The Western View: Red Combines

Taylor HillmanFeatures, Western View

If you have a farmer on your Christmas list, I have a book for you. It would make a great present for any gearhead that thinks tractors make good yard art.

The Western View: Red Combines

This new book chronicles the history of one of the most important mechanical devices ever invented. The book is about combine harvesters built by International Harvester and Case IH from 1915 to 2015. That’s 100 years of changes to a machine that revolutionized agriculture and brought mass production to grain farming.

The combine was invented in the United States by Hiram Moore in 1834. Those early versions were pulled by horse or mule teams. They quickly became popular with growers around the country. Using a combine to harvest allowed a few men to do the job of dozens more. It brought the industrial revolution to the family farm, and that farm could feed many more people than any farm ever could before.

The book was written by Lee Klancher, an author who is an expert in antique farm machinery, among other things.

His book about Red Combines is magnificent. It is big: it weighs over 6 pounds, has 380 pages, and is filled with outstanding photographs, sketches, and drawings that show how combines developed over the century. He tells how the axial-flow combine was developed in great secrecy, and how today, that axial-flow system still has the fewest drive components, and is engineered for simplicity and reliability.

It’s a great coffee table book, as well as a valuable reference for IH-Case combines. It’s also a companion to Lee’s previous book, Red Tractors, which documents Farmall, IH, and Case tractors built between 1948 and 2013.

The book is available from the publisher at <> or from <>, and if you order in then next few days there’s still time to get it here for Christmas.

I’m Len Wilcox and Happy Holidays from the Western View at AgNet West.