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Great-Grandpa & Grandma with Old Betsy

Great-Grandpa & Grandma with Old Betsy

Old Betsy is the car not the woman [wink] ... a "1908 International" according to the picture (International Harvester). My great-grandparents were farmers in Iowa.

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International High Wheeler

The International High Wheeler was available with several body options, a far-sighted idea in 1907. You could have a full Buggy body (seating front and rear), or a pickup-type wagon body with just a front seat -- and you had the choice of optional hoods for both styles.

Yes, the frame was all wood, and the large buggy wheels had two appealing features. Firstly, they were practical for rutted tracks that passed for roads in 1907 to at least 1915. Secondly, the High Wheeler buyers, used to horses, could relate to buggy wheels, making the transition to motorized transport a little easier.

Over 4,500 High Wheelers were produced, with a very large number still surviving.

However, the Ford Model T was cheaper, faster, lighter, and more powerful -- and it was the death knell for the High Wheeler. IHC lost its way in motor vehicle design, temporarily, under the Model T onslaught, but then found its niche in motor trucks.


Where in Iowa? Mine are in the southeast near Carroll.

"History must be written of, by and for the survivors."

Mine in IA, too!

My grandparents and great-grandparents where farmers in Iowa, too! I can't recall if my grandpa was an IH or John Deere guy though. I think IH!

International Harvester

Interesting to note at this point in automotive development, that the vehicle is little more than a small engine attached to a wagon. Looks like it's mostly made of wood.

[It's a wagon chassis without a body. International Harvester made agricultural equipment before getting into the truck business. - Dave]

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