Vintage Case Equipment Makes JICCA Show A Success

Diesel Case, Case steamer, and  gasoline-powered Case'

Threshing with a diesel Case 500 (left), a 50 HP Case steamer (center), and a gasoline-powered Case LA.

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2200 Fairmount Rd., Hampstead, Maryland 21074

More than 125 pieces of J.I. Case equipment were at the affair on August 18-19, 1990 at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland. This year's event was the first time the J.I. Case Collectors Association has ever met in the East and the first time an all J.I.Case only show has ever been held. The weather was perfect, the spacious grounds of the Farm Museum provided an ideal setting to display and demonstrate vintage farm equipment, the attendance was good with an estimated 2000 people each day, and there was a wide variety of Case equipment.

The event was hosted by Case collectors in the Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware area who several years ago invited the JICCA to have their 6th annual summer convention in the East. The equipment on display was not limited to those states as there were tractors or displays from West Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan.

The collectors were most impressed by the wide variety of equipment. At many shows there may be lots of steam engines or lots of cars or lots of tractors but they had never seen a show before that had as many different items built by the Case Company. There were steam engines, cars, tractors, plows, wagons, hammer mill, silo filler, corn and grain binders, garden tractors, power units, cultivators, and four threshing machines. Combines were on hand too; a 1926 model B prairie type, an A6 pull type, and a 600 self-propelled. Horse drawn equipment included a grain drill, mower, riding cultivator, and a manure spreader. There was a Case dozer and several Case industrial tractors. There was working scale model equipment too. A half scale model 25-45 made and exhibited by Milt Deets of Ohio was one of the star attractions of the show. A scale model sawmill owned and operated by Gilbert Wisner. president of the Maryland Steam Historical Society, created a lot of excitement. Ronnie Smith's scale Case steam engine also brought lots of applause from the crowd during the parade which was held each day. In the headquarters pavilion there were two four foot cast iron eagles standing guard and several large dealer signs on display. Inside there were Case toys, some one of a kind and handmade. There were also scrap-books, Case literature, photos, and other Case memorabilia. Case tee shirts, hats, and other items were offered for sale.

Dave Reed was in charge of a general and craft flea market but most of the Case people seemed to hang around the ones that had Case only stuff. Saturday afternoon's all Case auction saw an SO from Virginia and a DO from West Virginia find new homes as well as a load of cross motor parts from Virginia and various other parts from Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Some of the exhibits were rare and the first time ever seen at a Case show anywhere. One such piece was a 1915 10-20 three wheel tractor with a Case 40 engine. There were only 203 of these tractors ever made and this one is one of perhaps only two in existence today. It was shown by Jim Suter of Virginia. In the Case car lineup was a 1922 Case Touring owned by Joe Henriques of Maryland and a 1924 Suburban Coupe with a fresh restoration by Herb Wessel of Maryland, Leo Hissong, the Case car historian, announced at the banquet that this car's original owner was a chief engineer of the J.I. Case Company. Space does not permit mention of all the nice cross motor tractors but among the ten on the field a nice 10-18 by Dan Spampinato of Maryland and a 15-27 from Gary Lineweaver of Virginia stand out. There was quite a line up of the light and dark grey series tractors, a big flock of the flambeau red ones including a high crop version of the DC and the VAC, and several desert sunset series tractors.

While Case did not make the one lung gas engines we are used to seeing at all the shows, Case did buy E.B. and Rockford who had made the engines. There were several of these operating, just to show the varied genealogy of the Case Company. Also, a giant EB Peerless steam engine owned and operated by Gene Lawson was on hand.

As with most shows, it is not the lineup that interests the people, it is the activity, and there was plenty of it. Clarence Cook's nice LA powered the sawmill and a DC-4 was on the shingle mill. Corn was chopped into silage and blown in a snow fence silo with a model Q silo filler and corn was ground by a Case hammer mill.

Plowing demonstrations always attract a lot of attention. First a 1918 two cylinder 20-40 gas tractor attempted to pull the 1916 six bottom Case-Sattley prairie type plow. The sod had not been plowed for many years and the 20-40 had to have a pit stop to adjust the clutch. The six bottom plow was play for the 60 HP Case steam engine owned by Bob Butts and for Gene's Peerless. Chuck Noonan, a previous antique plowing contest winner, finished the plot with his L and two bottom plow.

As at most shows, the threshing is one of the most interesting events, and this one was no exception. In fact Russell Wolfinger, who was in charge of threshing, treated the spectators to something they had never seen before. Russ had three threshing machines operating simultaneously: one 22 x 36, and two 28 x 47, with one by steam power, one by gas power and one by diesel. The diesel was a 1954 Case 500 which was the first diesel tractor made by Case. After the threshing Fred Sprinkle's nicely restored C operated the 17 x 22 hand tie baler and along with Alvin Patterson's NL and Chuck Noonan's 130 balers made quick work of turning the straw stack into bales.

At this year's show, any JICCA member could participate, even if he didn't bring equipment. President Fred Buchert worked up a sweat and got chaff down his back helping to thresh. Members who had never threshed before pitched bundles, bagged off wheat, and tied wires on the baler.

At Saturday's banquet, President Buchert announced that the winter meeting will be held at South Bend, Indiana and the 1991 summer convention at Le Sueur, Minnesota. The special feature of the banquet was a talk by Mr. Raymond Young, who is active in local steam clubs and who is a former farmer, blacksmith, and steam engineer. In his 89 years he has seen the complete evolution of the mechanization of farming. He has operated a horse power to thresh, a steam engine and a modern combine. He remembers vividly his father flailing rye on the barn floor. Mr. Young demonstrated the art of flailing at the show. He kept the audience spellbound with his talk on the way farm life used to be. Robert Hewlett from Michigan received a hand crafted truck and lowboy with one of the show model L tractors for bringing a tractor the longest distance.

The 6th annual meeting was truly a family type meeting. The ladies took a bus trip to historic Ellicott City on Saturday and there was a kiddie pedal tractor pull both days with the winners in each class proudly carrying off their prize model tractor which was donated by local Case IH dealers. Fred Miller, president of the Mason Dixon Historical Society, was in charge of this popular event.

Sunday morning the show started out with worship under the pavilion with engineer Gene Lawson conducting the service. Then there was a repeat of all the Saturday activities. The day ended with some of the machinery heading back home and some of the JICCA members packing for home and others planning to visit other points of interest to complete their vacation east.

As exciting as all the activity at the show was and as interesting as the lineup of vintage equipment is, there is one thing that stands out at every JICCA meeting and this one was no exception: the camaraderie and fellowship of the Case collectors. At each meeting new friends are made and old ones renewed. In the six short years JICCA has been organized there has developed a bond of friendship from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada and several other countries. The bond goes deeper than just the friendship as there is also a common interest in preserving an important part of our agricultural heritage.