05 August 2008

Our Historic 5,000,000th Tractor

The International Harvester Model F-1066 Farmall 5,000,000th Tractor
By Ken Robison

On February 1, 1974, at 9 a. m., International Harvester made history, producing its 5 millionth tractor. When this historic tractor, Serial #2610172U035153, was produced at International Harvester's Farmall Plant in Rock Island, Illinois on February 1, 1974, IH became the first manufacturer to claim the production of 5,000,000 tractors. The orginial press release photo caption reads: "In special ceremonies at International Harvester's Farmall Plant, Rick Island, IL, Stanley F. Lancaster, vice president, marketing, Agricultural/Industrial Equipment Division, Chicago, and local beauty, Valerie Robb, 22, hail production of the company's record 5,000,000th Tractor on Friday, February 1. IH is the first tractor to claim this distinction and marked the event with an assembly line commemorative celebration." [see two internet images from the unveiling: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/results.asp?keyword1=66&keyword2=farmall&subject_broad_id=1&subject_broad=Agriculture&subject_narrow_id=39&subject _narrow=Tractors&search_type=advanced&sort_by=date&boolean_type1=and

The tractor came equipped with nearly every option IH offered along with a special paint scheme, chrome exhaust, grill and rims. The following two years, the historic tractor was featured at fairs, conventions, and shows across the United States.

On September 26, 1976, this tractor was offered at auction to all International Harvester [IH] dealers attending a new series 86 Tractor announcement in Chicago. Of 177 entries, the winning bid of $40,086.86 was submitted by the Montana IH Dealer group. The keys to the tractor were presented to these dealers on November 5, 1976. It was immediately announced that the proceeds from the auction would be used to establish a Research Program under the direction of Montana State University for a study to further improve tractor operating efficiencies. The Montana IH Dealer group at that time consisted of thirteen implement dealers across the state of Montana. In the years following, the tractor was rotated around the state for showing by IH dealers.

By the early 1990s, only three of the Montana dealers remained in business. These dealers, the Musick Implement Company of Denton, the Big Sky Equipment Company of Conrad, and the Kamp Implement Company of Belgrade, decided to present the 5,000,000th Tractor to the new Museum of the Northern Great Plains in Fort Benton. This museum is designated by the Montana State Legislature as the official "Montana Agricultural Museum." On the 15th of June 1995, the tractor arrived in Fort Benton, where it remains today on display at the Museum of the Northern Great Plains.

This historically significant tractor is an important part of agricultural history, not only in Montana but also across the United States.

The 5,000,000th IH Tractor as it appears today:

1 comment:

lloyd sorlien said...

I just watched your preentation on RFD The lady on there had the name of Cook. I live on the old Cook place here in south dakota. Just wonder if she came from SD.my email is lgsorlien@svtv.com