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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Steel Wheels

Steel Wheels

David Parfitt's excellent and comprehensive tribute to pre-1930s tractors. The well-posed, high resolution photos i… [read review or visit site]

McCormick International Harvester Collection

McCormick International Harvester Collection

Farm and tractor collectors will appreciate this incredible trove of 30,000 images and documents on the Internation… [read review or visit site]

Antiquefarming.com

Antiquefarming.com

This antique tractor and farm machinery site is a great resource for researching brands like Deere, International H… [read review or visit site]

AntiqueTractors.com

AntiqueTractors.com

A great reference and community forum on antique tractors. Start with the 39-page master photo list, showing thousa… [read review or visit site]



Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1938 John Deere B Unstyled Antique Tractor No Reserve Farmall Nice TractorNo Reserve Nr 2wd International Harvester 656 Farmall Tractor Pto Rear Remote986 International Farmall Farm Tractor1927 John Deere Antique Tractor No Reserve Full Steel Dual Factory Pto Farmall1945 Farmall M With Paulson Loader (nice Tractor Sells With No Reserve)1944 Farmall M Antique Tractor Low Reserve International Harvester New Tires Farmall International Late Model Antique Tractor Wide Front Fits M Thru 4501944 International Harvester Farmall Model HFarmall Super C, Restored Tractor, Very Nice Condition, Parade ReadyAntique Tractor 1949 International Farmall Cub Farm TractorFarmall M Super M Mta H A B C 350 1206 806Farmall B886 International, Farmall, Farm TractorNice International Farmall 140 Cultivating TractorVintage Ih Farmall Fast-hitch Advertising Tractor Truck 12" Tin Ruler Morenci MiFarmall High Crop Hv Restored TractorOriginal H-m-super M-h Farmall Tractor Rear Wheel Fenders Ihc 300-smta-400Vintage Farmall M Tractor Carburetor No Reserve AntiqueVintage Farmall H Or Others Tractor Battery Box Used Good ConditionFarmall 706 Diesel For Parts Or Restore Ih Farm TractorCase Ih Farmall 45a 4x4Brio Sweden ( Lego Denmark ) Vintage 1950's Farmall Tractor Ultra Rare Item1950's International Td-6 Crawler Farmall 400 Md Diesel Tractor CarburetorVintage Farmall H Tractor Spring Ride Seat Ihc Sh M Sm Tractor Seat Assembly1950's International Td-6 Crawler Farmall 400 Md Diesel Tractor Set Of InjectorsVintage Farmall M Tractor Grill Bottom Insert Ihc M Piece Part IhOriginal C-super C Farmall Tractor Rear Wheel Fenders Ihc 230-super C-cFarmall, H, Distributor Assembly, Condenser, Tractor, H , M, Hot, Ih, (m)Original Oem Farmall H Cub Tractor 6volt Generator,1101355 Delco-remy W/regultorInternational Harvester Farmall HFarmall B Tractor SeatFarmall Ihc Fast Hitch Tractor Subsoiler Panbreaker Mta-400-450-460-560Tractor 3 Point Hitch Drawbar Hitch Part Ford Oliver Farmall Kubota 3 Pt HitchOriginal Cub-cub Lowboy Farmall Tractor Rims & Tires 400 X 12 Ihc Cub Lowboy-cub1950's International Td-6 Crawler Farmall 400 Diesel Tractor Magneto A B C H M +Farmall H Rear Tractor Rim 38" With Tire In Good ConditionVintage Farmall H Tractor - Grille & EmblemCub Farmall Tractor Draw BarFarmall B Tractor Seat Support BracketFarmall B Tractor FendersFarmall H Tractor Hydraulic Remote Hose An Coupler Rear Hydraulic Setup For H MTractor 1939 Model A Farmall1950's International Td-6 Crawler Farmall 400 Diesel Tractor GeneratorRed Farmall String Tractor LightsOld Farmall International Harvester Tractor Full Matchbook Exc Condition Original Cub Lowboy-cub Farmall Tractor Engine Governor Ihc Cub-cub Lowboy1950's International Td-6 Crawler Farmall 400 Md Diesel Tractor Valve AssemblyVintage Farmall H Tractor Hydraulic Pump Coupler Drive Part Ih Belly Pump DriveVintage Farmall H M Sh Sm W4 Tractor Oil Pressure Gauge Ihc Oil Pressure GaugeFarmall B Tractor Narrow Front End With Radiator Farmall B Tractor Oil Pan1950's International Td-6 Crawler Farmall 400 Diesel Tractor Starting Gas TankVintage Farmall Regular F20 Tractor Engine Oil Pressure Gauge Part Ihc Oil GaugeInternational Farmall Model M Tractor - Water Pump And Fan Assembly - Ih Farmall B Tractor Front Rim & TireVintage Farmall M Tractor Aircleaner Carburetor Intake Pipe Part Ihc PartInternational Farmall Model M Tractor - Instrument Panel / Gauge Panel - Ih 1 Ihc Farmall Tractor Brake Band Valu Bilt #11126-095 Nos Unused CheapInternational Farmall 140 Tractor

Recent News: Farmall Tractors

Source: Google News

Auction Calendar
Farmers Advance, September 17th

Trucks, car, farm equipment, trailers, tools, coins, car port. For Info: Mark Oberly Auctioneer 734-279-2233 (08/20). ONLINE ONLY. LESLIE, MI. Farmall tractors collection. For Info: Sheridan Realty & Auction Co. 517-676-9800 (09/03, 09/17)...Read more

Antique tractor run held
Journal Pioneer, September 15th

Tractor owners who live close by drove their tractors to the clubhouse and home again afterwards while many floated them to the start-finish site on trailers. Pride in their machines was apparent. Eric Shaw of O'Leary drove his Farmall tractor in the...Read more

Terryville teen collects, restores antique tractors
Bristol Press, September 14th

Kyle's second tractor acquisition came a few years later when he won a 1943 Farmall H on a raffle ticket bought at the Terryville Fair. At that point his grandparents, Ronald and Joan Trafford of Bristol, went out and bought a trailer to tow the...Read more

Tractor parade signals start of 2014 farm-to-fork festivities
Merced Sun-Star, September 12th

Onlookers at the event that signaled the start of Sacramento's second annual celebration as “America's Farm-to-Fork Capital” stopped and smiled and waved, snapping photos with their phones as the tractor drivers – some of them farmers, others avid...Read more

Restoration project helps New Richland teen heal
Southernminn.com, September 9th

Flies buzzed around Dylan Johnson's rusty old Farmall tractor as the wind swept the tall grass against the flat tires. The stagnant machine soon lit a spark of memories as a New Richland teen's project to rebuild his friend's old tractor not only...Read more

S.C.R.A.P. celebrates antique tractors, engines
Fremont News Messenger, August 31st

GIBSONBURG – George Miller Jr. took his family's 1941 McCormick Farmall tractor out for a spin Sunday, as he and several other competitors brought their antique tractors and engines to the annual Sandusky County Restorers of Antique Power's show at ...Read more

Father, son cultivate love of tractors, farm heritage
Indiana Gazette, August 28th

Jared's tractor is a 1945 International Harvester Farmall M, or “The old M” for short. The previous owner had used a cheap paint on it at some point, Jared said, and it looks old and faded. But it finished sixth out of 25 in its class during the...Read more

Riders share interest in Farmall red
Mason City Globe Gazette, August 13th

Kevin Thompson has a Farmall H tractor while Marlen Hanson has a Farmall Super M tractor. Both Forest City men were participants on the Forest City Chamber of Commerce and Heritage Park of North Iowa tractor ride on Saturday. The two tractors are red ...Read more