Gleaner combines, one of the brands in AGCO’s stable, can trace its lineage back about 85 years to an enterprising family in Nickerson, Kansas. The Baldwin brothers, who were custom harvesters, developed their second combine harvester design in 1923 and decided to market it. Their first horse-drawn design created in 1910 didn’t generate much commercial interest.
To convince customers they now had an attractive product, the brothers took their machine on a 1,000-mile cross-country threshing demonstration to generate sales. And it worked; they returned with orders for about 100 units. So in 1925, they purchased the facilities of Baird Pneumatic Tool Company in Independence, Missouri, to mass produce their harvester under the company name Gleaner Manufacturing Co.
That combine was built to be mounted on a Fordson tractor, making it an early variant of the self-propelled concept. The company later focused on pull-type designs; but by 1931, it was bankrupt. A new corporation emerged from receivership and began doing business under the name Gleaner Harvester Corp. By 1934, it resumed combine production after selling all pre-existing inventory
In 1951, it began producing self-propelled combines and offered two models, the A and R. By 1960 larger-capacity models like the F and G were introduced and the company began offering diesel power as an option.
In 1972 the model L was introduced, which was the first Gleaner to feature an open concave design. The first transverse rotor appeared in 1979 in the N6; two other transverse-rotor models, the N5 and N7, eventually joined it.
1985 saw the bankruptcy of Allis-Chalmers and the creation of Deutz-Allis, under the ownership of Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz A. G.(KHD) of West Germany, which in turn would give way to the current AGCO ownership.