Iron Age Ads

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In these ads, the J.I. Case Threshing Machine
Co., Racine, Wis., set itself apart from the car-making pack by
stressing price, quality and service. Those were practical
concerns, to be sure, but far removed from the company’s latent
interest in speed.

In 1871, Case and Dr. J.W. Carhart, a physics professor at
Wisconsin State University, collaborated in the creation of a
working steam car that won a 200-mile race.

During the last 20 years of his life, company founder Jerome
Increase Case built a stable of racehorses and was a well-known and
successful owner. His black gelding Jay-Eye-See (with a name
corresponding to Case’s initials) set world records in two gaits in
the 1880s and 1890s, said to be the only horse to do so.

In 1911, just after entering the automobile business, Case (then
run by Case’s son, Jackson) was already a serious contender in auto
racing, entering multiple cars – including the Jay-Eye-See – in the
Indianapolis 500. The company’s line of automobiles (touring
models, sedans, coupes and luxury cars) moved at a more sedate

That passion for speed and technology led the company into
development of airplanes and bi-planes. Experimental models were
built in about 1910, but none went into production.

By 1927, Case reined itself in. The company ceased car
production and concentrated on tractors and farm equipment. The
only enduring tribute to Case’s “need for speed” is a quiet street
on Racine’s south side named Jay-Eye-See.

Advertisements from many farm publications printed at the
turn of the 20th century were more than mere methods to hawk
tractors and farm equipment. To share those ads from days gone by,
Farm Collector periodically reproduces some of the
most-spectacular ads used to promote farm equipment and

To submit a vintage advertisement for possible publication,
send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 1503
S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality digital
images by e-mail:

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Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment