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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Ferguson sees much-needed calm as guard pulls outDuluth News Tribune, August 22nd
For the second night running, it was relatively calm on the streets of Ferguson, as local clergy and civic leaders kept protests peaceful and orderly. Police made isolated arrests, but nothing like the numbers of previous nights when police and...Read more
Expo in New Boston features antique tractors, family funcabinet.com/cp/merrimackjournal, August 21st
An addition this year will be machines from International, Farmall and McCormick-Deering. Bob Hayden, a Hollis resident who has been a board member of the Hillsborough County Youth Center Foundation since 1994, said the property serves as a host ...Read more
Obama condemns killers of American journalist, pledges vigilance in protecting ...Duluth News Tribune, August 20th
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday (August 20) condemned the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. air strikes in Iraq, and put out a stern warning to Islamic State militants. "The United States of America will continue...Read more
Cameron Mitchell's The Barn opening Sept. 17ThisWeekNews, August 20th
A bourbon-centric bar will feature 50 popular bourbons, including the restaurant's own Woodford Reserve Blend. Middleton said the 1947 Farmall tractor formerly suspended from the ceiling of the 8,000-square-foot restaurant would be incorporated outside...Read more
Area student restores grandfather's tractorFarm Talk, August 19th
An area high school student with a passion for restoring antique tractors recently completed his restoration of his grandfather's Farmall M tractor. Jon Zimmerman, a Girard, Kan., high school junior, decided he was tired of the tractor sitting behind a...Read more
Around 100 gather at Blumenauer Farm in Manchester for threshing partyHeritage Newspapers, August 14th
It was belt driven with a Case tractor. There was also a stationary baler from the Ann Arbor Implement Dealer that was belt-driven by a Farmall W-4. Several other tractors were used in the activities with the new equipment used by the farm framing the...Read more
Riders share interest in Farmall redMason 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
Tractor size needs to match crops, landFarm and Ranch Guide, August 5th
The Farmall V tractor is designed to get in and around vines and low-hanging tree branches, make tight turns and run at the perfect speed for spraying or dusting crops. The tractor also has a lower center of gravity, so it performs well on steep...Read more