IT is a story steeped in Huddersfield history.
And now the first book of a trilogy encapsulating the life and times of Huddersfield firm David Brown has been published.
The David Brown Tractor Story Part One, by Stuart Gibbard, was launched yesterday at the Durker Roods Hotel in Meltham.
The hotel was once the family home of the firm's owner Sir David Brown.
Mr Gibbard, of Spalding in Lincolnshire, said: "I have been writing about tractors for 10 years so it was inevitable that I would write about David Brown.
"My interest is in history and personalities."
Former employees of David Brown and Sons - which later became David Brown Ltd - attended, as did members of the David Brown Tractor Club.
Many of them have contributed to Mr Gibbard's research for the book, published by Ipswich-based firm Old Pond.
Fred Meadowcroft, of Illingworth, worked at David Brown and Sons at Lockwood and Meltham for 17 years between 1936 and 1957.
He said: "I was very happy there. I think it is a good idea to have it all recorded and written down."
His wife, Constance, also worked at David Brown and Sons at Lockwood, dressing gears during World War Two.
She said: "There would have been no D-Day without us, because most of the other gear places had been bombed.
"The only memories we have are recorded in Stuart's book, which is very good."
Adam Brown, grandson of Sir David Brown, gave a speech at the launch, paying tribute to his grandfather's work and to the book.
He said: "The book is fantastic. It is one of the best I have read.
"It is very important to record history."
The book charts the history of the firm from its inception as David Brown and Sons in 1879 until 1948.
It describes how David Brown Snr established the firm as a gear manufacturers in 1879 at Chapel Street, Huddersfield.
Later, the business was moved to East Parade and then to Park Works at Lockwood in 1903.
His grandson - the better known David Brown - took over in 1932.
He continued the Lockwood gear making operations and opened a foundry site at Penistone in 1934.
In 1933, Harry Ferguson joined forces with David Brown and Sons to build tractors at Park Works.
A tractor manufacturing plant was later set up at Meltham.
Tractor-making was interrupted between 1939 and 1945, when the firm's gear operation was vital in Britain's Second World War effort.
Mr Brown continued to try out new ventures. He even bought the Aston Martin car firm in 1948.
David Brown and Sons expanded into a limited company. By 1970 it employed 17,000 people all over the UK and overseas.
The firm sold off all its operations by 1996.
The rest of the firm's history will be detailed in two further volumes over the next two years.
Mr Gibbard is conducting research and wants anyone with information to contact him on 01406 380740.