Springfield Ohio History

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International Harvester Company plant in Springfield, Ohio, located at Buck Creek and Lagonda Avenue. It was a divisional plant manufacturing motor trucks. The roots of International Harvester can be traced back to the 1830s, when Cyrus Hall McCormick, an inventor from Virginia, finalized his version of a horse-drawn reaper. The reaper was demonstrated in tests in 1831 and was patented by Cyrus in 1834. Together with his brother, McCormick moved to Chicago in 1847 and started the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. The McCormick reaper sold well, partially as a result of savvy and innovative business practices. Their products came onto the market just as the development of railroads offered wide distribution to distant market areas. He developed marketing and sales techniques, includinging a vast network of trained salesmen able to demonstrate operation of the machines in the field. McCormick died in Chicago, with his company passing on to his son, Cyrus McCormick, Jr. In 1902, the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and Deering Harvester Company, along with three smaller agricultural equipment firms (Milwaukee; Plano; and Warder, Bushnell, and Glessner (manufacturers of Champion brand)) were purchased by J.P. Morgan and merged together to create the International Harvester Company. In 1919, the Parlin and Orendorff factory in Canton, Illinois, grew with a ranking of number one in the plow manufacturing industry. They were successful many decades, producing everything from tractors and automobiles to home appliances and Cub Cadet lawn mowers. International Harvester's downfall started in the 1980s. In order to stay in business, they sold the Ag business to Tenneco, Inc. in 1984. In 1986, Harvester changed the corporate name to Navistar International Corporation (having sold the International Harvester name and the IH symbol to Tenneco Inc. as part of the sale). Navistar International Corporation continues to manufacture medium- and heavy-duty trucks, school buses, and engines under the International brand name.
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