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Farm Equipment

WHEN the nineteenth century opened, the American farmer was working with almost the same equipment used for the past hundreds if not thousands of years Yet by 1850 a horse-powered mowing machine had started to replace the scythe,
The McCormick reaper was cutting grain, a threshing machine was replacing the flail. By 1870, steam was doing some of the plowing, more of the threshing. Plows were coming in gang-form, and you rode them. Horse-rakes appeared in self-dumping models. Improved balers compressed hay more quickly. The reaper added an automatic binder. It changed again to become a complete harvester that cut and threshed grain in one operation - the combine.
john deere tractors
John Deere Grain Binder Soon  machines that actually picked cotton, picked corn, picked sugar beets, dug potatoes, brought cultivators that worked deep or shallow; and planters and seeders that covered more land in a day than a man could cover in two weeks.
Most of these machines reached a new peak in development with the introduction of the all-purpose tractor in the 1930's. Today's farmer produces far more than his father did, and with incomparably less hard labor. Progress seems so swift, and the "old days" so far off that it easy to forget where we came from.

 In 1841 it took sixty-five hours to produce one acre of wheat; in 1941, it takes only two and one-half hours to do the same job.

John Deere began building their own grain binders in 1910 to compete with the already popular McCormick-Deering Co and Massey Harris Co machines. The Horse drawn John Deere binder achieved its own degree of popularity and remained in the line for many years.

Over time, tractor power took over from horses or mules, but the binder remained ground-wheel driven until the introduction of power take-off on tractors made it possible to introduce PTO-driven models.

massey haris reeper
Vintage Farm Advertising Posters

Antique Farming Vintage Farm Advertising Posters. Poster Sales Page

In 1910 Massey Harris purchased the Johnston Harvester Co. of New York. This was Massey Harris' first purchase of a non-Canadian company and it made M-H one of the largest implement manufacturers in the world. Johnston had great experience in reaper development and international marketing.
Deering and McCormick Bitter Rivals

Cyrus McCormick, the 22-year-old son of a blacksmith began experimenting with a machine to cut wheat on John Steele's farm near Lexington, Virginia In 1831.  Although machines for cutting hay and grain already existed this was the first time a reel had ever been added to push the grain across the moving sickle onto a platform, to be raked off into sheaves. Two men could cut twelve acres of grain per day with it compared to four acres a day with a cradle scythe, invented in 1794. In 1840, McCormick sold two reapers at $100 each. He sold seven more in 1842 and twenty-nine in 1843. In 1847, he moved to Chicago and formed a partnership that, in 1849, sold over 1,500 McCormick reapers at $150 each.
mccormick reeper

deering reeper

William Deering enters the reaper marketing, in 1858 the Marsh Brothers patented a platform that two men stood on while they tied the grain into bundles as it came from Mann's moving canvas reaper. W. W. Marsh bound an acre of wheat in fifty-five minutes in a demonstration at DeKalb, Illinois and signed a contract with Charlie Gammon of Plano, Illinois to produce the Marsh Harvester.

In 1862 McCormick came out with the "Sweep-Rake" reaper that had ingenious arms that swept the grain off the platform in sheaves, to compete with Gammon's Marsh Harvester. Gammon was producing 1,000 Marsh harvesters per year in Plano by 1870 when
William Deering, an old friend from Maine, came out to visit him. Deering had $40,000 that he intended to invest in Chicago real estate. Gammon persuaded him to sink it in Marsh harvester instead, for Gammon was expanding so fast he was short of cash. Two years later Charlie Gammon retired in poor health with $80,000 and let Deering take over the harvester business.

The following years  would see both companies in fierce competition. Innovation, price cuts, lawsuits, over production were just a few of the events that these rivals caused each other. This was all happening during a time when farm machinery quality and function continued to improve while the costs continued to drop.

Giants Merge
In 1890 McCormick approached Deering to consolidate but the plan failed. Months later J. P. Morgan and Company purchased McCormick, Deering, and two smaller harvester companies under an ambiguous name of Wm. C. Lane for $120,000,000 ($64 million in cash and the balance in stock).McCormick got $26 million, Deering $21 million, Plano $4 million,
mccormick reeper
Warden, Bushnell & Glessner $3 million, Milwaukee Harvester Company $3 million, and J. P. Morgan $7 million, thus controlling 85% of the harvester business under "International Harvester Company," of which Deerings got 34% of the stock and the McCormick family 43%. Between 1906 and 1912 the U. S. Government filed suits against International Harvester Company in several states for unfairly controlling business under a monopoly. These suits were resolved in 1918 with victory siding the government. International Harvester was required to give up all but one dealership in each town among many other requirements.
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Site Map
McCormick Reaper

In 1831, Cyrus McCormick drove this one horse contraption through a wheat field to cut the very first grain mechanically. He sold the first one in 1842 and began manufacturing them in Chicago in 1847 Under the name McCormick Harvesting Machinery Co later the company would merge to become The International Harvester Company 


Most tractor manufactures realized the importance of offering a full line of farm machinery to complement their farm tractors. While many attempted to sell hay balers Very few succeeded in creating one that could run head to head with what the New Holland Company had to offer.  


The John Deere   company sales catalog began showing John Deere Manure Spreaders in 1910 with the acquisition of the Kemp & Burpee and their successful spreader   

New Idea
Farm Wagon
farm wagon

Original going by the name of the New Idea Spreader Company. Early success with their Manure Spreader and Farm Wagon help New Idea enjoy a long successful existence manufacturing Farm equipment
CASE 530
John Deere Tractors
Case 530
First announced in 1960 the Case 530 tractor "Standard Tread" was the base tractor of the extremely popular 530 Construction King. The tractor offered the advantages of the 530 Construction King for drawbar applications. It was a popular tractor for pulling rollers, tampers, scrapers, trailers, and similar Construction Equipment
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