A handwritten draft of a letter, unknown author, regarding the merging of the business interests of the Massey-Harris Company Ltd. and H. V. McKay Pty. Ltd. Undated, but circa 1930.

Part of a collection of photographs, negatives, moving film, artefacts, documents and trade literature belonging to the H. V. McKay Sunshine Collection. The McKay collection is regarded as one of the most significant industrial heritage collections in Australia. The collection relates to the agricultural manufacturing firm, the Sunshine Harvester Works. The Australian operations of this company were originally founded by Hugh V. McKay in the 1890s in Ballarat. Between 1906 and 1907, McKay moved production to Sunshine where the firm became one of the largest industrial businesses in Australia. Change in ownership is a recurring theme in the company's history. In 1930, it merged with Massey-Harris to become H.V McKay Massey Harris. In the mid-1950s, the company was absorbed by Canadian agricultural firm Massey-Ferguson. Production in Sunshine ceased in the mid-1980s, following almost 100 years of manufacturing agricultural equipment.

Physical Description

One sheet of off-white paper. Handwritten text in grey pencil on one side only.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Old McKay Archive, H.V. McKay Sunshine Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Working Life & Trades, Sustainable Futures

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Mrs. Cecil Newton McKay (nee Shaw), University of Melbourne Archives (The)

  • Organisation Named

    Massey Harris Co Ltd

  • Organisation Named

    H.V. McKay Pty Ltd

  • Inscriptions

    Handwritten, ink: ' G 2.2 ' Handwritten, pencil: ' Mr T. Bradshaw, President & Managing Director of the Massey Harris Coy, arrived in Melbourne in the middle of August with the intention of establishing a factory here. His plans were completely altered after a visit to the Sunshine Harvester Works where negotiations were opened for the merging of the interests of H. V. McKay Pty Ltd & Massey Harris Ltd. / The combination is a particularly happy one, uniting as it does the two largest individual agricultural machinery mfgrs in the British Empire. The invention of the McKay Harvester in 1884 provided the foundation of the great enterprise which is established at Sunshine. The romantic rise of the business from a small beginning is well known throughout Australia. To this is brought all the wealth of experience of a world wide organisation which has enjoyed an honoured place in Australian commerce for upwards of 35 yrs. / The union of these two concerns will be hailed with pleasure by farmers (& in fact generally by the public of Australia), who will anticipate increased employment in the production of goods now not manufactured here, & shortly a considerable saving in cost to the farmer by reason of the economics which will obviously be effected. The proposal to establish another large factory here - taking all factors into consideration - was not viewed as economically sound, when the advantages to all concerned - the farmer, the employee & the Commonwealth as a whole - were weighed.'

  • Classification

    Manufacturing & industry, Agricultural & horticultural equipment, Correspondence

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    206 mm (Width), 261 mm (Height)

  • Keywords

    Agricultural Machinery, Manufacturing, Correspondence, Business Records, Handwriting