OTD: Canadian entrepreneur signs deal with Ford

On today’s date in 1904, Canadian entrepreneur Gordon McGregor, owner of the Walkerville Wagon Works near Windsor, Ont., signed an agreement with Henry Ford’s Detroit company to establish the Ford Motor Company of Canada.

McGregor was convinced Canadian farmers, of which there were many at the beginning of the 20th century, would soon begin driving automobiles. After inking the deal, the Ford Motor Company of Canada began manufacturing and selling Ford automobiles across the country and all parts of the British Empire (except Great Britain and Ireland). More than 100 cars were built by 17 employees in the first year after McGregor’s Wagon Works was converted into a Ford Model C assembly line that produced two cars daily; the first cars rolled out by the end of September.

In 1993, Canada Post featured Ford’s famous Model T on a 49-cent multi-coloured stamp (Scott #1490) as part of its Historic Land Vehicles 1 series. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on Coated Papers Limited paper, the stamp depicts an illustration of the Model T beneath the word “CANADA” and above the words “FORD MODEL T / OPEN TOURING CAR / MODELE T DE FORD / VOITURE DECAPOTABLE”. Inscribed to the right is the Model T’s release date, 1914, which is a decade after McGregor first signed the agreement with Ford to establish the Ford Motor Company of Canada.

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