Sunshine Harvester Works
Devonshire Rd, Sunshine
The Sunshine harvester was developed and constructed between 1894 - 1904. McKay moved his factory from Ballarat to Braybrook Junction in 1906 taking over the Braybrook Implement Works. Soon afterwards Braybrook Junction was renamed to Sunshine, after H.V. McKay's famous "Sunshine Harvester".
By the end of 1910 there were over 1600 people working at the factory. It was one of Australia's largest manufacturing factories and was supplying harvesters around the world.
The factory did experience a number of industrial relations issues including the 1907 "Harvester Judgement" that set "Fair & Reasonable Wage" for Australian workers and the 1911 thirteen week strike.
In 1927, H.V. McKay died and his brother Samuel "Sam" became the company's managing director. He was followed by David Buchan Ferguson, a long time company employee.
In 1930, the company signed a contract with the Canadian company Massey - Harris and through this merger the company became known as H.V. McKay Massey - Harris Pty Ltd.
By end of the 1930's the company was employing over 2,500 people with over 14 hectares of buildings on a site of 30 hectares. H.V. McKay's son Cecil became the company's managing director in 1937 and chairman in 1947.
The McKay family sold all it's interest in the business and the factory became known as Massey - Harris - Ferguson.
By 1955, it was known as Massey Ferguson (Australia) Ltd. Soon afterwards the show rooms were cleaned of all the old machinery with much of it being dumped in the old quarry where the Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre now stands.
Massey Ferguson built the current clock tower which replaced the old tower built by H.V. McKay.
Massey Ferguson continued manufacturing at the site until 1989. The site was then closed and it's remaining operations moved to James Crt Tottenham.
In 1992. the site was demolished except the 1924 bulk store and the office blocks on the south side of Devonshire Rd.
In 1993, the American agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO purchased the distribution rights of Massey Ferguson and the company's name was changed to AGCO. The James Crt Tottenham site has since been closed.
Ref: Sunshine Harvester Works H.V. McKay An Aricultural Icon by Ken Arnold.