International Harvester Collection

by Kate C
Publish date
17 December 2010
Comments (2)

The History & Technology Department is steadily listing the vast International Harvester Collection on Collections Online. This collection of over 50,000 items records the operations, products and manufacturing of the Australian subsidiary of the International Harvester Company. This US-based company began selling its agricultural machinery and trucks in Australia in 1902. Local manufacturing in Victoria began in the late 1930s.

The IH Collection includes colour transparencies which are particularly interesting because colour photography was still quite rare in the 1940s. It’s unusual to see scenes of this era captured in vivid reds and blues and greens.

Horse-drawn GL-60 plough Horse-drawn GL-60 plough manufactured by International Harvester, 1940. This is one of several colour transparencies in the collection. (MM 115209)
Source: Museum Victoria

Nearly 200 images are now online and more will be listed in coming months. Curator David Crotty is keen to hear from anyone who could help identify some of the people in the images, particularly the photos of farmers and town residents who attended presentations by International Harvester sales reps.

Group of International Harvester salesmen A group of International Harvester salesmen presenting the Farmall A Tractor in Albury, 1940. The company embarked upon regional tours demonstrating its agricultural machinery. (MM 115021)
Source: Museum Victoria

Group of farmers from Cohuna Group of farmers from Cohuna outside International Harvester factory, Geelong, 1940. (MM 115033)
Source: Museum Victoria


International Harvester Collection

Comments (2)

sort by
Michael Halsall 24 June, 2016 12:42
It is wonderful that museum has saved these images for everyone to enjoy. International Harvester of Australia began as importer of US made products but at its peak was designing and manufacturing machinery here. The farm machinery factory was in Geelong, the truck factory in Dandeong and construction equipment was assembled in Port Melbourne. The Wisconsin Historical Society in the USA have a huge collection of International Harvester company records and photographs, including some Australian company records, which I have accessed.
Michael Halsall 24 June, 2016 12:49
Great to see a photographic records of this famous company's Australian operations held here for researchers like myself to view.
Write your comment below All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.