C. H. Wendel, who has made himself known for research and writing on farm equipment, comes up with a hefty new landmark book, '150 Years of International Harvester.'
Wendel is already acclaimed for his 'Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors,' published by Crestline. This new one is also a Crestline project-416 pages, about 2,000 photos, and enough information to keep you reading for a month of Sundays.
The fruit of two years of intensive study, this volume helps mark the 150th anniversary of Cyrus Hall McCormick's invention of the reaper. McCormick's inventive and business genius built the International Harvester enterprise into a world-girdling company. Wendel puts his emphasis not so much on the company, as on its products.
Here are some of the features that bring Wendel justifiable pride:
Coverage of all equipment from automobiles and air-conditioners through cotton pickers, mowers, tractors to windrowers;
116 pages of all International Harvester/McCormick Deering tractors;
580 photos of wheeled, tracked and experimental tractors, most hitherto unpublished;
50 pages of 250 photos of stationary engines, and
the only serial number reference list ever compiled on all I-H tractor and stationary engine numbers.
For collectors of stationary engines, the book is a goldmine of information even though Wendel emphasizes that it has been impossible to obtain all the data he sought. But he goes into detail-such as his note that the earliest International engines seem to have been painted greenish-blue, to be replaced by red.
The tractor history is equally fascinating. By 1908, Wendel says, 'Canada was the leading tractor market, demanding bigger machines to conquer the prairies.' In this section as in the others, photographs can give valuable assists to today's collectors.
The author was able to dig into company archives, and received help from many others to whom he gives credit. This makes great reading at home, providing plenty of 'ammunition' for those conversations that always take place at rallies, organization meetings, or wherever two or more gas wizards get together.
Wendel and Crestline have performed a real service.
To order a copy of '150 Years of International Harvester', send $24.95 to Stemgas Publishing Company, Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.