Book charts 66 year career of Massey Ferguson photographer

A new book has been published which charts 66 years in the history of Massey Ferguson through the lens of photographer, Ted Everett.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 9:00 am
2002 - Ted Everett pictured with the first and last tractors to be built at the Banner Lane plant.
2002 - Ted Everett pictured with the first and last tractors to be built at the Banner Lane plant.

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

He captured the products, the people and the events of the firm on camera throughout his long career.

He saw the merger of Coventry tractor maker Harry Ferguson Limited 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 the US-based AGCO took over the company in the mid-1990s.

My Life as a Photographer with Massey Ferguson by Ted Everett chronicles his 66-year career with the famous farm machinery brand

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

The new book is not only a superb archive of over 300 photographs but also a fascinating collection of anecdotes and memories told from Ted’s unique perspective.

The colloquial style conjures up an evening in the pub with him listening to his tales of life at Massey Ferguson over his favourite pint of John Smith’s.

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

One of Ted Everetts favourite pictures - an MF 600 tractor with snowy backdrop

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.

“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,” said Ted.

“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.”

The Banner Lane factory in Coventry in 1965  an MF 135 tractor comes off the production line

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

“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.

“I spent a lot of my time taking photographs in MF factories and here I’d highlight a picture showing the spectacular sparks and colours of the welding process which I took to illustrate the front cover of a health and safety leaflet.”

Ted Everett with a TE 20 in an early selfie from the 1950s. This shot was taken when he was experimenting with the camera timer. In this case, he set it to seven seconds to give him time to jump on board the tractor

“Although I’d had no intention of a career in photography, when Harry Ferguson Ltd offered me the job to start as an apprentice in the Audio-Visual Department at the age of 15 I decided to give it a go,” Ted remarkeds.

“I have never regretted my decision. I turned my hobby into a career and have had a wonderfully busy, interesting and creative life.”

r My Life as a Photographer with Massey Ferguson by Ted Everett is available from Amazon from November 25, priced at £25 plus postage and packing.