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International Harvester Brand Overview
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
International Harvester, also known as IH, was a leading manufacturer of tractors in the United States during the 20th century. The company’s first tractor, the McCormick-Deering 10-20, was introduced in 1923 and was a huge success. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, IH continued to innovate and develop new tractor models, including the Farmall and the Super M.
In the 1950s and 1960s, IH faced increased competition from other tractor manufacturers, but continued to release popular models such as the 460, 560, and 706. In the 1970s, the company introduced the 86 series of tractors, which were praised for their durability and reliability.
International Harvester History
International Harvester (IH) was an American manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment, automobiles, commercial trucks, lawn and garden products, household equipment, and more. The company was founded in 1902 and was headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Over the years, IH became one of the leading manufacturers of tractors in the United States, and its legacy continues to live on today.
In the early 1900s, the agricultural industry was booming in the United States, and there was a growing demand for more efficient and powerful farm machinery. In 1902, several smaller agricultural equipment companies merged to form the International Harvester Company (IHC). The new company quickly became a major player in the agricultural machinery market and began producing a range of products, including harvesters, plows, seeders, and tractors.
IH’s first tractor, the McCormick-Deering 10-20, was introduced in 1923. It was a relatively small machine, but it was highly efficient and quickly became popular with farmers. IH continued to innovate and develop new tractor models throughout the 1930s and 1940s, including the Farmall and the Super M.
IH was known for its commitment to innovation and technological advancement. In the 1950s and 1960s, the company introduced several new tractor models that were praised for their durability, reliability, and versatility. The 460 and 560 tractors were both highly successful, and the 706 model, introduced in 1963, became one of the company’s most popular models.
IH also made significant contributions to the tractor industry through its research and development efforts. In the 1950s, the company developed the first diesel-powered tractor, which was much more efficient than the gasoline-powered models that were commonly used at the time. IH also pioneered the use of hydraulics in tractors, which made them easier to operate and more efficient.
In addition to its work in the tractor industry, IH also made significant contributions to the construction equipment and trucking industries. The company produced a range of products, including bulldozers, backhoes, and dump trucks, which were used in construction projects around the world.
Despite its many successes, IH faced increased competition from other tractor manufacturers in the 1970s. The company struggled financially, and in 1985, it filed for bankruptcy. The company’s assets were sold off to various buyers, and its tractor division was acquired by Case Corporation to form Case IH.
Today, Case IH continues to produce high-quality tractors, many of which can trace their lineage back to International Harvester’s pioneering designs. The company is known for its commitment to innovation, and its tractors are used by farmers and ranchers around the world.
International Harvester’s legacy lives on not only through Case IH but also through the many collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate the company’s history and contributions to the tractor industry. Antique International Harvester tractors can still be found in use on farms and in parades, and they remain a beloved part of American agricultural history.