Navistar has been one of the most well-known manufacturing companies in the country, from its earlier years in agricultural products to today with its truck manufacturing ranging from school buses to military trucks.
Its Springfield plant has played a large role in the company and currently employs more than 1,500 people. The truckmaker has now formed a partnership with Volkswagen.
Here are five facts about Navistar that may surprise you.
1. Becoming Navistar: International Harvester became Navistar in 1986 after a massive restructuring of the company. The rights to the name “International Harvester” and its logo were sold to Case Corp.
>>SLIDE SHOW: View Navistar’s Springfield facility
2. Connection with a president: Company founder Cyrus McCormick filed a lawsuit against John Henry Manny for patent infringement. One of Manny’s lawyers was a young attorney from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. Manny’s company would go through different owners until 1928, where it was bought by Case Corp.
3. One for the books: Little Golden Books published a children’s book that featured real-life trucks made by International. The book was published in 1955 and sold for 25 cents. Original copies of the book are still sold via eBay and Amazon.
4. Place in history: International designed custom trailers for Italian explorer Attilio Gatti for his exploration into the Congo in the 1930s. The vehicles were named the Jungle Yachts. When parked, they could be converted into a five-room apartment.
5. Company connections: Cub Cadet lawn mowers started as a product line for International Harvester in 1960. The product line was purchased by MTD, a Cleveland-based company in 1981.
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