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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Gray Historical Series - Part XIII - Walter Ross, one ambitious sugar beet farmerCrookston Daily Times, March 27th
After 1918, I.H. came with tractors that had 3+4 plows and were only used for plowing. Walter's dad got the first Farmall row crop tractor in 1928. From then on mechanization took over and by 1940, most everything was done by tractor. According to...Read more
As Farming Changes, So Do the FarmersFarmer's Exchange, March 27th
To me, they were the two-cylinder John Deere and Farmall 450 generation. Over the ... They recalled fitting their tractors with a Heat Houser, a canvas that draped over the engine compartment that extended back around the tractor seat to protect the...Read more
Case IH updates the Maxxum and Farmall 100A Series tractorsGrainews, March 25th
Case IH marketing staff were eager to show off their updated Maxxum and Farmall 100A Series models at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky in mid February. This was one of the first public appearances for these tractors since they ...Read more
Red Tractor to open soonKiowa County Signal, March 25th
“This is the ideal community to open my own restaurant, Red Tractor. Based on my needs and research, I found this place has the most economic viability.” Barlow said the name of the restaurant came from his love of Farmall tractors.a. “It's an upscale ...Read more
Case IH offers midsize tractor upgrade, new Farmall modelsFarm Industry News (subscription), March 23rd
“These are basic, simple tractors,” says Denny Stroo, Case IH Farmall product manager. “This is a price point and feature level that's popular for the market.” In fact, as Farm Industry News talked with Stroo, a farmer listened in and later shared he...Read more
WANTED - Someone to restore 1951 Farmall tractorColumbus Telegram, March 17th
Copyright 2015 Columbus Telegram. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. View 0 Comments. PLACING AN AD. WANT ADS: 35¢ per word with $7.00 minimum; second consecutive and succeeding ...Read more
Tractors, trucks, trailers in South Jersey receive blessing for upcoming ...NJ.com, March 15th
On any other Sunday, it would appear to be just another church, but this particular morning was made special by the line of John Deere and Farmall tractors parked outside. For the first time in South Jersey, farmers, gardeners and landscapers had the ...Read more
Have You Ever Seen an International Harvester 826 Gold Demonstrator Before?San Angelo LIVE!, February 28th
In 1970, if you were an interested customer looking at purchasing the International Harvester Farmall 826, the dealer had a demonstrator tractor just for you. Painted gold on the hood of the engine, the purpose of the IH demonstration program was to ...Read more