H.K. Holsman and the Independent Harvester Company

In April of 1910, H.K. Holsman joined the Independent Harvester Company, of Plano, Illinois, as a consulting engineer. At that time he turned over all of his patent rights to the I.H.C., who had agreed to manufacture cars to the Holsman design and patents. He was soon placed in charge of their automotive department, but only stayed with them for a few years. They advertised these cars as being very suitable for farmers, doctors, and livery service. Apparently very few of them were manufactured during their production years of 1910 & 1911.

By February 1911 they had introduced what they called an Unusual Type of Commercial Vehicle, using the name I.H.C. It was powered by a 24/26 HP, 4 cylinder, air cooled engine which was basically the Holsman “H” type motor with minor modifications. The price ranged from $750 to $800 depending upon the style of the commercial body ordered. The Holsman type drive was also incorporated but it used a “V” belt rather than rope or chain. There was a bit of confusion between these vehicles and those manufactured by the International Harvester Co., as both were called the I.H.C.

By early 1918 the Independent Harvester Co. was in receivership but was rescued by an infusion of money by a Milwaukee, Wisconsin group composed of Grant Fitch, Lawrence Fitch, Francis Bloodgood, Jr., Jackson B. Kemper and Albert J. Darling, Trustees of the purchasing syndicate under the name Independent Harvester Co. Ltd. They discontinued any attempt to manufacture a car, but continued to manufacture farm machinery and implements, and then tractors. Sometime later, they sold out to the International Harvester Co., of Chicago, Illinois.

The last vestiges of the Holsman and the I.H.C. automobiles disappeared when the F.H. Earl Mfg., Co of Plano, Illinois purchased the remaining wooden fellows and top bows. F.H. Earl manufactured ladders, garden swings, garden benches, etc. The top bows were incorporated into the design of their garden benches, and the fellows in their four people garden swings.