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Most obscure IH division/subsidiary you've heard of...


Illini986
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It's a cold, crappy day here in WCIL and my mind is wandering. What is the least known division of IH that a person on here knows. Most collectors know about the M1 rifles built at Evansville or Solar Turbine out in San Diego or Wisconsin Steel on the south side of Chicago. I'm talking about something really unknown. 

Harco Financing, an arm of IHCC, was used by dealers to finance their floor plans. The Chicago & West Pullman Railroad is another one that IH had a stake in. 

 

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A few things I can think of:

IH owned a plantation in Manilla and 7 factories for the growth and production of sisal and manilla twine.

IH had their own iron ore mine and 2 ships to transport it to the steel plant.

The West Pullman company produced fasteners for assembly of their products.

IH designed houses and outbuildings for farmsteads and made the blueprints available. 

IH had their own film production company and their own studios at Hickory Hill.

IH had a full functioning farm at Hinsdale to test and photograph its products. 

 

 

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Solar was a wholly owned subsidiary bought by IH in 1959. Sold to Caterpillar in the early eighties for the astronomical sum of $505 million dollars in a desperate bid to stay afloat. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

Solar turbine built the turbochargers for the 1206 and subsequent tractors and construction equipment. 

They also built gasoline turbine engines, and still do.

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1 hour ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

IH had their own film production company and their own studios at Hickory Hill.

IH had a full functioning farm at Hinsdale to test and photograph its products. 

 

And those were one of the two best thing IH had ever done....... you and me both have films they made!

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6 hours ago, J-Mech said:

They also built gasoline turbine engines, and still do.

SON and I attended a BIG open house at WISCONSIN CENTRIFUGAL Foundry on North St. Paul Ave in Waukesha.  Their BIG developement was merging investment casting technology with centrifugal casting process to cast a 99+% net shape jet engine housing for GE.  As a comparison they had a small SOLAR turbine housing sitting there, two inch thick wall casting,  was about 1/3rd the size of the GE engines and 1/4 the HP,  but the Solar was for an auxillary power unit for the armed forces, heavy weight wasn't a problem because it never left the ground.

   IH bought Solar back when EVERYBODY in the automotive industry was playing with turbine powered cars & trucks. Ford, Chrysler, GM,White Truck,  and IH didn't want to be left behind. They built the HT-340, and a turbine powered Trans-Star.  What killed the idea for everyone was the high fuel consumption and the tremendous amount of hot exhaust gas turbines put out.  But their light weight for their power output would have really benefitted many different types of equipment.

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I miss those bolts with “IH” on the heads. Every once in a while I come across one when I’m working on my Oliver that my Dad undoubtedly grabbed out of his box of spare bolts when he was doing a repair.

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4 hours ago, DOCTOR EVIL said:

They built the HT-340,

I was always fascinated by that tractor for some reason. 

313285626_IHCturbine2.jpg.4bed652d31e88162ecef2f9eee40397e.jpg

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11 hours ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

The West Pullman company produced fasteners for assembly of their products.

And other companies products!! That’s why the IH came off the bolt head, and WP went on, the other companies didn’t want IH on their equipments bolts.  Well I don’t want WP, I want IH!!!! ?

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Almost Unfathomable  to believe  such a  progressively large  company like IH was and couldn't have survived from Bankruptcy problems it looks like they went out buying assets like a drunken sailor 

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12 minutes ago, ksfarmdude said:

Almost Unfathomable  to believe  such a  progressively large  company like IH was and couldn't have survived from Bankruptcy problems it looks like they went out buying assets like a drunken sailor 

Just as a note, I think most IH enthusiasts have heard of the book by Barbara Marsh, A Corporate Tragedy , but if you haven't, find a copy.  It details Harvester from beginning to end and goes into great detail how they went from one of the largest most profitable companies in history to nothing.  The crazy thing is there was no one thing that led to its demise.  It was 100 smaller things over 50 years that started a spiral that Harvester couldn't recover from almost all of which was poor management.  The UAW strikes in the 70's and 80's along with high interest and poor farm economy in the 80's nailed the coffin shut. It's so sad.  As far as I know, they still study Harvester in college business classes because it's such a rare failure with no one cause.  As sad as it is, it's also fascinating.  

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It happens more than you think, take a look at General motors, they have a lot of the same issues now that IH had, including the most important one, piss poor management.I worked for steel giant LTV and when things were booming they whizzed away all of their cash instead of paying down debt or saving it for tough times,sound familiar?

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17 hours ago, Illini986 said:

Solar was a wholly owned subsidiary bought by IH in 1959. Sold to Caterpillar in the early eighties for the astronomical sum of $505 million dollars in a desperate bid to stay afloat. 

Actually the plant name in San Diego was rebadged to CAT on  or about 1976,  IHC spent years going from a productive company to G-O-N-E.

We had a 250 KW SOLAR by International Harvester emergency genset on the USN ship I was on at the time and Technical Support was still provided by Solar.

I read a Current News Week article on IH on a flight back from Seattle to San Diego in 1983 before I realized the bad condition of my favorite American Company!

 

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17 hours ago, J-Mech said:

They also built gasoline turbine engines, and still do.

And natural gas fired.....

The plant in downtown San Diego is right near the Midway aircraft carrier IIRC.

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8 hours ago, J-Mech said:

Just as a note, I think most IH enthusiasts have heard of the book by Barbara Marsh, A Corporate Tragedy , but if you haven't, find a copy.  It details Harvester from beginning to end and goes into great detail how they went from one of the largest most profitable companies in history to nothing.  The crazy thing is there was no one thing that led to its demise.  It was 100 smaller things over 50 years that started a spiral that Harvester couldn't recover from almost all of which was poor management.  The UAW strikes in the 70's and 80's along with high interest and poor farm economy in the 80's nailed the coffin shut. It's so sad.  As far as I know, they still study Harvester in college business classes because it's such a rare failure with no one cause.  As sad as it is, it's also fascinating.  

I have been looking for a copy to purchase, but the only one I can find on the internet has a price tag of $250! ?

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5 minutes ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

I have been looking for a copy to purchase, but the only one I can find on the internet has a price tag of $250! ?

You just have to keep watching and looking.  Took me a year or two to find one.  I had the local library get me a copy and I read it.  Then when I had the chance, I bought a copy. 

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On 1/31/2021 at 12:44 PM, J-Mech said:

Just as a note, I think most IH enthusiasts have heard of the book by Barbara Marsh, A Corporate Tragedy , but if you haven't, find a copy.  It details Harvester from beginning to end and goes into great detail how they went from one of the largest most profitable companies in history to nothing.  The crazy thing is there was no one thing that led to its demise.  It was 100 smaller things over 50 years that started a spiral that Harvester couldn't recover from almost all of which was poor management.  The UAW strikes in the 70's and 80's along with high interest and poor farm economy in the 80's nailed the coffin shut. It's so sad.  As far as I know, they still study Harvester in college business classes because it's such a rare failure with no one cause.  As sad as it is, it's also fascinating.  

A great source for reading this is your library.  If not city, then county, or local university.  If they don't have the book they can quite possibly inter-library loan it to you.  I've gone that route and it's an interesting (and sad) read. 

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