International Harvester
international harvester

International Harvester played a major role in changing the shape of American agriculture. The company was born out of a 1902 merger between Deering Harvester Company and McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. McCormick was founded by Cyrus McCormick, who invented the mechanical reaper, a horse-drawn device used to harvest crops, sparing workers the labor of reaping by hand.

After the merger, International Harvester manufactured big trucks and tractors. But as the business developed, it focused on building machines in general and became less involved with the agricultural side of the business. In 1986, the company changed its name to Navistar International Corporation, still a Fortune 500 company today that produces trucks, defense vehicles and RVs.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 10 2013 03:04 PM ET
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