For more than 170 years, Case IH and its legacy brands have continued a tradition of leadership in the agricultural equipment sector. Bringing together the cumulative experiences of great companies such as Case, International Harvester and McCormick, Case IH is built on a rich history.
Founded by Jerome Case as Racine Threshing Machine Works in 1842, the company later changed its name to the J.I. Case and Company in 1863. Although J.I. Case and Company is known for producing the first steam engine tractor in 1869, it was Cyrus McCormick’s invention of the daisy reaper in 1882 that paved the way for the company’s future in harvesting leadership.
From the introduction of the harvester-thresher in 1915 to the Axial-Flow® combines of today, take a glimpse into the evolution that began with the Deering No. 1 harvester-thresher. Below are a few highlights. For a more complete timeline, visit the 100 Years of Harvesting Leadership page on our website. There you’ll find photographs, vintage advertisements and other important milestones in red combine history.
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1915 — Developed in conjunction with the McCormick model, the first Deering experimental harvester-thresher was built in 1913. This design became the basis of future International Harvester Company harvester-thresher combines. Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society #45642
1925 — Marking the transition from old-style harvester-threshers of the No. 4 and the No. 5, the modern and efficient machines of the No. 11 type dominated the harvest landscape. Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society #45641
1942 — International’s No. 123-SP (self-propelled) combine was released. The self-propelled model featured an IH six-cylinder engine and 12-foot cutter bar. Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society #115002
1955 — The No. 141 Hillside combine was the first machine to level hydraulically with a system to level the platform both fore and aft as well as side to side. Photo credit: Dave Gustafson
1977 — International Harvester Axial-Flow combines started using a single, large-diameter rotor for the threshing and separating process — eliminating the cylinder, beater and straw walkers of conventional combines.
1996 — The Case IH 2100 series introduced a new cab, a more efficient hydraulic system and an increased power system. Photo credit: Rachel Wegman
2009 — The 9120 Axial-Flow was the industry’s first class 9 combine. It had a 12.9-liter Iveco engine rated at 483 hp and introduced the 126-knife MagnaCut™ chopper.
2015 — Today’s Axial-Flow 140 and 240 series combines are proven to produce the highest grain quantity and quality to meet the needs of any operation.
From the introduction of the rub-bar cylinder in 1935 to the launch of the rotor design in 1977 and the Cross-Flow™ cleaning system of today, harvesting technology is constantly evolving to help producers feed the world. By taking the time to remember where we began, we can appreciate just how far we’ve come as we work toward the advancements of tomorrow.
To learn more about putting a red combine to work on your operation, visit your Case IH dealer.