on building ... i am guessing they just recycled the bricks. because the certain building is no long there. very cool. have a great week!! ( :

Sandra said...

it is a wonderful old building and I am glad it has kept on morphing.. i would love to live in it.. i like the black doors and trim around the windows in the first photo. that is the way i color, outlining things in black.

eileeninmd said...

It is a beautiful brick building. I am glad it has had been repurposed..Great post! Have a happy Monday!

Pamela Gordon said...

That is a beautiful building and it's very nice to see that it is still in use today but in a different way. There was also Massey Harris wasn't there? I'm not sure who the Harris was but I was aware of that name growing up as it's my maiden name. I guess I thought it was a relative. :)

Kathy said...

In this area it we have a lot of old buildings in downtown areas that have apartments on the second floor. I always thought it would be fun to look out the windows and watch the townspeople going by.

see you there! said...

What a great building with an interesting history. Glad it is still in use. As you say, so many old buildings are torn down.

Darla

Karen S. said...

Lovely old building, it shall have a very long life, even if it changes business, it shall stand strong and proud.

Debbie said...

so pretty, i love the color and age of the brick!!!

Fotolosopher said...

Yes, although not a farmer at the moment, I've known the name Massey-Ferguson for years. An interesting tale you tell and I'm glad the building has been once again repurposed. Not sure I'd want to live there but then again I haven't seen the interior.

William Kendall said...

A beautiful building. I've lived around farms long enough to know the company name quite well.

Sharon Anck said...

I don't come from a farming family but even I've heard of Massey Ferguson. Wonderful history.

Small City Scenes said...

Great information--Love it. Wonderful building too.
Bob's tractor is a 1950 Ferguson built just before the companies merged. Wow more history.
MB

ladyfi said...

I love the brickwork!

Judy said...

What a great history lesson! And a great old building too. I love those old ghost signs.

TexWisGirl said...

glad that building keeps on going strong! MF is a very familiar name. :)

Mary Hone said...

I love seeing old buildings re-used instead of torn down.

RedPat said...

It's a great old building, EG! The Massey-Ferguson complex was huge in downtown Toronto but all the factory buildings on King St have now been replaced with condos. The head office building has been saved and converted to condos.

Penelope Puddlisms said...

I have a great deal of respect for those who preserve and reallocate the purpose of such wonderful buildings as the one you have pictured. The people who came before to build communities and create jobs need remembering. Massey is a great name in my part of the world too and I wonder if there is a family connection. The George Massey Tunnel gets people into Vancouver from outer regions and is scheduled to be replaced after being a key part of the transportation system since the 60s. There is also Raymond Massey the actor!

Sylvia K said...

Massey Ferguson is a familiar name to me -- not exactly sure why, but then it's still early this morning and my brain is only half functioning!! Great post and photos for the day as always! Hope you have a beautiful new week!!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Love those old brick buildings - wish more had been saved.

VP said...

I am always fascinated by brickwork...

Ginny said...

It is a nice and strong building for sure! And I like all the windows. What an empire he created!

cieldequimper said...

Even without being a farmer, I was wondering when Ferguson would pop up next to Massey in your caption! The buildings are lovely!

Margaret Adamson said...

A beautifu.l old building and I am glad it still morphng

Halcyon said...

I love these old buildings. The bricks are fantastic!

CountryMum said...

Massey Ferguson is a very familiar name to me. For as long as I can remember we have always had some piece of MF equipment on farm. A fascinating post.

Ruth Hiebert said...

That is very interesting information. I am quite sure that the original people would not have dreamt that their building would house such different tenants throughout the years.

Montanagirl said...

Nice post! I grew up on a farm/ranch, so I had definitely heard of Massey-Ferguson!

Bethany Carson said...

Intriguing history! Thanks for sharing. My folks are green tractor (John Deere) people, but I did enjoy this post.

Stephanie said...

A very beautiful old building, like the history behind it.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a wonderful post! They made buildings to last in those days!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I did not know those things. THanks for sharing.

Geoff Wilkinson said...

Wonderful story, so glad the building survived, there are far to many being torn down...

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

we have a Massey university here.

Photo Cache said...

I am for repurposing of old buildings rather than tearing them down and build new ones.

Felicia said...

its a beautiful building. I bet the apts are neat to live in.

Joyful said...

It's a lovely building and I'm glad it has a new life :-) Happy Easter week.

Cloudia said...

ADORE great buildings like this, and especially knowing the real story. Great post. I like the fieldstone footing on the building below the red brick. Clever people who smartly filled real needs with great tools!


ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^=

Randy said...

That would be a nice place to live.

Jen Masssey napierdailyphoto.blogspot.co.nz said...

so neat when they can re use old buildings
I am a Massey however my ancestors came England

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Yup, even here in Oz Massey Ferguson is well known EG. How wonderful that this old building is still in good use, love a story with a happy ending.

Anvilcloud said...

Good job on this post. It is quite interesting.

Mari said...

I have a thing for old buildings no matter what thry were used for before. It's the history that it holds. It's good to hear that it's existence didn't stop.

carol l mckenna said...

It is so wonderful when old buildings are revitalized! ~ Great shots!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.