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 3,000-image exhibition on the International Harvester C… [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    

1953 Farmall Super C Antique Tractor No Reserve Fenders Fasthitch International1959 Ih Farmall 460 Tractor - New Rubber! - No Reserve!1947 International Farmall Cub Tractor. Antique, Collectible, ClassicIh Farmall 966Farmall M With Live Hydraulics1945 Farmall A TractorGood Running 1960 Cub Farmall No ReserveFarmall Cub Tractor For SaleIh Farmall H (a B C M Mta Hv Mdv Mv Cub) Tractor Rim & 12.4 X 38 Inch TireVintage Farm Tractor Farmall 400 & Mower Speccast High Detail 1/16 Nib Box IhOriginal H-m-super H-m Farmall Tractor Wheel Fenders Ihc Smta-300-400L853 Vintage Old Ihc 11858 Da Water Pump Wrench Farmall M Tractor & Others Farmall Md TractorVintage 400 Ih Ihc Farmall Tractor Behlen Power Steering Valve Gear Pump55Original Antique Vintage Farmall A B C Super Tractor Flat Belt Pto PulleyVintage Farm Tractor Farmall 300 Gas Speccast High Detail 1/16 Nib Box IhVintage Farm Tractor International Farmall 544 Blue Box 1/16 Nib Box Ertl Vintage 400 Ih Ihc Farmall Tractor Carburetor, M, 450 55Farmall Tractor A B C Super A Sc 100 130 140 200 Ihc Zenith Carb CarburetorFarmall 45 International Farmall Tractor Carburetor Brass Regular 10-20 15-30 & More WowVintage Farmall Tractor Lights (pair)Farmall Tractor F-12,f-14 Rebuilt Magneto (guarantee)Farmall 450 Electrall Tractor Lt Ed 1108/4000 Mccormick Firestone Ag Tractor NrVintage Mccormick Deering Farmall A The One Row Tractor With Culti-vision International Farmall Ih 66 Series Tractor Shift Linkage Parts 1066 1466 966 WowVintage Farmall H Sh M Sm Smta Md 300 350 400 Tractor Fenders Ihc Set ExtensionsVintage International Harvester Farmall Farm Tractor A B C Air Cleaner Part H-m-300-400 Farmall Tractor Fiber Belt Pulley Ihc Smta-super M-hFarmall F-20, Brake Cable Assembly, Springs, F12, F14, F-20, Ih, Tractor, (m)Vintage 400 Ih Ihc Farmall Tractor Rear Light Bracket 55Farmall 504 H M Sh Sm B C A Bn Cub Tractor Front Working 6v Head Light LightsVintage 400 Ih Ihc Farmall Tractor Brake Set Lever 55Farmall A B C 130 200 Tractor Original 55398da Pto Shield 436 No Reserve!Vintage 400 Ih Ihc Farmall Tractor Starter 55Nice Original Antique Farmall F20 F30 Tractor CarburetorOld Antique Ihc International Harvester Farmall C Tractor 350370r1 Wrench ToolOld Vintage Ih Mccormick Farmall Tractor Matchbook Cover Blissfield,michigan Nos Ih Farmall Tractor 560 706 806 300 340 606? Speed Range&release Lever LotFarmall Tractor 400, 450, 560 Wheel Axle Wedge Locks U Bolt PairVintage 400 Ih Ihc Farmall Tractor Air Filter Pre Cleaner Complete 55Old Ih International Harvester Mccormick-deering Farmall Tractor Matchbook CoverInternational Harvester 450 Farmall Tractor 87th Pa Farm ShowIh 914 Pull Combine+seedbed Tillage Farmall 856 2+2 5488 4586 Tractor BrochuresStep Ahead ~ Vintage International Harvester Farmall 560 Tractor Magazine Ad!Smooth ~ Vintage International Harvester Farmall 560 Tractor Magazine Ad!Famous ~ Vintage International Harvester Farmall Tractor Magazine Ad ~ NiceFarmall H Tractor On Off Switch

Recent News: Farmall Tractors

Source: Google News

Wheels, wheels, wheels move the world - COLUMN
Times Bulletin, April 19th

Tires are just a really important component on a farm and come in all sizes, from small ones on lawn mowers to huge tractor tires. When our ... Jeannine Roediger has lived on a family farm all her life, first as a farmer's daughter and now as a farmer...Read more

Tractor show offers glimpse of farming's past
Longview News-Journal, April 19th

People came from all over Northeast Texas on Friday to view the rows of antique John Deere, Case and International Farmall tractors displayed on the grounds of the Rusk County Youth Expo Center. Ronnie Lee and his wife, Susan, made the drive from ...Read more

The beauty of the harvest
Grainews, April 17th

Joe Pender also showed me a photo of a 1939 combine with a great story. It's a five-foot Allis Chalmers pto combine pulled by a Farmall M tractor. Joe still has that tractor and combine along with the original invoice and operator's manual. It only cut...Read more

Powerful past preserved at Antique Tractors and Trains Show
Salisbury Post, April 13th

Antique and unusual tractors from several clubs were on display at the Antique Tractors and Trains Show Saturday at the N.C. Transportation Museum. This vintage Oliver tractor and a Farmall tractor with planting attachments were on display through the ...Read more

Mythbusting local Burr Ridge history: The Famous Farmall, inventing an icon in ...
The Doings Weekly, April 9th

Today when we drive down Plainfield Road between County Line and Madison, look south: that stretch that is now homes and light industry was the birthplace of the one, the only, the McCormick-Deering Farmall tractor. That may not (at first) sound...Read more

Tractor guru seeks 'yahoo' who stole rare Farmall 1206
DesMoinesRegister.com, March 29th

Randy Hinton says he will not press charges if the thief who stole his 1965, 1206 International Harvester Farmall tractor will just bring it back. The owner of the Mason City Red Power Case IH dealership in Mason City is offering a $20,000 reward for...Read more

Coming Sunday: Collectors watch for stolen tractor
DesMoinesRegister.com, March 28th

The most prized machine in Hinton's vast collection, an immaculately restored 1965 International Harvester Farmall 1206, was stolen from his warehouse in Mason City. The thief or thieves bypassed rows of more expensive vehicles and obviously targeted...Read more

Ohio Farmall collector 'had good spark'
Farm and Dairy, March 27th

But McNaull did more than work for a tractor company — he also collected and restored dozens of the same kind of tractor he sold. When he died, his collection included a Farmall F-30, an F-20, an F-14, a Farmall Regular and three Farmall F-12s, as...Read more