Fairbanks Morse & Co.

With the invention of their platform scale in 1830, the Fairbanks firm soon grew into an international organization. Fairbanks-Morse was an early experimenter with gas tractors, but nothing practical emerged until 1910. The first model used a 25 horsepower engine. Canadian Fairbanks-Morse Company was far more aggressive in the tractor business than the American firm. Canadian production began in 1910 and ended five years later, but in the United States, they were only built from 1911 to 1914.

Manufacture Logo


Erastus and Thaddeus Fairbanks began a small-scale manufacturing business, The E. & T. Fairbanks Company, in the late 1820s. in 1850, Charles H. Morse entered into an apprenticeship with the Fairbanks firm. Morse was a go-getter and before long was placed in charge of a branch office of the Fairbanks Company. Using this as a springboard, he established the first office of Fairbanks, Morse & Company at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1865. About 893, Morse became interested in the Charter gas engine, and induced James A. Charter to move to Beloit, Wisconsin, and take charge of the gas engineering department. Within a few years, the Fairbanks-Morse engines were widely sold and used. Tractor sales ended in the year 1918, and Fairbanks-Morse went on building gas engines, diesel generators, and other machinery. Today the company operates as a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, a private investment firm.


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