International Harvester Company 1900s-1980s - Chicago, Illinois


    The International Harvester Company of Chicago, Illinois started offering modified sedan deliveries to hospitals and municipalities in the late 1930s. These all-purpose emergency vehicles were built using the standard wheelbase IHC chassis and included all the necessary emergency equipment and could be used as funeral service vehicles as well. 

International built a line of 16-20 passenger school buses using modified Metro bodies during the 1950s.

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International Harvester Travel-All Ambulances - Most if not all International Travelall ambulances were built by Springfield Equipment Co. International marketed these units through IH dealers, so until the very end of production, Springfield didn't market them, only built them. They were quite popular in certain regions, and PA was one place where they were used quite a bit.

There were several variations, they could be built in standard wheelbase or lengthened (as the one in John K.'s photo is) and with or without a raised roof. There was even a panel rescue version. Most did not have four wheel drive.
 

That's the one I just bought. I have two others, a '68 low-top not stretched, and a '70 stretch high-top. The '70 is pretty much junk (I bought it out of the junkyard), but it was the first ambulance in Pennsylvania to carry a cardiac monitor and medications, though at the time (1969), they had to be used by a nurse (pre-Paramedic). :rolleyes: Right idea, wrong execution.

By the way, these were built by Springfield Equipment Co. for International. There are no Springfield logos on these ambulances. They were marketed through International truck dealers, not through ambulance or fire apparatus dealers. They were popular in areas where folks bought IH farm equipment. That said, they were also used for quite a few years in Washington, DC (where there are no farms) and in other large cities.

Known Travel-All ambulances from 1961-1976

Travelall made from 1957-1980?

 

    For more information please read:

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional Car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company: a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

 



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