Amy writes: I have a Cyrus-Hall-McCormick 1809-1884 Inventer of the Reaper coin. That is on the front of the coin along with a man’s face with a beard. On the back-the print says International Harvester company Centennial of the Reaper 1831-1931-. There is a man on a horse pulling a plow and a man in back of the plow. I would like some info on this coin.
This bronze medal was sponsored by the International Harvester Company in 1931 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the invention of the reaper by Cyrus McCormick in 1831. This was the first mechanized agriculture tool and it inspired the invention of many other important farm tools and equipment.
The formal centennial celebrations were held at Walnut Grove Farm, Virginia in July of 1931. Other celebrations were held in 50 U.S. cities where International Harvester operated. International celebrations continued over that year. This was the official medal and was struck by Medallic Art Co. for IHC. 25,000 pieces were struck and were not sold but given as gifts or souvenirs.
The obverse shows a portrait partially facing left of the inventor, the legend around is: CYRUS HALL McCORMICK. To left: 1809-1884 and to right: INVENTOR OF THE REAPER.
The reverse shows two men, one mounted, using a horse-drawn reaper, proceeding to right. Around, INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY and below the Reaper, on a shield, CENTENNIAL OF THE REAPER. There are two crossed wheat straws between 1831 and 1931.
These medals are quite scarce today in choice uncirculated condition. Estimated value: $60 -$125.