Under the leadership of Cyrus McCormick and Charles Deering, the International Harvester Company was born from a merger between the McCormick Harvesting Machinery Company, Deering Harvester, and a few other companies in August 1902. In the coming decades, International Harvester began to compete with the Ford Motor Company in the tractor market.
In the 1910s and early ’20s, Bert Benjamin—one of International Harvester’s designers—began sizing up the competition and evaluating the weaknesses of Ford’s Fordson tractor. For one, the Fordson was too low to the ground, which prevented farmers from using it with corn and cotton after the crops were planted. Ford’s tractor was also difficult to maneuver.
With these flaws in mind, Benjamin designed International Harvester’s Farmall tractor, which was authorized for production in February 1924. The Farmall was a small, general-purpose tractor—the first of its kind to be successful.
Unlike Ford’s models, it had a high axle clearance. In an innovative twist, the Farmall had a tricycle-like design—two big wheels in the back and two small wheels right next to each other in the front. The Farmall also had automatic brakes on both back wheels, which could be operated separately. This feature, combined with the tricycle design, made the Farmall extremely maneuverable.
The Farmall also had a four-cylinder engine, with nine to 18 horsepower at 12000 rpm; the transmission had three speeds forward and one speed backward. The Farmall’s relatively small size made it effective for farmers with smaller farms. And from a stylistic standpoint, the Farmall was the first tractor to be produced in red, leading the transition away from what collectors today call the gray “unstyled tractors” of previous years.
To promote its product, International Harvester held competitions between the Farmall and the Fordson, which Farmall almost always won. In 1928, Ford threw in the towel and left International Harvester to dominate the tractor business.
Over the next several years, International Harvester released more models in its Farmall line. The original Farmall became the Farmall Regular, and the F-30 and F-20 were release...
Even as the Farmall line expanded, International Harvester produced accessories that were cross-compatible with all the Farmall models. One particularly handy accessory that helped the line gain and maintain popularity was the Quick Attach, a rapid-mounting system that allowed the farmer to quickly and easily adapt his tractor for a variety of purposes, like mowing a golf course.
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This Nebraska man has restored 27 John Deere antique tractorsOmaha World-Herald, January 31st
Sometimes Duaine Filsinger lucks into antique John Deere tractors to restore through a friend. That has been the case several times. One of these acquisitions is a John Deere 620 gas orchard tractor that Filsinger displayed at last weekend's Tractors...Read more
Tehama County Museum hosts 'Precision-over-power' vintage tractor gamesRed Bluff Daily News, January 31st
“This event puts a premium on precision handling of the tractor and anyone can try since we had extra tractors on hand.” It was a friendly competition involving mostly familiar names in light tractors such as Farmall A, Ford 8 or 9N, and John Deere...Read more
Amos Sidney AndersonWinona Daily News, January 30th
While there, he was one of the workers who cut down trees by hand with huge saws, probably explaining his incredible handshake. He also did lawn mowing and garden work, grave digging and snow plowing with his Farmall Cub tractor. Before World War II, ...Read more
Tractor stolen in AdairvilleNews-Democrat & Leader, January 26th
22, 2015, officers from the department responded to Trimble Road in Adairville after receiving a complaint about a stolen tractor. Upon their arrival, it was discovered that an early 1970s model International Farmall 140 tractor had been stolen from a...Read more
This vintage 1957 International Harvester tractor clears 2015's Winterstown snowYork Daily Record/Sunday News, January 26th
A recent snowy day in, yes, Winterstown, Pa., and Scott Hildebrand is at the helm of his vintage tractor - a 1957 Farmall 200. From York, Neb.'s Living History Farm comes this description of International Harvester and its Farmall line: 'International...Read more
10 favorite tractors ranked in farmer surveyBeef Magazine (blog), January 25th
In the December/January issue of Farm & Ranch Living magazine, writer Gary Alan Nelson compiled a top 10 list of all-time favorite tractors. The list is based on a farmer survey given to readers that included Farmall, Ford, John Deere, and Allis...Read more
Have tractors, will travelStatesboro Herald, January 19th
Through the International side, Case IH has historic brands such as McCormick harvesters and Farmall tractors in its lineage. Since that merger, the corporation has merged again, so that it's now under the same ownership as the New Holland brand and...Read more
Greene man survives farm tractor flipWCSH-TV, January 5th
State Police said 42-year-old Kenneth Bragdon was hauling trees on his property when trees he was dragging snagged and caused the 1953 Farmall tractor to flip. Bradgon was trapped under the tractor for more than two hours in 15 degree temperatures...Read more