The small 1621 kg Farmall A tractor was one of an all new series of International Harvester Co. tractors released in the USA in 1939. These new tractors were 'styled' by well-known industrial designer Raymond Loewy to boost sales by improving their visual appeal with slatted grills and curved panels. The Farmall A also featured an offset drivers' seat on the left to allow a clear view of the front wheel and any under-mounted cultivating implements. This feature was heavily promoted by IHC as 'Culti-vision' or 'Clear-vision'. It was specifically designed for cultivation on smaller farms but could be fitted with a variety of IHC implements including mowers and lifting arms. First produced in the USA on 21 June 1939, the Farmall A was released in Australia in March 1940 although some had been imported by the end of 1939. An IHC sales and promotional tour of regional Victoria and southern NSW took place in March-April 1940.
An AV version with higher ground clearance for row crops was also available. It is estimated that about 117,000 Farmall A & AV tractors were produced between 1939 and 1948 when the new 'Super A' version with an improved 'Touch-Control' hydraulic implement mounting system was introduced. A further 94,000 Super A tractors were built before production ceased in 1954.