Celebrating 150 Years
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 amazing.
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 neighbors!
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 1992.
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 demonstrations.
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 duplicated.'
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 models.
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 Expo.
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, Minnesota.