JOHN'S 1929 FARMALL REGULAR . . .      


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To see pictures of John Gold's Regular during the process of restoration, please click on Restoration of the Regular
John Gold & His Regular
John Gold and his 1929 Regular


John Gold's 1929 Regular and a 1936 F-20 belonged to his grandfather and were left on the family farm after his grandparents died. No-one else in the family wanted them, so they were left to John. He had grown up in San Antonio , knew nothing about tractors, and had little interest in them. He was interested in old vehicles, as he had the 1965 Mustang which he drove during high school and the 1962 Comet wagon he had while attending college. He decided to find out more about the two old tractors, and the more he learned, the more interested he became. Finally, he decided to restore them. To quote John, "I have a hard time throwing anything away. I figured I could spend the same money in a bar or on the golf course and have nothing to show for it." The F-20 with a "middle-buster" plow took five years to restore; the Regular required far less time, because of what John had learned while working on the F-20. John started work on the Regular in early 2005, and, except for some decals, it was together and running by the end of 2007. John also has a 1942 Farmall M, a 1941 Farmall B, and a 1952 Farmall Super C, as well as "...a few other war-time M's." He hopes to restore all of them eventually.

John Gold's Regular is serial number 72267; it was assembled about August 27, 1929. It was the 2,599th out of 3,068 built in August, 1929.

John would be happy to answer questions about his tractors or to discuss their restoration. He can be reached at   


The McCormick-Deering Famall Regular was arguably one of the most important tractors ever produced. It influenced the design of tractors produced by all major tractor companies in the United States. It was the first successful, mass-produced tractor which could cultivate row-crops, plow, and run corn shellers, feed grinders, and other implements connected by a belt. It was the first true tractor that enabled farmers to replace their horses in all aspects of farming. 

The individual most responsible for the development of the Regular was Bert Benjamin, Superintendent of Experiments at the McCormick Works Implement Factory. In 1922, he was appointed Assistant Chief Engineer of Farmall Development. He had strong support from Alexander Legge, President of International Harvester, and Edward Johnston, Chief Engineer at the Tractor Works. The concept of the tricycle tractor was not based on any previous design. Within a few years, it became the industry standard. One tractor could do all of the work previously done by horses, and because it was smaller, lighter, and less expensive than earlier tractors, it led to the production of smaller and less expensive implements, as well. Farmers with relatively small operations were able to afford tractors for the first time and, in many cases, eliminate horses completely.

Ed Kimbark suggested the name "Farm-All" in 1919, and "Farmall" was registered with the Copyright Office on July 17, 1923. There was only one Farmall until 1932, when the F-12, the F-14, and the F-30 were introduced, and it became necessary to distinguish between them. At first, the older tractor was simply called the "standard" Farmall or the "regular" Farmall, and this led to the latter name being adopted. The Farmall name was used until 1973.

When coupled with a mounted cultivator, the Regular featured "triple-control" steering. As the tractor was steered down the rows, the cultivator gangs could be shifted left or right to avoid plants that were out of line. Also, cables on both sides of the tractor connected the steering quadrant at the front with the brakes at the back. When the tractor reached the end of a row, turning the steering wheel left or right applied the corresponding brake and the tractor could swing in a tight circle to line up with the next row. The latter feature was discontinued in 1939, when foot brakes became standard. The Regular was also noteworthy for its high rear-axle clearance.

Demand for the Regular increased so rapidly that by 1929, the tractor led the market, supplanting the popular Fordson in sales.


The first mass-produced McCormick-Deering Farmall was built on December 26, 1923, with serial number QC501. Any serial number previous to that was for a prototype or experimental tractor. Production of the Farmall "Regular" ceased with serial number T134954 built on January 5, 1932. Approximately 134,647 Regulars were produced from 1923 to 1932.

Early Famall Regulars were built in the Tractor Works in Chicago, along with McCormick-Deering Titan 10-20 tractors. Rapid sales indicated that the Tractor Works would not be able to keep up with demand, so in 1924 the International Harvester Company purchased the Moline Plow Company factory in Rock Island, Illinois, and renamed it the Farmall Works. The Moline Plow Company continued production during 1924 and 1925 to fill its backog of orders at the same time that the factory was being refitted to make Farmalls. During 1925 and 1926, an increasing number of parts for Farmalls were made and shipped to the Tractor Works in Chicago, where they were used to assemble Farmalls carrying serial numbers with the prefix QC. Complete production of Farmalls was transferred to the Farmall Works in Rock Island in late 1926, and the first tractors assigned serial numbers with the prefix T were 1927 Farmalls built in October, 1926. There were 5,468 Farmalls built at the Tractor Works in Chicago before production was transferred to the Farmall Works in Rock Island.

YEAR 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
# MADE 200 838 4,430 9,502 24,899

YEAR 1929 1929 1930 1931 1932
 # MADE 35,517 195 na na na

February 24 1924 QC501
December 1924 QC701
January 1925 QC715
February 1925 QC826
March 1925 NA
April 1925 NA
May 1925 NA
June 1925 NA
July 1925 QC951
August 1925 QC976
September 1925 QC1110
October 1925 QC1539
November 1925 QC1825
December 1925 QC2230
January 1926 QC2618
February 1926 QC2950
March 1926 QC3219
April 1926 QC3421
May 1926 QC3731
June 1926 QC4068
July 1926 QC4516
August 1926 QC4991
September 1926 QC5428
October 1926 QC5850
First one built T5969
November 1926 T6236
December 1926 T6695
January 1927 T7183
February 1927 T7676
March 1927 T8331
April 1927 T9081
May 1927 T9803
June 1927 T10846
July 1927 T12034
August 1927 T13172
September 1927 T14410
October 1927 T15471
November 1927 T16794
December 1927 T18117
January 1928 T19440
February 1928 T20765
March 1928 T22229
April 1928 T23970
May 1928 T26086
June 1928 T28778
July 1928 T31735
August 1928 T34614
September 1928 T37675
October 1928 T40370
November 1928 T43956
December 1928 T46557
January 1929 T50474
February 1929 T53476
March 1929 T55800
April 1929 T58583
May 1929 T61585
June 1929 T64003
July 1929 T66694
August 1929 T69668
September 1929 T72736
October 1929 T75691
November 1929 T79069
December 1929 T82123
January 1930 T85253
February 1930 T88927
March 1930 T93347
April 1930 T98054
May 1930 T104883
June 1930 T108897
July 1930 T111697
August 1930 T114357
September 1930 T116317
October 1930 T117784
November 1930 T118130
December 1930 T118646
January 1931 T119845
February 1931 T120804
March 1931 T121757
April 1931 T124907
May 1931 T126747
June 1931 T128147
July 1931 T129047
August 1931 T130224
September 1931 T131249
October 1931 T131872
November 1931 T132705
December 1931 T133705
January 1932 T134927

The chassis serial number was stamped on an aluminum identification plate riveted to the rear of the toolbox, below the fuel tank, and also on the top of the left frame rail, just in front of the radiator, on early tractors and near the clutch housing on late tractors.

The engine serial number was stamped on a raised and machined surface on the left side of the block, just above the water inlet.


  • QC - Regulars built at the Tractor Works in Chicago.
  • T - Regulars built at the Farmall Works in Rock Island, Illinois.
  • IT - Industrial tractors, such as those used to power road graders, street sweepers, etc.


  • N - Narrow tread first available May 5, 1927.
  • NW - Narrow tread with wide front axle.
  • W - Regular tread with wide front axle.
  • F - Fairway (golf course)
  • S - Special (modified)


The prefix QC was used for the engines of all Farmall Regulars.  No attempt was made to match chassis and engine serial numbers; however, many Regulars have been identified with matching numbers.


Engine IHC 4-cylinder, with overhead valves
Displacement 220.9 cubic inches
Cylinders Replaceable,  wet-type, close-grained, cast-iron sleeves
Bore & Stroke 3.750 / 5.00 inches
Pistons Gray-iron, fully skirted, with 3 compression and one oil ring
Crankshaft Forged-steel, with ball-bearing main bearings, one on each end
Connecting Rods Forged steel, with replaceable bronze-backed and babbit-lined bearing inserts
Valves One intake and one exhaust per cylinder, in a cast-iron, water-jacketed head
Camshaft Gear-driven, with conventional followers, solid lifters, and adjustable tappet levers
Intake/Exhaust Manifold Combination manifold in which exhaust circulated around the intake to heat the fuel.
Air Cleaner Serial numbers QC501 - QC700 had a wire cage covered with a cloth the top of the air-intake stack,
Serial numbers QC701 - T103735 used Vortox Model 118 oil-bath air-cleaners.
Serial numbers T103736 and up had IHC Model 20 oil-bath air-cleaners.
Intake Stack Serial numbers QC501 - QC700 had adjacent and parallel intake and exhaust stacks extending more than 24 inches above the hood.
Serial numbers QC701 - T103735 (Vortox Model 118 air-cleaners) had side-mounted intake pipes leading to tall stacks topped with screens and metal caps.
Serial numbers T-103736 and up (IHC Model 20 air cleaners) had intake pipes leading straight up out of the air-cleaner cannisters and topped with screens and caps.
Serial numbers T132646 and up (IHC Model 20 air cleaners) had a short intake pipes with screens and caps.
Exhaust Stack Serial numbers QC501 - QC700 had adjacent and parallel intake and exhaust stacks extending more than 24 inches above the hood. Serial numbers QC701 and up to the end of production directed exhaust to the side from the exhaust manifold just above the left frame rail. No Regulars had conventional mufflers.
Lubrication A gear-driven, gear-type oil pump in the sump pumped oil through passageways into troughs cast as an integral part of the oil pan--a separate trough for each rod bearing. A short scoop on the lower cap of each rod bearing ran through oil in a trough and by centrifugal force injected oil through a hole in the lower bearing cap to the bearing itself.
The camshaft bearings were lubricated directly from the oil pump by oil forced under pressure through lines.
The main bearings, cylinder walls, and wrist pins were lubricated by oil splashed throughout the crankcase by the action of the scoops that lubricated the rod bearings.
The valve train was drip-lubricated by small reservoirs above the rocker arms; these reservoirs had to be filled manually.
Oil Filter Early models didn't have an oil filter. A Purolater filter was added in 1929 with serial number T64392.
Oil Gauge Early tractors had the guage in a bracket bolted to the front of the cylinder head, on the right side.
From serial number T118066 on, guage was threaded directly to base of oil filter.
Cooling System Capacity of nine gallons of water.
No water pump. Water was circulated via a thermo-siphon system, based on the principle that hot water rises because it is less dense, and cold water sinks because it is more dense.
Early radiators had round cooling tubes; later ones had oval tubes which were more efficient.
An 18-inch flat belt drove a 4-blade fan which pulled cool air through the radiator.
Fuel Kerosine or distillate. The engine was started with gasoline.
Fuel Tanks The main tank held 13 gallons of kerosene or distillate. A small, circular tank mounted behind the main tank held 0.86 of a gallon of gasoline used to get the engine started.
Carburetor Brass side-draft type. Serial numbers QC501 - QC8826 had an Ensign Model 3DA600F carburetor, with a 1.00-inch diameter throat, attached to the manifold with 2 cap screws.
Serial numbers T8827 - T15095 had an Ensign Model R carburetor, with a 1.25 inch diameter throat, attached with 3 cap screws.
Serial numbers T15096 and up had an IHC Model R carburetor, with a 1.25 inch diameter throat, attached with 3 cap screws.
All carburetors had a bottom drip pan to prevent fuel from dripping on the exhaust manifold.
Priming cups protruding through the valve cover delivered gasoline directly to the cylinder-head intake ports.
Fuel Consumption 2.14 gallons per hour.
Governor A single-speed governor was geared to the camshaft. It maintained the engine speed at full throttle only. Regulars up to serial number T8826 had a rounded style; serial numbers T8826 and up had a governor with a more square style.
Throttle and spark-control levers were mounted on the right side of the rear fuel-tank bracket on tractors up to serial number QC700; after that, the levers were mounted on the steering post.
The governor linkage was exposed on serial numbers up to T8826; on serial numbers above that, the linkage was enclosed.
RPM 1,201
Belt HP 20.05
Drawbar HP 13.27
Number of Plows 2
Magneto Mounted behind governor and driven by the governor's drive shaft.
Early Regulars up to serial number T8266 had Splitdorf Dixie Model 46C magnetos with Splitdorf Model B manual-impulse starter couplings.
Serial number T8267 (March 1927) through serial number T132828 had IH Dixie Aero Model E4A magentos with Splitdorf manual-impulse couplings.
Serial numbers T132829 and up had IH Dixie Aero Model E4A magnetos with fully automatic-impulse couplings.
Air Cleaner Serial numbers QC701 - T103735 used Vortox Model 118 oil-bath cleaners. Early versions had the word "Pamona" on the identification plate. After March, 1929, this was changed to the word "Vortox."       Serial numbers T103736 and up used IHC Model 20 oil-bath cleaners.
Clutch Serial numbers QC501 to T34904 had a multiple-disc clutch consisting of four lined driving discs and three steel driven discs compressed with one large coil spring.
Serial numbers T34905 and up had a single-disc  with a pressure plate containing nine small coil springs and levers.
Power-Take-Off Ran in conjunction with the belt-pulley drive, which was mounted on the belly of the tractor.
The PTO and pulley were engaged with a lever on the left side of the transmission.
The PTO shaft was 1 1/8 inches in diameter, with 6 splines.
Pulley Size 6.5 inch face. Available with 8 1/8, 11 3/8, 14, 15 1/4, or 17 5/8-inch diameter pulleys for the 74-inch tread tractor.
57-inch tread required a special belt pulley attachment and only 14 or 15 1/4-inch diameter pulleys were available.
The pulley could be removed and a steel plate was available to cover the hole.
Pulley RPM 693
PTO Diameter 1.125 inches
Transmission Heavy-duty sliding spur gear transmission bolted to rear-axle housing.
1st gear    2 MPH
2nd gear   3 MPH
3rd gear    4 MPH
Reverse    2.75 MPH
Final Drive System The transmission rear-output shaft was also the differential pinion-gear shaft. The axles ended in spur gears which engaged large bull gears in the drop boxes.
Serial numbers T35426 through T35827 had malleable cast-iron rear-axle housings and drop boxes; earlier and later rear-axle housings and drop boxes were cast steel.
Serial numbers QC501 through QC700 had cast-iron differential covers; serial numbers QC701 and up had stamped-steel covers.
The standard tread width was 74 inches; after May 5, 1927, Regulars could be ordered with shorter rear-axle housings, which resulted in a narrow tread width of 57 inches.
Brakes Internal-expanding shoe/drum type.. Rotating drums were attached to the ends of the axles, outboard of the drop housings. Brake shoes were attached to the drop housings. Serial numbers QC4225 and up had dust shields. Cables attached to the steering mechanism activated the brakes and enabled small-radius turns. The left brake could also be activated with a hand lever.  
Frame 2 x 4 x 85-inch frame rails, bolted to the  front bolster and the transmission case.
Drawbar The standard drawbar was a U-shaped bar mounted horizontally and supported with round rods, which permitted limited vertical adjustment.
A swinging drawbar was available for use with disk harrows, cotton planters, and corn planters.
Special hitches were also available for hay implements.
Seat On serial numbers QC501 through QC700, the seat was mounted on leaf-springs attached to the cast-iron differnetial cover.
From serial number QC701 up, the leaf-springs were  bolted to the top of the rear-axle housing.
After some leaf-springs broke and a number of operators were injured, serial numbers T100100 and up had seats mounted on cast-iron (T100100 - T128999) or stamped-steel ( T1290000 and up) channel irons and coil-springs. All Regulars had stamped-steel, 26-hole pan seats.
Steering Mechanism An 18-inch diameter, four-spoke, cast-iron steering wheel was mounted on a horizontal rod running above the hood to the top of the front bolster, ending in a straight-cut pinion gear which engaged a straight-cut gear which drove a tapered pinion gear that engaged the steering sector.
The steering gears were exposed on narrow-front Regulars; the gears were enclosed on wide-front tractors (Duckbill).
A stronger bolster was used on tractors from serial number T29996 and up (June 19, 1928).
Front Wheels Serial numbers from QC501 through T5514 had straight roller bearings; serial numbers T5515 and up had tapered roller bearings.
Early front wheels had 12 spokes and a small-diameter hub with a three-bolt hubcap.
Wheels were 25 inches in diameter and 4-inches wide, with 1 1/4-inch skid rings.
Serial numbers QC5515 and up had eight spokes, a larger-diameter hub, and 4-bolt hubcaps.
Two-inch high skid rings were optional until October, 1927; after that they were standard.
Rear Wheels Early Regulars had 40-inch diameter by 6-inch wide flat-rim wheels, with angle lugs, 12 spokes, & small-diameter hubs.
Serial numbers QC5086 (August 4, 1926) to QC5136 had experimental pressed-steel hubs.
After February, 1927, all Regulars had 12-spoke wheels & pressed-steel hubs.
Length 136 inches
Width 86 inches
Tread Width 74 inches on the conventional tractor; 57 inches on the narrow-tread tractor.
The tread could be increased with offset wheels.
Height 67 inches (to top of steering wheel)
Weight 3,650 lbs. (early); 3,950 lbs. (late)
Paint Gray, with red wheels.
Decals The first Regulars had "McCormick-Deering Farmall" stenciled on the sides of the fuel tank and "Patent Pending" stenciled on the sides of the side rails. Stenciling was changed to the use of decals after March 8, 1926.
After March 8, 1926, decals were added throughout the production period; these included "Farmall" decals on each side of the fuel tank, a "Disengage clutch" decal on the rear of the starting-fuel tank, a "Drain oil, oil valve levers, etc." decal on the right side of the valve cover,  an "Oil level" decal on the air cleaner oil cup, an "Always close needle valves" decal on the left side of the fuel tank above the "Farmall" decal,  a "Do not attempt to pull" decal on the differential cover, a "Read Instruction Book" decal on the Pomona air cleaner, & IHC globe decals on the rear-axle housing on each side of the differential cover. The IHC globe decals were changed to "Farmall" decals after April 26, 1928.
Locations of patent decals changed from the left frame rail (directly below the radiator) to the back of the small fuel tank. A patent decal also was added to the magneto bracket.
Price $950 (1924)
Nebraska  Test  Test # 117 (September 14 - 19, 1925) with serial number QC693.
This was the first test of a true row-crop tractor.
Options Three piston sets for adjustment to altitudes ranging from sea level to 8,000 feet.
Oversize wrist pins to compensate for wear.
Heisler cylinder head.
Gasoline manifold.
Spark arrester.
After-market kit to change governor from single speed (wide open) to variable speed.
Robert Bosch Models ZU-4 & FU-4 magnetos.
High-speed 7.07 MPH gear set available after May 31, 1934.
Right-hand brake lever available after December, 1931.
Kit to adapt the PTO shaft to a standard ASAE 1 3/8 inch, six-spline shaft.
Swing drawbar.
Swing drawbar with a lever which permitted the operator to lock the drawbar in place from the seat.
Special hay-tool drawbars.
Wood-rimmed steering wheel available after April, 1927.
Nonadjustable, wide-front axle with 30 x 4.1/2-inch wheels and 1 1/4-inch or 3-inch skid rings.
Worm-gear steering.
Below serial number QC701, 22-inch diameter front wheels.
Until October, 1927, 2-inch high skid rings; after October, 1927, 1 1/4--inch skid rings for front wheels.
Four-inch wide, cone-shaped extension rims for the front wheels.
After June, 1930, single-rim open-style (Texas-style) front wheels.
Forty-two inch diameter x 8, 12, 14, or 16-inch wide rear wheels.
Forty-two x 8 inch single-rim, open-style (Texas-style) rear wheels.
Various angle-lugs, cone-lugs, and spade-lugs for open-style (Texas-style) rear wheels.
Eight-inch wide golf-course wheels available in February, 1926 (standard on Fairway Model).
Five-inch, 4-inch, or 2 3/4-inch high spade lugs..
Six-inch solid or angle-sectioned extension rims .
Various widths and heights of lugs, as well as extensions to make the lugs taller.
Eight-inch wide adjustable overtires.
Fixed overtires (road bands).
Offset rear wheels, with18 spokes instead of 12.
Forty-two or 47-inch French & Hecht tip-top rims.
Pneumatic tires, after 1932--9.00 x 36-inch rear and 6.00 x 1-inch front.
Rear fenders, after June, 1924.
Foot throttle, after January, 1925.
Front-wheel mud scrapers, after January, 1926.
Prestolite gas light system, after March, 1927.
Cushioned seat (standard on Industrial Model), after November, 1927.
Bosch no-battery electric light attachment, after August 21, 1928.
Narrow-crop front axle, after May, 1929.
Mechanical power lift, after January, 1930.
High-speed cooling fan, after June, 1931.
Hydraulic Lift-All pump, available during the mid-1940's.
After-market (Heisler, M&W Gear Company, etc.) external overdrive gearboxes (6 speeds)
After-market (Behlen Manufacturing Company) road gear.
After-market (Heisler) variable-speed governor control kit.
After-market (Heisler) electric-start kit.
After-market (Tractor Supply Company) 4-inch bore sleeve & piston sets.


Between 1810 and 1830, Robert McCormick began work on a horse-drawn reaper. His son, Cyrus, continued the work and developed a working model, with the assistance of his brother Leander. This reaper was patented in 1834. Cyrus McCormick moved to Chicago in 1847, where he and a partner, Charles M. Gray, formed the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in 1849. The company prospered and had sales of over $1 million by 1874.

William Deering had established a harvester factory in Plano, Illinois. In 1880, Deering moved his enterprise to Chicago, and it, too, did well and became a significant competitor to the McCormick Company.

The early twentieth century was a turmultous time in American industry. Large numbers of companies were formed to develop and market machines to make farming easier and more productive. Competition was stiff and many of the companies failed due to faulty products, lack of capital, poor management, and/or inadequate marketing.

On August 12, 1902, the financier J.P. Morgan orchestrated and financed a merger between the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, the Deering Harvester Company, and three smaller farm equipment companies--the Plano Manufacturing Company, the Milwaukee Harvester Company, and the Warder, Bushnell & Glessner Company. The new company was called the International Harvester Company (IHC). In recognition of the facilities and cash which they brought to the merger, McCormick held 42.6% of the stock and Deering had 34.4%. Cyrus McCormick, Jr., became the first President and William Deering was appointed Chairman of the Executive Council. During the first year, the new company also acquired D.M. Osborne & Company, the Minneapolis Harvester Company, the Keystone Company, and the factories of the Aultman Miller Company.

The companies continued to function as separate entities, each with its own name and its own management, until the 1920's, when the companies were more fully integrated under the International Harvester name. This was probably due to the many lawsuits which challenged the new company. Meanwhile, the separate companies remained highly competitive. The merger enabled International Harvester to rapidly become a major national and international industry.

International Harvester introduced the Famous Stationary Engine in 1906, and this was used to power large, heavy, and expensive friction-drive traction engines. These tractors, including the Titan and the Mogul, were used for pulling implements such as plows and disk harrows and for powering threshing machines and other machines run by belts. Teams of horses continued to be needed for planting, cultivating, and other row-crop work.

International Harvester and other companies recognized the need for smaller, lighter tractors that were more versatile. As early as 1915, IH was testing three-wheeled motorized cultivators. Prototypes were rejected because they were slow (often slower than the horses they were intended to replace), they tipped over easily, they were cumbersome to drive, and they were too expensive to justify their limited use, By 1920, thinking had advanced to the point where IH engineers were considering the production of an all-around tractor that could pull implements, be belted up to machines, and perform row-crop work with tractor-mounted implements. Early attempts were modifications of motorized cultivators, with large front wheels and a single steered wheel at the back. Eventually, engineers discovered that if the large driving wheels were placed at the back and the tractor was steered at the front, it was much easier to follow the undulations of row crops. Continued experimentation changed the position of the engine from perpendicular to the frame to longitudinal; this led to the invention of the power-take-off. Early prototypes were fairly large and known as the "heavy tractors;" they were eventually rejected as being too expensive and too cumbersome. 

Henry Ford had begun experimenting with a farm tractor during the first decade of the 1900's. Work on the tractor was discontinued during the time that the Model T was being developed; however, Ford resumed his work on a tractor in 1915 and 1916, introduced a production model in 1917, and began full production of the Fordson Model F on April 23, 1918. The tractor met with instant success, due to Ford's contract with the British Board of Agriculture to supply tractors for the war effort, pent-up demand for tractors following the war, Ford's extensive distribution network of automobile dealerships, a low price made possible by Ford's manufacturing efficiency, and his astute marketing practices.

During this period, the International-Harvester and McCormic-Deering 10-20 and 15-30 tractors, with their wide front axles and fixed tread widths, continued to be popular; however, they was increasingly challenged by Henry Ford's Fordson, which was lighter, cheaper, and easier to drive. International Harvester's response to this challenge was to begin work on a "lighter tractor" in 1922. Bert Benjamin, David Baker and Philo Danly developed and tested prototypes during 1922 and 1923. The first mass-produced McCormick-Deering Farmall (serial number QC501) was built on December 26, 1923; an initial limited production of 200 Regulars ended on February 12, 1924. Production of the 1925 Farmall, with major improvements, began with serial number QC701 on October 6, 1924, and ended on February 21, 1925 with a limited production of 838 tractors. These tractors were built at the Tractor Works in Chicago; the majority of these tractors were shipped to Texas. Full production of tractors at the Farmall Works in Rock Island began in October, 1926, with the 1927 Farmall. By 1929, the Farmall Regular led the Fordson in sales. On April 12, 1930, the 100,000th Regular rolled off of the assembly line in Rock Island. 

The Farmall Regular introduced the concept of the tricycle tractor, with a narrow frame and front end which provided unprecedented visibility of row crops. Large-diameter wheels enabled the tractor to be used with tall crops such as corn and cotton. A variety of mounted implements were available, such as mowers, planters, cultivators, and corn pickers. The Regular had sufficient weight and power for heavy work such as plowing, a PTO allowed the tractor to power pulled implements such as binders, and a variety of pulley sizes could be fitted for belt work with equipment such as feed grinders and threshing machines. The versatility of the Farmall Regular eliminated the need for horses on many farms.

After the success of the row-crop Farmall, other companies such as Oliver, Massey-Harris, Minneapolis-Moline, Case, Allis-Chalmers, and John Deere developed comparable tractors and it was necessary for International Harvester to improve and expand its offerings to meet the competition. The F-Series was the result. The F-30 was introduced in 1931, and the F-12, F-14, and F-20 in 1932, Standard and industrial (wide-tread) tractors based on the F-Series were released soon afterwards--the I-12, W-12, O-12 and O-14 in 1934, and the I-14 and W-14 in 1938. Although they did not enjoy the sales of of the F-Series, the wide-tread tractors were successful because they were based on the F-Series and didn't incur additional development costs. The success of the F-Series continued with the Letter-Series, which was introduced during the late 1930's and early 1940's. The Letter-Series had many innovative features, as well as streamlining by Richard Loewy, a prominant industrial designer. The Farmall Regular and the F-Series were never streamlined.

International Harvester continued to expand its holdings through the decades and eventually offered products which included tractors, stationary engines, trucks, off-road vehicles, construction equipment, household appliances, jet engines, and a full-line of farm equipment. By 1910, IHC grossed over $100 million in annual sales, and this trend continued into the 1950's, when sales exceeded $1 billion. However, overdiversification and lack of corporate focus resulted in large administrative costs and inflexibility to changing needs. John Deere surpassed International Harvester in the manufacture of agricultural equipment during the 1950's. Profits sagged during the 1960's and 70's; although, sales figures remained high. An economic crisis resulted after a five-month union strike during 1979 and 1980, acerbated by a sag in the economy. In 1982, the truck division was split off to be come Navistar, Inc. On November 26, 1984, IHC announced that its Agricultural Equipment Group and the International Harvester name had been sold to Tenneco, Inc. Tenneco already owned an agricultural subsidiary--J.I. Case and International Harvester and Case were merged to form Case IHC. Tenneco also acquired the Steiger Tractor Company. After the sale of the agricultural division to Tenneco, the truck and engine divisions remained and these adopted the corporate name Navistar International Corporation. By 1986, Navistar had become the nation's largest manufacturer of medium to large size trucks and engines, which were sold under the International brand name.


Many resources are available regarding International Harvester and its products. Popular titles of interest to IHC collectors and aficionados are cited below. Obviously, there is a great deal of overlap between the titles; however, each has either original information or a unique presentation of the information.

Baumheckel, Ralph Baumheckel, & Kent Borghoff. International Harvester Farm Equipment; Product History, 1831-1985. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1997.

Fay, Guy. International Harvester Experimental & Prototype Tractors. Motorbooks International, 1997.

Fay, Guy. International Harvester Tractor Data Book. MBI, 1997.

Fay, Guy, and Andy Kraushaar. Farmall Letter Series Tractors. Originality Guide. MBI, 1998.

Fay, Guy, and Andy Kraushaar. Original Farmall Hundred Series, 1954-1958. Motorbooks, 2003.

Klancher, Lee. Farmall; The Golden Age, 1924-1954. MBI, 2002.

Klancher, Lee. International Harvester Photographic History. Motorbooks International, 1996.

Leffingwell, Randy. Farmall; Eight Decades of Innovation. MBI, 2005.

Leffingwell, Randy. International Harvester Tractors. MBI, 2004.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall Cub Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1997.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall F-Series Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1993.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall Model H Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1993.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall Model M Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1994.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall Regular Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1994.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall Super Series Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1996.

Letourneau, P.A. Farmall TracTractor Photo Archive; Photographs from the McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection. Iconografix Photo Archive Series. Iconografix, 1996.

McCormick-IHC Collection at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI). Search under Library & Archives/McCormick Collection of Manuscripts.

National International Harvester Collectors Club.

Pripps, Robert N. International Harvester Tractor. Illustrated Buyer's Guide. MBI, 1995.

Red Power Magazine.

Sanders, Ralph W. Vintage International Harvester Tractors. Voyageur Press, 1997.

Updike, Kenneth. Classic Farmall Tractors. Voyageur Press, 2008.

Updike, Kenneth. Farmall Cub & Cub Cadet. Farm Tractor Color History Series. MBI, 202.

Updike, Kenneth. International Harvester Tractors, 1944-1985. Motorbooks, 2000.

Updike, Kenneth. Original Farmall Cub & Cub Cadet. MBI, 2005.

Wendel, Charles H. 150 Years of International Harvester. Motorbooks International, 1993.

Will, Oscar H., III, and Todd Markle. Farmall Regular & F-Series. Collector's Originality Guide. Voyageur Press, 2007.