1992 J.I. Case Exposition

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Photo of an original advertising postcard of the Case ''40'' five passenger touring model which cost $1750 in 1911.

Rt. 1, Box 28 Nome, North Dakota 58062

At the ‘150 Years of Case Celebration’ at the WMSTR show
at Rollag this Labor Day weekend, there will be at least six 110 HP
Case traction engines to demonstrate what was ‘big iron’ 80
years ago! These engines will be from almost every year that Case
made the 110.

Original photo of Ed Crommitt, Warwick, North Dakota, breaking
virgin prairie with an early 110 HP Case engine. The earlier models
were called ‘the 32 horse plowing engines.’

In addition, there will be many other models of steam traction
and portable engines, some of which are residents of the Rollag
Show, and others that will be hauled to our show just for this
special Case exhibit. We can’t list specific engines that will
be at the show yet, but we promise that no one will be disappointed
with the variety of Case steam engines available to be studied this
coming Labor Day weekend.

The Rollag show is well known for its ability to demonstrate the
steam engine doing actual work, and this show will be no exception.
There will be engines doing their best to spin the Baker fan
located just inside our entrance gate, as well as machines
threshing, using our many Case separators. The famous Briden
dynamometer will be heated up by most of the Case engines as each
shows what actual horsepower it can deliver from its flywheel. No
doubt the various models of the 110 will be standing in line to
outdo one another on the dynamometer gauge. If you have never seen
one of these giants pull 160 or more horsepower in the belt, you
must see this demonstration which goes on throughout show.

If you see nothing else at Rollag this fall, other than the
plowing demonstrations, your trip will be well rewarded. The sight
and sound and feel of a 110 Case pulling a huge plow through the
hilly soil of Clay County, Minnesota will remain imprinted in your
memory for as long as you care about the steam engine! The
challenges that plowing brought to the steam traction engine
designer were so complex, that few companies were able to deliver
an engine that could meet the demands set forth by plowing day
after day and year after year. There is no better demonstration
than plowing to show the versatility and exceptional engineering
given to the 110 horsepower Case traction engine. The ability of
this machine to produce steam in excess of any load placed on it is

1911 Case 110 engine, serial #24930, owned by Mark Pederson of
Luverne, North Dakota. This original photo was taken in 1911 at
lunchtime during the fall threshing run. This engine was bought new
by Mr. Walter Swingdorff of Brocket, North Dakota. The big engine
sat idle from 1948 to 1956, when Gilbert and Norman Pross of
Luverne, North Dakota bought the engine and operated it at shows in
North Dakota.

Ed Crommitt was breaking, seeding and rolling in about 50 acres
of flax per day, with his new Case 110 HP engine on the photo. The
operating cost was figured at 97 cents per acre. Ben Crommitt,
Ed’s son, then a young man, learned to handle the big engines
and ran them most of his younger years on his home farm. Ben
Crommitt in his later years came many a time to the New Rockford
Steam Show where Dan Roen, Rollag’s expert steam engine man,
talked to Ben several times. Ben told of running the big outfit in
shifts, making a night run for his father, so as to do two
days’ work in one. They plowed, seeded fifteen hundred acres of
new land into flax, finishing on June 28, in 1910.

Ben told of wearing out three 110 engines on their farm,
handling 2,000 acres and doing a lot of custom breaking for

In later years Norman Pross’ nephew Mark Pederson completely
restored #24930, and here is the beautiful restored engine. Mark
and Norman will show this engine at the Expo this fall.

Dan Roen visited with Ben at the early shows, and tells how he
loved steam and could talk all day about engines. As an elderly
man, Ben operated some of the engines at the New Rockford Show.
When it was his turn to line up the engine to a separator, he would
back it up, then go forward with that iron monster and line her up
in one shot! A real pro! It wasn’t hard to tell that Ben
Crommitt had been around steam engines all his life.

Ed Crommitt had a testimonial in a 1911 original J.I. Case
catalog called ‘Plowing With Steam.’

Ed told there in detail of his plowing and seeding with the
great 110 Case engine, doing the work of 40 good horses.

The J. I. Case 40-72 Road and Farm Tractor is quite a rare
tractor today. There are only five known in the world. Case
collectors are really lucky that there are any left in existence,
when you consider that only 41 of these tractors were made.

One 40-72 that will be at the show is a 1923 model, Serial
#46486. Dennis Powers purchased this tractor in 1977 from Mr.
Walter Bieritz near Joliet, Illinois. Walter owned two 40-72’s
at one time. Dennis says that his tractor originated from the New
Ulm, Minnesota area.

Powers started restoring this tractor in 1990 after he heard of
the plans for the Case Expo to be held at Rollag, Minnesota in

A 1911 prototype Case 30-60 gas tractor in 1/16 scale. This
highly detailed model was recently built by one of our members,
Alfred Steidl of Fingal, North Dakota, and will be at the Expo on
display this fall. We might even hitch her up to an eight-bottom
plow and see what she can do, huh?!! There will be a special J. I.
Case toy display during the Expo, along with memorabilia of Case
literature, fobs, signs, etc.

Powers said he will build the tractor back to factory specs so
it will put out its max HP. Dennis will be showing it on the Expo
grounds this fall a first showing of a 40-72 Case cross motor on
WMSTR grounds.

The Nelson family and other parties have the other sizes of
cross-motors, which are nicely restored. These have been shown in
previous shows and will make up a full set of this model of Case
tractors. A set of Case cross motors including the 40-72, rarest of
the models, will be, no doubt, a sight most people will not see
again in a lifetime.

Sig Jacobson, Brocket, North Dakota may bring his 40-72 Case
tractor to the Expo also. Jacobson showed his tractor at the Austin
Expo in 1989 where it was well accepted.

Dennis Powers operated Jacob-son’s tractor several times at
the Austin Expo where they pulled a plow and did other

All ages of Case tractors and equipment will be displayed at the
Expo. Tractors from the early teens on through the ’40s and
’50s, on up to the modern day Case. The I.H. line will be
available for show and demonstrating. There will be models of
interest for all age groups, whether it’s the 1912 model, or a
crossmotor, the Desert Sunset tractors or today’s tractors.

The first year Case automobiles were marketed by the J. I. Case
Threshing Machine Company was in 1910. Prior to this, the cars were
sold by the Pierce Engine Works and later Pierce Motor Company, who
had 17 years of experience.

Soon after 1910, the T. M. Company put together a professional
car racing team, for which they built racing cars including one
model called the ‘Jay-eye-see’. J. I. Case also owned a
racehorse called ‘Jay-eye-see’, the Turf King!

In their 1915 sales brochure, the Case Car Company maintained
that: ‘The Case Car is not the cheapest in purchase price, but
these cars were made of ‘good stuff’ and we want you to
realize that the value found in Case Cars cannot be

WMSTR plans to have several Case cars at the Expo this
September. Two or more cars will come from North Dakota, and others
will come for hundreds of miles to put on a show for the public.
For most of the spectators at the show, this will be their first
time to see a J. I. Case Car!

This year WMSTR is featuring the Stover line of gas engines.
Several early and later models of Stovers will be shown this year,
along with a few hundred other flywheelers of many makes and
models. Two more large engines will be operating this fall at
Rollag, the 330 HP Worthington which came from Pennsylvania, and
the 150 HP Sno engine.

WMSTR boasts about having the largest collection of Otto engines
in the world, most of which are owned by Jim and Kevin Withers of
Osakis, Minnesota. There are 12 Otto engines on display under one
roof, along with other Otto engines at the show. The Ottos range in
size from 1.8 HP to a 60 HP, with ages ranging from 1892 to 1912

Rollag may not have as large an amount of gas engines as some
other shows have, but we think we have the ‘best’ engines
of any show!

Of course, Rollag features many other attractions besides the
Case line. We have several large stationary steam engines,
Miniature Land, Main Street, saw mills, print shop, a steam
locomotive with rail cars that circle the grounds giving free
rides, along with a scale model train that goes all day, a carnival
type horse merry-go-round and much more.

WMSTR has a 1910 vintage farm site with house and barn, where
they demonstrate field work with horses, including threshing with a
hand fed separator and horse power.

One of our big attractions is the entertainment with old time
music at several locations on the grounds day and night.

The ladies activities are a big part of the show demonstrating
early day home making and housework.

Food available on the grounds is something special. More food
stands will be added to accommodate the large crowds during the

We need to emphasize that the 150 Years of Case Celebration at
Rollag will be the biggest and most complete collection of Case
Company products ever assembled in one area. Even the Case
warehouses in Racine didn’t have such a selection because they
only stocked the newest production. At Rollag, you are going to see
hundreds of different models of all sorts of equipment, dating from
the earlier years of production to the latest. This is your chance
to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Mark your calendar
now for September 4 through September 7, 1992, and treat yourself
and your family to the ultimate in working museums at Rollag,

Farm Collector Magazine
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Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment