Not long ago, someone asked: "Whatever happened to McCormick-Deering?"
As most of you know, McCormick-Deering was never a "company" itself, but the trademark name of a line of tractors and farm machinery manufactured by the International Harvester Company,
Between the mid-1880's and 1902, a vicious battle known as "the
The Worlds First Reaper Public Test
Cyrus Hall McCormick's Invention
Steeles Tavern, Virginia July 1831
For many years after the merger, IHC sold two parallel lines of equipment, one named McCormick and one named Deering, each slightly different from the other, but wearing the IHC logo. This was deemed necessary since each line had its loyal customers, and there was usually both a McCormick and a Deering dealer in every farm community.
Even though he was one of the most-instrumental figures in American agricultural equipment development before and after the turn of the 20th century, William Deering's contributions to the industry remain an enigma to some collectors. He never designed a single piece of machinery, but Deering managed to turn other people's ideas and inventions into an empire that eventually became International Harvester Co. William Deering was born on April 25, 1826, in South Paris, Maine, a small town about 40 miles north of Portland. His family owned a wool mill in South Paris.
Cyrus Hall McCormick invented the first successful reaper and founded the harvesting machine industry. In July 1831, at 22 years of age, McCormick first demonstrated his invention publicly. This, the world's first successful mechanical reaper, opened a new era in agriculture, an age of mechanization that changed life on the farm, altered American advertizing, and made it possible for millions of people to leave the land and enter an industrial society.
There is a billboard that lists
a radio station
The side door
The U.S. government filed an antitrust action against IHC in 1912, and the suit dragged on until a consent decree was signed in 1918. One of the terms of the agreement called for IHC to have only one dealer in each town, meaning that the dual McCormick and Deering lines of equipment could no longer be maintained. Indeed, the expense of designing, building and supporting both lines of equipment had been a serious drag on the company, so in 1923 a new grain binder - one combining the best features of each of the older machines - was introduced and called the McCormick-Deering. All of IHC's other farm implements soon followed suit, and the famous McCormick-Deering line was born.
McCormick-Deering farm implements and Fgrmall
tractors helped IHC
become the grant of the industry. Its 1923 U.S. farm equipment sales of
$150 million tripled those of second place Deere & Co. "Harvester
is, of course, the greatest single agricultural enterprise in the
world," trumpeted Fortune magazine at the time.
However, even a corporate giant such as IHC wasn't immune to the calamity of the Great Depression. By 1932, its U.S. sales fell 78 percent, and the price of its stock dropped to $10.37 from a 1929 peak of $142 per share. Tens of thousands of Harvester employees were laid off and remained so through most of the lean 1930s.
After VJ Day, Harvester started a round of
acquisition that cost the company a fortune and diluted its focus. The
old core business of farm equipment and trucks was joined by
construction equipment and home refrigeration. Meanwhile, the attitude
of IHC's management was summed up by one long-time dealer:
"They thought that whatever they built and painted red was going to sell." Just three years later Deere green outsold Harvester red for the very first time.
A combination of factors finally killed the International Harvester Company. These included the huge and expensive proliferation of truck models, and the stiff postwar competition in the appliance. Also, several of IHC's new crawler and farm tractor models were rushed into production without being thoroughly tested, and then broke down in the field. Obsolete factories were kept too long in service, and there were chronic and costly labor problems. All of these were reasons, and yet, the reason for all of these was poor management. As a result, the Chicago-area plants were increasingly outdated and uneconomical. In the 1950s, the McCormick Works was progressively closed down, and the agricultural machinery industry no longer held a significant place in the Chicago-area economy.
Getting back to the original question, "Whatever happened to McCormick-Deering?" The name was used on farm implements until some time in 1948 or 1949, when Deering was dropped and McCormick alone was used. During the 1960s, the proud McCormick and Farmall names were replaced by International, the name Harvester's farm machinery carried until the sale of the Farm Equipment Division to Tenneco, Inc. in 1984.
Tenneco Reaffirms Harvester Plan Published: March 15, 1985
Tenneco Inc. reaffirmed its intention to buy the International Harvester Company's subsidiaries in France, Denmark and West Germany, if discussions being carried out with the French Government and private lenders are successful.
On Jan. 31, Harvester sold its agricultural equipment operations in North America and Britain to Tenneco for $488 million.
Throughout 1984, Harvester negotiated with French authorities and lenders over the ''operational and financial restructuring'' of the money-losing operations in France. A Tenneco official said that a successful resolution of the negotiations ''was not a foregone conclusion.'' He added that the German and Danish assets would not be acquired without the French operations.
Clarence Payne opened this business in 1948 along with his family, son William and daughter Ruth. Bill Payne was accidently killed in 1955. When the Russell family joined the Payne family is unclear although this is letterhead dated 1949 so I would imagine it was very soon.
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