Many years ago a wonderful retired farmer Jannie du Toit from the Western Cape gifted his collection to the Sandstone Heritage Trust. Sandstone already had a reasonable cross section of International Harvester products and so we decided to consolidate all International Harvester products into one facility. A special building was designated for the purpose and today it houses a wide variety of International Harvester products. These include tractors going back as far as the Mogul, the first tractor produced by International Harvester. The tractor range is considerable and is representative of probably 90% of the tractor types made by this company. It is complimented by a wide variety of implements including balers, reapers, mowers, etc., in additional we have an International Harvester service truck which came from a genuine International Harvester dealer in Natal. We compliment this with a grader. All in all it does provide a very excellent representation of the products supplied by this wonderful company.
The International Harvester Company (often abbreviated by IHC or IH, or shortened to International) was an American manufacturer of agricultural equipment, automobiles, commercial trucks, lawn and garden products, household equipment, and more. It was formed from the 1902 merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and Deering Harvester Company and three smaller manufactures: Milwaukee; Plano; and Warder, Bushnell, and Glessner (manufacturers of Champion brand). In the 1980s all divisions were sold off except for International Trucks, which changed its parent company name to Navistar International (NYSE: NAV). Its brands included McCormick, Deering, and later McCormick-Deering, as well as International. Along with the Farmall and Cub Cadet tractors, International was also known for the Scout and Travelall vehicle nameplates. Given its monumental importance to the building of rural communities the brand continues to have a massive cult following. The International Harvester legacy non-profits host some of the largest agriculture related events in the United States.
Following years of financial and economic decline, International began selling its separate equipment divisions, starting with the sale of the construction division to Dresser Industries in 1982. In November 1984 IH finalized a deal with Tenneco to sell the farm equipment division to Tenneco's subsidiary Case Corporation, and the brand continues as Case IH which is owned by Fiat. The European division exists today as McCormick Tractors and is owned by ARGO SpA of Italy. International became solely a truck and engine manufacturer and reorganized as Navistar International in 1986. Throughout its existence International Harvester was headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. In 2020 Volkswagen agreed to fully purchase the remaining shares of Navistar.
Our International Harvester collection is one of the highlights of the walking tours that take place daily at the Sandstone Heritage Trust facility in the Eastern Free State.
For further information on visiting us please see “Visiting Sandstone 2021” on the website homepage.