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International Harvester Paint Committee and Product Identification Committee Decisions, 1924-1964

How to Use the Paint Committee and Product Identification Committee Decisions

The decisions are arranged by date, beginning in 1924, and were issued in roughly three batches. The first batch of decisions (No. 1 to No. 64) outlined the general way to paint the kinds of implements made at each factory or "works." The next set of decisions (No. 65 to No. 198) changed the old paint schemes, or created new schemes for new machines. The third set of decisions begins on May 17, 1956. These are the decisions of the Product Identification Committee (No.1 to No. 724). This committee was formed by the merger of the Paint Committee, the Transfer [decal] Committee and the Naming Committee. In addition to color schemes, the decisions of the Product Indetification Committee cover decals and the naming of machines.

There are a few general rules to follow when you search for the color scheme of your implement.

  • Start with the earliest decisions you can find that relate to your implement. Decisions were in effect from the date they were issued until modified or superseded by subsequent decisions. Work up to the rough date your implement was made to see changes over time.
  • Consider both specific and general decisions. For example, if you are interested in the color scheme of a Little Wonder plow between 1925 and 1935, you must consult decisions that specifically name the Little Wonder plow, and decisions published during those years that affected all plows. Also, be sure to check decisions that applied to "all implements." You must search for these decisions separately using the term "all implements" from the pull down search menu.
  • A search will lead you to the first page of a relevant decision. You may have to browse through the entire decision to find the implement you searched for.
  • If you want to be thorough, do not rely completely on the search tool. When you run a search using the pull down menu, you are not searching the full text of the Paint Committee decisions. You are searching keywords that we have assigned to each decision. In most cases, the keywords were taken directly from the text of the decisions. However, International Harvester used different terms to describe the same implements over the years. To conduct the most complete search we encourage researchers to view the list of all decisions arranged in date order or browse the decisions themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Are the Paint Committee and Product Identification Committee decisions the most reliable source of information on the original colors of International Harvester products? The decisions are the best information in the McCormick International Harvester Collection on the original colors of International Harvester products for the years 1924 to 1964. The decisions on this web site are scanned images of documents that were originally created by the International Harvester Company. The Wisconsin Historical Society does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in the documents.

2) Why are some decisions missing? The Paint Committee decisions are numbered 1 through 198. However, some decisions were assigned numbers, but no formal decision was ever issued. As a consequence, numbers 3, 5, 30, 45-56, 58, 70-71, 79, 91-93, 101, 110, 123, 161 are missing from the sequence.

3) Why can't I find my implement? The decisions cover the years 1924 to 1964. However, the decisions do not list by name every implement produced by International Harvester during those years. If your implement is not listed, you should consult decisions for similar implements, or decisions that applied to the works (factory) that produced your implement. For instance, for the color scheme of a P&O plow that is not listed by name, you could consult decisions for other plows manufactured at the P&O plow works.

If your implement was made before 1924 or after 1964, you will need to consult other sources for original color information. The McCormick-International Harvester Collection includes color images of some equipment produced from 1915 to 1926, and from 1950 to 1985. Contact the McCormick-International Harvester Collection Archivist  for more information.


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