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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Riding the combineNortheast Arkansas Town Crier (blog), March 11th
They were pulled behind a larger tractor. Allis-Chalmers made a combine, sort of orange in color that became popular in our community. Then the Case and Farmall companies made one also. The Allis-Chalmers had a sickle bar and an elevated canvas roller ...Read more
Exhibits galore, bargains for allMarlborough Express, March 10th
She says many of the old favourites of entertainment are returning, such as the tractor pulling events, and the Taste of Central Districts food and beverage tent along with some new attractions which will appeal to farmers and townies alike. "The...Read more
Best day off the farmStuff.co.nz, March 9th
Best day off the farm all year is back. SONITA A variety of competitions including the Norwood Farm Machinery Centre Tractor Pull Competition, Husqvarna Woodchopping and National Excavator will be sure to provide plenty of entertainment for the crowd...Read more
Birkey's celebrating 60 years of businessSaukvalley, March 7th
Prophetstown, Lyndon, Tampico FFA member Maggie Kelly sits near a restored Farmall tractor being raffled off Thursday by Birkey's in Prophetstown. The tractor company, which also has stores in Polo, Galesburg and other cities, is celebrating its 60th ...Read more
Industrial team restores vintage tractor for Victoria Livestock ShowVictoria Advocate, February 22nd
Ardy Tiner, 30, and Aaron De Los Santos, 17, restore a 1946 Farmall B tractor for the 2014 Victoria Livestock Show. TIner is the agriculture teacher at Industrial High School. This is the first year that Aaron has competed in the Agricultural Mechanics...Read more
Tractor tributeAllied News, February 14th
Conner Powell was at the head of the tractor parade by driving his Uncle Jack's Farmall with the trailer that carried Kline in a wooden casket. "It's exactly what he wanted," said Judy McQuiston, Kline's mother, of Jackson Center. "A long time ago, he...Read more
Only in America: Tractor square dancingMother Nature Network, February 12th
The tradition was born in the 1950s as part of an advertising campaign by International Harvester to illustrate the quick hitching abilities of the company's Farmall Super-C tractor, according to Modern Farmer. During the next half-century, the art...Read more
Case IH Introduces Farmall V Series Tractors, Perfectly Sized for Vineyards ...PR Web (press release), February 10th
Case IH may be well-known for its high-horsepower tractor leadership, but it also understands the need for smaller, more nimble tractors that can go where large tractors cannot. Enter the Farmall® V tractor, designed specifically for the tighter spaces...Read more