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Manitoba History No. 89
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No. 89

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Memorable Manitobans: Peter Pakosh (1911-1999)

Inventor, businessman.

Born at Canora, Saskatchewan on 11 June 1911, second-eldest of twelve children of Polish immigrants Emil and Claudia Pakosz, his father paid a cattle buyer $5 to take his son to Winnipeg where he pursued studies in engineering. After a short period as a tool designer for Massey-Harris in Toronto, in 1964 he founded the Versatile Manufacturing Company with his brother-in-law Roy Robinson. The business began with a grain auger and diversified into sprayers, swathers, tractors, and other farm equipment. By 1978, the Winnipeg-based firm had over 1,000 employees and more than $100 million in annual sales. The firm was the first to mass-produce articulated four-wheel-drive tractors. In 1993, he retired to Freeport, Bahamas where he died on 20 February 1999. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.

See also:

Versatile Tractors: A Farm Boy’s Dream by Jarrod W. Pakosh, Boston Mills Press, 2003.

Sources:

“Versatile Manufacturing Ltd.,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 1964, page 61.

“Farm boy helped found Versatile,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1999, page 19.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1999, page 37.

Versatile Tractors [www.versatile-tractors.com], The Internet Archive.

We thank Don Wadge for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 November 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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