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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CNH Industrial Second Quarter Revenues Of $8.9 Billion, Net Income Of $358 ...MarketWatch, July 31st
Worldwide agricultural equipment industry unit sales were down during the second quarter of 2014, with global demand for tractors and combines down approximately 12%. In NAFTA, tractor demand was up 1%, with the under 40 hp segment up 4% and the ...Read more
New England John Deere Tractor Expo features antique tractors, family fun, in ...Cabinet.com, July 31st
Food, vendors, games for kids, exhibits, a scavenger hunt, demonstrations and opportunities for camping offer something for everyone. The addition this year of machines from International, Farmall and McCormick-Deering is expected to delight enthusiasts...Read more
Farm history takes center stage in Franklin GroveSaukvalley, July 30th
Don Hopper (left) and Matt Shaw unload their tractors Wednesday morning at the Living History Antique Equipment Association's grounds near Franklin Grove. For the 34th time, the club will host a tractor and equipment show Saturday and Sunday at 1674...Read more
Looking back to 1938 gives a glimpse into the pastFarm and Dairy, July 30th
comes this glimpse of farming in July of 1938 (I was almost five years old), as recorded in the pages of Successful Farming magazine. On the cover is a color photograph of a straw-hatted and bib overall clad farmer in front of his Farmall F-20...Read more
2 from Floyd County named as finalists for Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer ...Rome News-Tribune, July 30th
The state runners-up will each receive $350 from SunTrust Bank. The national winner will receive a new heavy-duty pickup from General Motors. The three finalists in the national contest will each receive a Case IH Farmall 55A tractor, a $2,500 cash...Read more
Callaway tractor pull a family affairFulton Sun, July 30th
Shawn Smart of Tebbetts was also competing in the tractor pull with an antique McCormick Farmall he pulled from his great uncle's barn about four years ago. A plate on the side of the tractor reads “In Memory of Wilson S. Smart 11-11-1916 - 12-27-2009.”...Read more
Tractor size needs to match crops, landIowa Farmer Today, July 20th
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
Tractor calls to big birdPort Huron Times Herald, July 16th
Whenever Dove starts one of his tractors — either the red Farmall or the green John Deere — Turkey jumps up on the front and begins a loud and raucous clucking. “The stupid thing gets right up with me,” Dove said. “He's the craziest bird I've ever seen...Read more