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Charles Loring Elliott, 12 Oct 1812 - 25 Aug 1868  Search this
Cyrus Hall McCormick, 15 Feb 1809 - 13 May 1884  Search this
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 51.4 x 41.3 x 3.8cm (20 1/4 x 16 1/4 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 59.7 x 49.5 x 6.7cm (23 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 2 5/8")
mid 19th century
Exhibition Label:
Born Rockbridge County, Virginia
A farmer from Virginia who became a wealthy industrialist, Cyrus McCormick built his fortune on the horse-drawn mechanical reaper. By enabling the cultivation of large tracts of land with unprecedented efficiency, the machine helped boost grain production to record levels in the United States. McCormick claimed credit for inventing the “first practical reaper,” which he designed with Jo Anderson, a man enslaved by the McCormick family, and patented in 1834, but many of McCormick’s competitors contested the novelty of their design.
Other companies sold similar reapers, but the one attributed to McCormick was particularly successful. In 1847, McCormick opened a factory outside of Chicago, where the use of standardized parts and assembly-line production methods streamlined the manufacturing process. By the mid-1880s, the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company’s innovative advertising strategies, product warranties, and consumer financing options helped it sell more than 50,000 reapers per year.
(Miss Eunice Chambers, Hartsville, South Carolina), 1965. R. Philip Hanes, Jr., Winston-Salem, North Carolina; acquired through exchange by Howard Hack, San Francisco; acquired 1975 by NPG through funding by Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, Chicago.
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard  Search this
Cyrus Hall McCormick: Male  Search this
Cyrus Hall McCormick: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Industrialist\Manufacturer  Search this
Cyrus Hall McCormick: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist  Search this
Cyrus Hall McCormick: Science and Technology\Inventor  Search this
Cyrus Hall McCormick: Society and Social Change\Administrator\Historical society administrator\President  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation and Mrs. Gilbert Harrison
Object number:
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Currently not on view
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery