H I C A G O
R I B U T E
With his reaper, farmers
harvested five times more
wheat in a single day than they could with human
labor. By 1859, it was estimated that the
McCormick reaper contributed $55 million annually
to the gross national product.
Because Chicago was
the center of transportation for the agricultural
West, McCormick built a factory in 1847 on the north bank of the
Chicago River. After the 1871 fire, the factory was rebuilt near Blue
Island and Western Avenues.
McCormick used his wealth
to support a Presbyterian theological
seminary and other institutions, and was active in politics.
McCormick died in 1884;
his last words were Work, work, work. In
1902, his son, Cyrus, oversaw the merger in which his manufacturing
firm became the International Harvester Company.