McCormick Harvesting Co. Lithograph Brings Battle to Life

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Chromolithograph advertisement by Calvert Lithograph Co. for McCormick Harvesting Machine Co.

McCormick Harvesting Machine Co., Chicago, commissioned Calvert Litho. Co., Detroit and Chicago, to produce this very large (40-by-28-inch) chromolithograph advertising poster that was copyrighted in 1891 by McCormick Harvesting Co. In addition, markings on the lower right corner indicate that the image was “Copied by Permission from the Cyclorama of the Monitor and Merrimac on Exhibition at Toledo, Co.”

The image depicts the first encounter of the ironclads 150 years ago and is titled “Terrific Engagement Between the Monitor and Merrimac at Hampton Roads, Va., March 9, 1862.” The text at the bottom reads: “This fight settled the fate of the ‘Wooden Walls’ of the world and taught all nations that the War-Ship of the future must be – like the McCormick Harvester – a Machine of Steel.” At the corners of the lithograph are color illustrations of McCormick’s grain binder and mower.

McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. produced similar large lithographs to commemorate famous Civil War battles at Atlanta, Gettysburg (two versions), Mission Ridge and Shiloh. Because of their large size, very few originals can be found today, especially in undamaged condition. FC

Grateful acknowledgement is given to David Schnakenberg, who contributed this image from his collection of pre-1910 chromolithographs of farm machinery advertising. For more information, contact him at 10108 Tamarack Dr., Vienna, VA 22182; (703) 938-8606;; view the Schnakenberg Collection at the Farm Machinery Advertising Art Ebay Store.

To submit a vintage advertisement for publication, send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality digital images by email:

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