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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Recent News: Farmall Tractors
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Minnesota Farm Bureau Announces YF&R Contest WinnersMinnesota Farm Guide, November 27th
Three finalists will each receive $2,500 cash and $500 in STIHL merchandise and a Case IH Farmall tractor. Special thanks to our sponsors, General Motors, Case IH and STIHL, for their continued support of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers ...Read more
Hamlet Christmas tree lighting set for MondayRichmond County Daily Journal, November 26th
HAMLET OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Hamlet Avenue with Santa rides on his 1953 Farmall tractor, horse and wagon rides, DJ Jimmy Reece, balloon lady Dee Michaels, Pastor Jones Spiritual Group and many ...Read more
Blessings on Thanksgiving: Family, friends - and heirloom apple treesBluffton Today, November 24th
A red barn, a 1940 Farmall H tractor and an heirloom apple orchard are just a few of the amenities that make Thanksgiving special at the Towanda, Pa., farmhouse home (circa 1916) of Jim and Donna Conforti, my brother and sister-in-law. From Harry's...Read more
Photo Gallery: OC Farm Toy ShowThe Epoch Times, November 23rd
Besides the displays and vendor tables of toy farm equipment and other farm-themed toys, there was a peddle tractor pull for kids, a silent auction, demonstrations of hand-crank corn grinding machines, several life-sized tractors for kids to sit on...Read more
John E. MentzerThe Sentinel, November 22nd
He was a life member of the Friendship Hose Co., Newville and was a member of the Big Spring Fish & Game Association. John enjoyed hunting, woodworking and restoring items such as his antique Farmall Tractor and his 1978 Ford pickup truck. In addition ...Read more
Program looks at rise, fall of FarmallQuad City Times, November 10th
For decades, Farmall Works was a linchpin of local manufacturing with a peak employment near 5,000. Healthy wages sustained and educated families, some for generations, and had a ripple effect that was important for the entire Quad-Cities. The last...Read more
Livestock producers buoy utility tractor marketCattleNetwork.com, November 4th
“There has been an explosion of these mid-line utility tractors being purchased for hired hands to operate,” says Greg Lucey, marketing manager for Farmall Tractors at Case IH. “A lot of buyers are looking at economy models like our A Series because ...Read more
Final ride: Tractor enthusiast's last wish honoredThe Daily Times, October 31st
Gene Coleman tribute. A Farmall tractor blanket and spray of roses cover the casket of Gene Coleman, who died in September. His last wish was to have his final ride on a wagon pulled by a Farmall tractor. Gene Coleman's last ride. Contributed photo ...Read more