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Who is Service Mike?

2021 Arizona International Harvester Rendezvous
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Colin Rush

Man of Voive
Staff member
Oct 15, 2001
Portland, by God-Oregon!
In answer to some questions we have received asking about this Service Mike guy, here is some history.

In the 1950s, International Harvester introduced Service Mike. Service Mike was a caricature of an International Harvester parts and service technician. He was a Tom Thumb sort of guy (read: very small) that graced the top of all of the International Harvester Service Bulletins, and some other factory literature as well. He always dressed in pleated pants with a sharp crease, as was the fashion of the times. Despite his small stature and dressing habits, he was no lightweight: he was a stout fellow, and always carried a giant caliper micrometer to show that he was there to help you make things right. Service Mike's Service Bulletins were released to the truck and tractor dealers to provide information about new product, supersessions, changes to repair procedures, changes to production runs, and releases of special new parts or upgrades. He always signed these Bulletins "Parts Mike", or just "Mike". Service Mike worked full-time for International up through the 1980s, when he got a desk job. I believe he may have done some work for Case-IH in the 1980s.

Service Mike hasn't retired, but is still seen around, lending a hand by way of his old Service Bulletins. And by way of Binder Books (factory-authorized reprinter of all International Harvester literature and graphics old and new), and the Wisconsin Historical Archive (home of all IHC literature going back to 1753), he still makes an appearance at farms and garages around the world in the form of reprinted factory literature. The rest of the time, he spends his time here in his library.

For those that would like to learn a little more about Service Mike, I have attached his picture, in the form of a 1962 Service Bulletin. I am actually trying to find some more history on Service Mike, such as exactly when he was born. As I find more, I will post it here. To read a little bit about the rest of Service Mike's family, read this thread.

A special thanks to the maintenance department of Brattain International, and the owner, Creed Brattain for helping us clear up some issues with the Mike's name. Originally, we were told that Mike's name was "Parts Mike" based on some old literature that existed at Binder Books, but have since discovered that he was more commonly known as "Service Mike". We have edited this forum and also the threads as necessary to reflect this, and apologize for any confusion it may have cause elsewhere in cyberspace.


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