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Art & Inspiration Old I.H.factory soon history

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rusty1, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. of my favorite old buildings will be torn down soon,'s located along the Rock River in Rock Falls, Illinois, built in 1870 using limestone from the Rock River, International Harvester built farm implements here. I liked using the building as a backdrop taking pics of my old cars.'s a pic a couple months ago, and today with all the trees taken out...and one from the 50's.
    48 ford r.f. dam 004.jpg IH bldg 6-20-17 001.jpg rock falls buildings 1-27-16 049.jpg rock falls buildings 1-27-16 050.jpg rock falls buildings 1-27-16 032.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  2. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    Great pictures! I always liked IHC equipment. Tearing down historic buildings is called"Progress" We scrapped the "Enterprise" too.
  3. BradinNC
    Joined: Mar 18, 2014
    Posts: 213


    A handsome building. I would hope what ever replaces that space is worthy, but somehow I doubt it.
  4. sad....and for you that is close by...even sadder....sadly - might just not be any thing built on it....that's even sadder...

  5. Will they let you snag those green lamp fixtures? Those are great shop lights.
    harpo1313 and Fedcospeed like this.
  6. Retired from IH (Navistar) in 2004, 35 years, worked in Ft. Wayne, IN and Springfield, Ohio, great benefits, thanks UAW!!
  7. 1927Tudor
    Joined: Nov 21, 2007
    Posts: 188


    +1 on the Benjamin light fixtures... better to be salvaged than scrapped..
    Runnin shine likes this.
  8. NWRustyJunk
    Joined: Jan 2, 2017
    Posts: 395


    Save the light fixtures and that cool old rolling cart in the 4th picture down.
    Man, I hate seeing old buildings like that knocked down! So much history in those walls. I wish more people could see it that way. Just like our cars...once it's gone its gone forever.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  9. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,284

    from So Cal

    Unfortunately the UAW, and managements inability to negotiate with them, ended up killing the company. My dad also worked for IH for many years, at the distributor level. I had a roof put over my head and food on the table and clothes on my back for all of my formative years because of that company, so I am very fond of it. I ended up in the equipment business myself, staring on the old IH/Farmall ag equipment, and eventually moving into the heavy equipment part of the business, where I still work today. I think the first job I helped on was a clutch job on an old M. I lived thru the demise of the company, and I managed my mothers finances for the last few years of her life, so I saw the pension checks come in every month (very small), but it was the medical insurance that was great. Between that and medicare she was fully covered.

    I still have a soft spot for all things IH. My dad owned several IH pickups over the years, and I owned one myself, a 71 1210. If you cut me, I still bleed International red....
    6inarow, tractorguy, Old-Soul and 2 others like this.
  10. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,027

    from California

    they tear down perfectly good old buildings and put 50 skinny 3 story homes in their place where I live. I don't think they even build houses with yards anymore in my city.
  11. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 760


    I worked for IH/Navistar for 35 years, in Product Development.

    The UAW didn't kill them. Bad management did.

    I was in management and saw it first hand.
  12. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,930

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    And I will disagree with that. Not every site that once held an old building must have something built to take it's place.
    A piece of land cleaned up and in it's natural state is just fine.
    Steve Ray and Hnstray like this.
  13. "They" just tore down an old auto parts store that was used for as long as I can remember. Don't know of any plans for the site, but it was the last of the "original" buildings that I recall from my childhood (1960's) and pre-dated me by 10-20 years.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  14. .....................another piece of America lost.:(
  15. I enjoy walking through those old buildings, you swear you can still hear them banging away or BS'ing in the lunch room. US Manufacturing is getting rarer than the Spotted Owl.
  16. There's this thing called "continuity". Teachers knock around the edges of continuity when they teach history.

    For a place to have value to a person or a family, or a community to have connection, they need continuity. Tearing down the place and letting a grove of trees take over or even a sleek new edifice destroys the continuity, weakens the social fabric.

    We are a much newer country - we don't have the long history of Europe, or Egypt or China.

    H. Ford knew that innately - which is why he built the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

    One of the first things that a conquering monarch would do - and you can see that even today in the Middle East - is to knock down, deface and supplant the history of the previous regime - the carved monuments, the pictographs on the city walls. Erase the history of the people, and its much easier to replace the old memories with new ones and control the populace.

    We are smarter than that - I hope. If the remaining monuments to what built this country disappear, if there is nothing we can point to with pride and say "my grandfather worked there when he came over from the old country" - then what is there for us as individuals to defend?

    That old IHC plant is something that a few can still say "this is who we are. This is what we came from, what we built, what gives us the pride and social authority to say we expect great things from ourselves, our country, and the ones that follow after us."
    Zerk, Surfcityrocker, brad2v and 5 others like this.
  17. BigDogSS
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 893

    from SoCal

    My Grandfather and Great-Grandfather were IHC Implement dealers in Iowa.
    tractorguy likes this.
  18. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo

    Too bad about the "Big E", but she is a nuke and it is prohibitively expensive to turn her into a museum, sad but true.
  19. Damned straight. If the CEO and Board of Directors can take credit for years of record profits, then they can/must also take credit for years of record declines.

    And the final reality is, neither management nor workers can be blamed when market forces change who can most economically deliver product for the lowest price.

    I suppose England had the same gripes when that new upstart - the US of A decided to start exporting everything from automobiles and heavy machinery to sewing machines and guns into the global market back at the turn of the last century. Devastated the British industrial economy.

    Been that way since the Phoenicians started trading olive oil 3K years ago.
    Old-Soul, wraymen and BradinNC like this.
  20. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,701

    from Berry, AL

    I like to see when they take an old building like that and completely redo it, leaving the outside shell looking mostly original, but the inside repurposed into offices or apartments. Old buildings are a lot like our old cars, when they're gone, they're gone forever except in memories.
    exterminator and C. John Stutzer like this.
  21. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,284

    from So Cal

    Well, here's a pretty damn good detailed explanation of the whole mess.–80

    The bottom line is the UAW strike did end up hurting the company to the point it could not recover, and just prior to the strike the company was making record setting profits. As I posted above, the UAW, and managements inability to negotiate with them, ended up killing the company. That is an accurate statement. UAW negotiated great pay and bennies for the workers, but they ended up without a job. And Archie McCardell may have been responsible for the death of the company, but he still got his million dollar bonus. Who's the winner????

    BTW, I am a union member, IUOE local 12, since mid 80's.
    tractorguy, Torkwrench and gggholson like this.
  22. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Like any company, management, who do practically nothing to make money, get over paid while those who do the work get under paid.
    Zerk likes this.
  23. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,812


    You would hope someone could salvage the limestone blocks and build other smaller buildings with them. Bob
  24. BradinNC
    Joined: Mar 18, 2014
    Posts: 213


    I have heard in the past, that the BEST sales year for the IH scout was the final production year. Make you wonder.
    I grew up on a farm in SE Iowa, used almost exclusively IH equipment. Only exception was a Ford 8N, and a 175 Massey with Perkins diesel.
    tractorguy and BigDogSS like this.
  25. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,640


    Interesting how they reinforced the wooden ceiling beams and supports with metal skeletons. Makes it difficult to even reuse the old wood. They have torn down old buildings here in my town, only to have to deal with hazardous materials and contaminated ground afterwards. Of course those ultimately get passed right along to future customers. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.......I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  26. Kind of getting off course here but what's wrong with the workers seeing some of those record profits? The above statements tell me that maybe the owners wanted it all to themselves. In most cases Unions are forced to make concessions in order to keep the company going. Why shouldn't it work in reverse when they are setting records? IBEW 37 years.

    "Phoenicians" You don't here that reference much. A Suburbanite from Arizona?:)
    Steve Ray and lothianwilly71 like this.
  27. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,284

    from So Cal

    We are getting off into the weeds, don't want to get the thread closed down. The profits were record for the company, but compared to competitors in the same industry, i.e Cat, John Deere, margins were low. Management has a fiduciary responsibility to share holders to maximize profits and share value. It's Business 101 stuff. McCardell was hired specifically to deal with that. Obviously, he failed miserably. There is no fiduciary responsibility to the workers, but that isn't to say its wise management to not take care of them properly, that's also Business 101 stuff. IMO both the company and the union "lost" as far as I can see. There's enough blame to go around...
  28. 7&7
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 362

    from Colorado

    I am a UA local 3 member 3rd generation. I always had great medical growing up, broken arm no problem..paid! When my oldest son got sick at 6 months it was $300 co-pay for $192,000 dollar stay. Now, just 14 years later I barely have any insurance. Oldest makes a mistake eats a protein bar with (the breed of peanuts that are deadly) peanuts and my bill is $1800. In the mean time I get to watch an after hours care go up on every corner. No money in medical my ass.
    They should re-purpose that building. That is "MERICA" at its finest time.
  29. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,674


    Just hate to to see old architect left to mother nature's rath all the other stuff I ignore. Damn shame.
  30. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,229


    I saw a lot of this where I grew up in the 80s-90s where developers gobbled up all kinds of farm land for strip malls, and shopping centers. Now so many of these buildings sit half empty while they build another one down the road
    Engine man likes this.

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