Is the Ferguson D-137-D Seed Drill a rebadged Dempster unit?
I guess you could call it that. This is another one of those implements Ferguson contracted to have built to their specifications. Actually all Ferguson implements were built by others. In some cases several companies made parts that were assembled into a Ferguson implement. In some cases they bought the whole implement from one company, adding some of their own details like special hitches. And in some cases the original builders name was part of the implement name while in others it was just displayed on the implement.
The Dempster D-137-D drill is one of those implements that kept the company name in the implement name. Other examples are the Belle City corn picker. In some cases Ferguson required the building company to do things like add Ferguson wheels, and use Ferguson bolts and nuts. That was the case with the corn picker and the drill. Ferguson added their version of the three point hitch controlled lift hitch to the Dempster drill. In the case of the Belle City corn picker they added hydraulic lift. In other cases the builders name appeared on the implement but was not part of the implement’s official name. Examples of this are the Covington terrace blade, Detroit Harvester farm mower, Detroit Harvester side mounted mower, and Roderick Lean disc.
Detroit Harvester also made parts of other Ferguson mowers and possibly other implements, but like other suppliers of parts of implements there is no recognition of their contribution in the form of any name plate on the implement though some of those mower parts have the DH logo on them.
Getting back to Dempster, Steve Bieberich visited the old Dempster drill factory, and described it as quite eerie. The plant closed, some time in the 1950’s, after the Ferguson merger with Massey Harris when Ferguson stopped buying grain drills from them. The plant closed and apparently everything was just left the way it was. The doors were closed, and it became a kind of time capsule. Steve said he looked in the windows and saw all the old tooling and assembly lines looking like they had just shut down for the day but apparently had been abandoned. I don’t recall if Steve said what had happened to the company but obviously it had closed years ago.
In addition to grain drills, Dempster may have supplied corn picker parts to Ferguson. Dempster produced implements under their own name as well. I believe the grain drill they produced did not have the Ferguson style lift hitch.