Author Topic: J B Ferguson Ltd  (Read 815 times)

Cutter

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J B Ferguson Ltd
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:06:57 PM »
Does anyone know what happened to Ferguson's garage at 76 Chichester Road (J B Ferguson Ltd)? I'm researching the history of Fergus Motors in its various iterations on both sides of the Atlantic from 1901 to the early 1970s. Harry Ferguson of tractor fame is very well known, but his brother, Joseph Bell Ferguson is not. He started his business in about 1903 and built a large showroom, service center, and coachbuilding works in Chichester Street in 1908. The business was thriving into the late 1930s and is listed in the Belfast Directory for 1943. The next directory I've found online is for 1951, however, and in it Nos. 75-81 are listed as "vacant."
Joseph had tried to manufacture a car in Belfast just before World War 1, but relocated that project to a new company in the USA in 1916. That company failed in 1922 but he had by then a wife, child, and home in New Jersey and seems to have worked both sides of the pond in the 20s and 30s. In 1940, however (perhaps because of the European war?), he set up a car dealership in New York City and that became the focus of his work for the rest of his life (even after retirement in 1955). I'm wondering if the war killed his Belfast business, and what if any business he had in Belfast after the war. Many thanks!

Newell66

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Re: J B Ferguson Ltd
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 11:06:05 PM »
Hi
My grandfather James Newell was  works manager at JB Fergusons in Belfast so I might have photos and information about JB Fergusons if it is still of interest to you.
Sorry for the delay following your post last year - but I randomly cane across you original post after a google search.
Clive

Cutter

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Re: J B Ferguson Ltd
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 03:06:22 PM »
Thank you Clive. I have learned a lot since my post. JB's showroom on Chichester Street probably closed soon after the much larger "Motor Depot" on Chichester Street opened in 1908. J B Ferguson moved out of the motor depot during World War2 (to another Chichester St address) and closed down c.1945.
I now know that J B Ferguson sold the business in 1921, by when he had married and settled in the USA. I have written a history of his business activities on both sides of the Atlantic. When was your grandfather works manager?

whalingstation

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Re: J B Ferguson Ltd
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2020, 09:57:15 AM »


Hi Cutter -
I'm an archivist in the Public Record Office (PRONI) and happened to be doing a little checking up on our sources (scanty) for the J.B. Ferguson business - when I noticed your posts and saw that you've completed a history of the business in Ireland and the States. Is the book available currently? There is an important archival project underway in the UK to list papers relating to aircraft design and manufacture and the group carrying it out were also keen to find out about the history. Have you done any talks about the business?
best wishes

Cutter

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Re: J B Ferguson Ltd
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2020, 11:22:33 AM »
My history of the car business has only been published in a very brief form. I am happy to share both long and short versions--a fascinating story.  Can't figure out how attach a document to this forum though and don't see an option to PM. I'm based in Massachusetts, so no talks in Belfast yet.