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Artifact no.
Mortson's/Massey-Harris Farm Equipment
Beynon, G.M.
Manufacturer Location
Richmond hill, Ontario, Canada
Manufactured Date
Between 1940 - 1950
Context Function
An advertising sign used by a distributor of agricultural and domestic equipment.
Context Technical
An example of a agricultural equipment retailer's sign. The number of lines listed on this Morton's sign is an excellent representation of the state of the business of selling farm equipment in Canada in the 1940's, in which it was necessary to carry as many lines as possible in order to maintain one's market share. In Ontario, rural electrification meant that by the 1940's it was quite profitable to carry electrical equipment such as that manufactured by Beatty Brothers for use in the barn and home. Unlike many barn equipment suppliers, Beatty Brothers branched out to sell everything from washing machines to churns, again to ensure that all important market share. In addition to selling farm equipment produced by a firm such as Massey-Harris, the rise of market-garden activity to serve Toronto customers made it also worthwhile to carry small garden tractors such as those built by Empire. Although they faces stiff competition from Canadian General Electric, Kelvinator refrigerators were heavily marketed in Canada and in agricultural publications such as the Farmer's Advocate.
Context Canada
An item from a collection of agricultural equipment belonging to Mr. Harley Horner. Mr Horner was a dairy farmer northeast of Toronto whose farm was purchased in the 1960's or 1970's by developers of what is now eastern Richmond Hill. He moved to the country further northeast near Lake Scugog. The artifacts in this lot were either used by Mr. Horner on his own farm or acquired for his own collection at sales in the Richmond area. This sign was used by a Canadian retailer to advertise some of its product lines, several of which were made by such Canadian companies as Massey-Harris, Beatty Brothers and Empire Garden Tractors. Morton's were in business in Richmond Hill from approximately 1890 to the late 1960's. This wooden sign was painted by Benyan Signs of Richmond Hill (another firm which no longer exists). A staff member for the auction of Mr. Horner's equipment mentioned that Mortson's was a major landmark on the main street of Richmond Hill die to its huge showroom with a window capable of accommodating a tractor.
wood with metal hardware
Number of Parts
Artifact Finish
blue painted sign
Artifact Markings
gold lettering with white outlining and red shadowing reads ‘MORTSONS'; gold lettering with black and blue lettering reads ‘MASSEY-HARRIS FARM EQUIPMENT/ BEATTY HOME APPLIANCES/ PRESSURE SYSTEMS . KELVINATOR REFRIGERATORS/ EMPIRE GARDEN TRACTORS'; gold lettering reading ‘G.M.BEYNON ~ SIGNS ~ RICHMOND HILL'
Artifact Decoration
half round white painted wood edging
Artifact Missing
appears complete
Group 1
Category 1
Subcategory 1
228.8 cm
1.5 cm