Great American Tractors .com

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McCormick / International Harvester / Farmall

In Virginia in 1830 and 1831 inventor Cyrus Hall McCormick finalize the design of his horse-drawn reaper and started demonstrating it to nearby farmers. In 1834, he got a patent, and in 1847, he and his brother Leander moved to Chicago to start a manufacturing plant that would become the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in 1879.0

1n 1885, Cyrus McCormick died from a stroke at the age of 75. His son Cyrus Jr. took over and led the company through a number of successful years.

In 1902 The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company merged with the Deering Harvester Company and three smaller farm equipment makers to form the International Harvester Company.

In the 1920's IHC produced gas-powered tractors using the brand name McCormick Deering. In 1924, to beef up its competition with Fordson tractors, International Harvester introduced the Formall brand.

in 1928 International Harvester introduced its TracTracTor brand of crawler tractors for work in softer soil. However, crawlers never became a significant percentage of the company's production or of the tractor market in general. Crawlers became huge, of course, in construction and road work, but that market became the focus of Caterpillar.

In 1932, the company introduce diesel tractors. To deal with the difficulty of getting a diesel engine to start, these tractors could be started with gasoline before switching over to diesel.

In 1937 or 1938, industrial designer Raymond Lowey joined the company to modernize the design of the Formall with designs for models A, B, C, H, and M, which proved to be very popular. International Harvester at this point was mounting serious competition to Ford and Deere.
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in 1939, photographer Russell Lee, on general assignment for the Farm Security Administration photographed a large sign in a Brownwood, Texas tractor dealership window. The image above is a crop of that sign.
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Farmall at work in Arkansas, 1938. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Click on image to enlarge.
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A Farm Security Farmall tractor shared in a 5-family coop. Gem County Idaho, October 1939. Photo by Dorothea Lange.Click on image to enlarge.
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McCormick Deering TracTracTor crawler tractor pulls combination bean planter and fertilizer near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, April, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Walcott. Click on image to enlarge.
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TracTracTor pulls 5 tons of rollers that tear up the ground for planting, fire trails and road building. Florida Land Use Project, 1937. Photo by Arthur Rothstein.
Click on image to enlarge.


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