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A 1939 Farmall A International Harvester advertisement

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INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER WINTER CONVENTION BRINGS GLOBAL COLLECTORS TO TOPEKA, KANSAS

International Harvester collectors from around the globe are scheduled to gather March 20 to 22, 2003, in Topeka, Kan., for their 11th annual winter convention, the group's largest meeting of the year. Sponsored by the Kansas IH Collectors Chapter No. 3, the event will be headquartered at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 S.W. Topeka Blvd., and is expected to draw about 700 participants, mostly collectors from 31 worldwide chapters. A block of seats on an Amtrak train has even been booked in advance for convention-goers coming from Chicago and points north into Canada, so they can travel together.

Those in attendance will celebrate 101 years of IH service and history with lectures, seminars, a swap meet, auction and tours. Lee Grady, archivist of the McCormick International Harvester Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wis., will be the keynote speaker. He will also bring various documents to help collectors determine such hard-to-find information as original paint combinations, serial numbers and histories on rare models and unusual pieces.

Representatives of the new McCormick Tractor International Ltd., the contemporary 'descendant' of International Harvester Corp., will make a presentation on company history. McCormick Tractor International is headquartered in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, and recently has established McCormick International USA through an alliance with Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, Iowa. Marvin Fagan, a 33-year employee of International Harvester and Case corporations, which eventually were joined through merger, also will speak about his long career with those firms.

On display for the gathering will be an original Cyrus McCormick 'Daisy' reaper, built from 1882 to 1934, and the Letter Series of tractors, beginning with an F-12. For those looking to buy, a swap meet is planned for Friday, March 21, at the hotel. Among items for sale will be NOS, remanufactured parts, toys and apparel. Dan Dennett, chapter president, says space is limited and anyone who wants to sell at the swap meet should call the telephone number below to reserve space. On Friday, an open auction of smaller items will also be held at the hotel.

Scheduled tours include a visit to the National Agriculture Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kan. FC

- For more information, contact Dan Dennett at (316) 746-2593; e-mail: dddennett@hot-mail.com