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A Corporate Tragedy

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kostendorf

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Keith Ostendorf
I don't know all that's been talked about on this thread, but I saw McCormick mentioned and would like to know how they are tied into IH. My 460 has McCormick Farmall and IH all over it. Just above Farmall you can see McCormick.
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thoffman

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Tom Hoffman
Kraig and all,
A 1/6 scale modle of that reaper made in 1931 JUST SOLD for $3700. on ebay! I guess my bid was too low.

Don't hold me to it but I beleive the Deering name was dropped in the late 40's when the last of the Deering family members were board members. At that point McCormick was only used.
 

fcurrier

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Frank A. Currier(Northern Maine)
Kraig = A man of few words but many, many pictures. How lucky we are!
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jchamberlin

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Jeremiah Chamberlin
Tom: Thanks for that video.

Regarding the Chicago plant, I had no idea that it existed before the fire. Can you confirm that the "new" plant was located at 39th and Western (or Pershing & Western) on the South Side? Somehow I got the notion that all that vacant land and marvelously wide streets and access roads were associated with a McCormick plant at that location.
 

jchamberlin

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Jeremiah Chamberlin
Wow! I had no idea that the IH company was that large. The West Pullman plant doesn't look all that remarkable in such company. They weren't kidding when they said "International" --it looks like they wrote the book on global marketing.

I haven't read the book you all are reading, but I've been associated with companies that seem to take the attitude that "since they're the best" anything they decide to do will be "a piece of cake." They don't really take the time to consider what it will take to get into a market, or what it will cost them if their rosy projections don't pan out. Managers everywhere are famous for "burying their mistakes" (like doctors), failure has no fathers, its always somebody else's fault when things don't go the way they've planned. The "we're better than the other guy" mentality seems to get in everyone's head, from the plant floor to the executive suite. There's no reality checking going on --until the Merger & Acquisition folks show up to tell you how much the company (isn't) worth now . . ..

Rant over, back to work; no, looking for work.
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thoffman

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Tom Hoffman
Jeremiah, DO a google search on the address, go to satellite veiw and the to street view. The satellite veiw is different than the street view. The building is still there in street view.
 

rkelm

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May 25, 2012
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Rodney Kelm
Kraig, seeing that picture of the reaper brought back some memories - my dad has one on his place - I remember as a kid playing on that thing - only saw it run once. Hate to say but it is slowly rusting away. It is a little later model than the one in the picture but you don't see many of them in real or in pictures.
 

hydroharry

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Harry Bursell
Jeremiah, et al - you really should borrow the book from Frank. Take yourself back thru the history. Take yourself into the 40's, 50's, 60's and forward. This company was International before companies were international. But analyzing and making money on a product? There were no computers. How do you figure that out? IH's dealer and customer base was so strong, well if a farmer needed it, or could maybe even use it, and IH could make it, they probably would. Have you ever heard of "loss leaders"? It's not mentioned in the book, but sometimes you have to have a product that doesn't make money, in order to be able to keep selling your products that do make money. Don't let the competition have anything/any ground. It's actually hard to imagine that era. They did have telephones, but the good ole US Mail was likely the best formal communication method (and there was no overnite delivery - I think they had something called "Air Mail" hehe). Ya gotta read the book!!!!!
 

bjamison

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Binder 1650

bjamison

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Binder 1650
Ordered me a copy of A Corporate Tragedy today. $66 plus shipping. Momma said no more tractors, but didn't say anything about parts or books...
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dfrisk

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Dennis Frisk
BILL - That's a good price on that book. The new printings have additional notes on IH that my original copy doesn't have.

As a former International employee who had been around IH equipment of all kinds, I wished Barbara Marsh had gone into more depth about some of the other plants, but she did do some face-to-face interviews with a few people from FARMALL.
 

bjamison

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Binder 1650
Update: Got a email from Amazon and it turns out that the $66 copy of A Corporate Tragedy was unavailable. Seems they made a mistake. Sooooo - I found a new copy for $35 and bought it.

I've been traveling out near the left coast for work and flew home today. That gave me plenty of seat time, between flights and during flights. When I got home, I had about 60 pages to go, so I threw myself into the recliner and finished the book.

The demise do International Harvester is one sad story.
 

dfrisk

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Dennis Frisk
BILL - Now that you've read the book, former Boss & Mentor of mine said he and his wife had business classes in college where the book was required reading, as in "How NOT to run your company".

Yes, IH made mistakes in marketing, rational business goals, and on the financial side of running their business, but when it came to day-to-day manufacturing of products, and designing for "manufacturability", they were in a class of ONE back in their heyday. Only Henry Ford and the Model T even came close. Which is easy to do if you make ONE thing, always the same.
 

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