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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Wheels, wheels, wheels move the world - COLUMNTimes 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 pastLongview 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 harvestGrainews, 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 ShowSalisbury 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 1206DesMoinesRegister.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 tractorDesMoinesRegister.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