QUESTION: Who patented the modern horse-drawn reaper that made large-scale farming more effective, back in 1843?
A) J.I. Case
B) Cyrus McCormick
C) John International
D) John Deere
We have devoted this entire week to the Case Tractor Company. Definitely not the most famous of the American-based tractor companies, Case is certainly one of our more significant producers of agricultural technologies. Prior to the industrial revolution, farmers around the world had few options. If they wanted to plant, it had to be done by hand. The back-breaking work required either small farms or large crews to get the job done. Then things began to change and, as it turned out, 1843 became a landmark for that change. The patent for the horse-drawn reaper was granted and the J.I. Case Mechanical Threshing Company began business that year. The reaper and the thresher were major innovations, and remain so today.
Very few companies stand without competition, and although Case was one of the first of its kind, it was not the only one. International Harvester Company (IHC) emerged in 1902, when financier J.P. Morgan merged five different companies. IHC produced trucks and larger vehicles, many of which were produced after 1926 in their Rock Island, Illinois Farmall plant. The company prospered until competition by such companies as Ford and John Deere took their toll. Questionable decisions by the world leader led to financial trouble and compelled their buy-out in 1984 by the Tenneco Company, the self-same Tenneco who had bought Case twenty years earlier. Now, under the name of Case IH, International Harvester continues to exist. The American Treasure Tour has on display vehicles made by both companies prior to this merger.
ANSWER: B) Cyrus McCormick