An engineer and inventor, Harry Ferguson (1884 - 1960) is renowned for his role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor, and for becoming the first Irishman to build and fly his own aeroplane.
This self-guided trail links various sites relating to Ferguson's life and work, including the Harry Ferguson Memorial Garden, opposite the family homestead.
Ferguson was born at Growell, near Dromore, County Down. Having worked on the family farm then as a motor mechanic, Ferguson turned his talents to the area of powered flight, which was still in its infancy. By 1909, he had designed a monoplane and construction of it took place during that year. On December 31st 1909 Harry took off from Hillsborough Park, flying approximately 130 yards and, in doing so, he became the firstn Irishman to successfully build and fly his own aircraft.
In the late 1920s Harry had been carrying out experiments with the Fordson tractor. He had a hydraulic arrangement made for the Fordson F model (chiefly made by Willy Sands) and had some success with it. In 1933, Harry designed and produced a model of his own, the Black tractor, into which he built the revolutionary three-point linkage system with hydraulically operated depth control. This remarkable invention developed in 1928, for which Harry is best
known, was to transform farming around the world.
Download the Harry Ferguson Trail Leaflet: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/attachment.aspx?attachmentID=1560.