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International Harvester

About two weeks ago a friend of Jodi's aunt brought over several large boxes full of clothes and had told us to go through them and take what we could use and give away or donate the rest. We got a couple shirts for Jacob out of the deal, but aside from that there wasn't much in our sizes. So, we passed on the fortune to several others. But before doing so Jodi did save one shirt that she recognized as an International shirt. No, the shirt hasn't traveled the world like those magic pants that managed to create a sisterhood. International. As in the manufacturer of diesel trucks. Her dad drove one at one point in time. So, she decided to keep it and use it as a sleeping shirt.

I was moving some stuff around in the living room including these boxes and saw this retro-looking number and had to check it out. I turned it over and read the front and couldn't believe it! It was an original International Harvester Springfield, Missouri Renew Center t-shirt!

Let me fill you in as to why it obviously excites me. In the late 70's, International Harvester was having serious financial problems and was suffering some major losses. It started to shut down certain facilities as a last hope to save itself. It started with the larger plants and it looked like the Springfield Renew Center, which was smaller in comparison to others, had dodged a bullet. However, the bullet came around in 1982 and about 300 people showed up to work one Monday morning to find the doors locked.

Jack Stack and 12 other managers from the Renew Center got together and came up with a plan to buy the plant and hire back who they could to open it back up, thus saving their jobs and many others. Months went by and no one would give these guys a loan. The problem was that they knew how to build engines, but they didn't know the financials of a business. They finally found one bank who was crazy or desperate enough to give them a chance. International sold them the plant for $50 Million dollars. They managed to pay it back and be totally debt free in less than 3 years.

This shirt excites me because it's a piece of the history of my job. I work for (SRC) Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation, Heavy Duty Division. I work in the same building that used to be International Harvester Renew Center. We still build the 400 series International Engines(Legend series). This shirt is in excellent condition! It must be at least 23 years old and could very well possibly be older than I am.

As a sidenote, International Harvester re-invented themselves and has become a stable and steadily growing company ever since. They are now known as International Truck and Engine Corporation (or ITEC as those in the business know it). You may recognize their current logo as shown below.
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That is awesome! I didn't know that your in the same building. What a small world and quite a cawinkidink!!

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