Waterman International Harvester Collection, 1905-1913


Henry A. Waterman (1872-1955) was born in Canada and came to the United States in 1882. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1896 and began work at the Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company as an engineer. In 1900 he became the plant manager for the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in Chicago but left two years later for the Western Electric Company, also in Chicago. Waterman came to Milwaukee in 1905 to become the superintendent of the International Harvester Company plant there. He left in 1913 when he got a new job as manager of design and manufacture at the M. Rumely Company in La Porte, Indiana.

The International Harvester Company began in the 1830s when Cyrus Hall McCormick produced a horse-drawn reaper. He later moved to Chicago, and with his brother formed the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in 1847. A merger with the Deering Harvester Company, Milwaukee Harvesting Machine Company and several other smaller companies in 1902 created the International Harvester Company. The company was now producing motorized tractors and plows, and later produced trucks, mowers, and other equipment. After several years of decline, the company reorganized as the Navistar International Corporation in 1986 and is still active today.