On August 6, 7, and 8, 1999, the Pioneer Engineer’s Club of Indiana hosted the J. I. Case Collectors at our 51st Reunion at Rushville, Indiana. The show included Case Steam Engines ranging from a 110 HP traction engine to a 6 HP portable engine. The Kramer family of Eaton, Ohio, brought a ten-ton Case steam roller and Charles Simpson of Indianapolis, Indiana, brought a ten-ton Case cross motor tractor roller. Bill Nash brought a highly unusual Case 40 HP engine. This engine, apparently built for export, has a number of parts and boiler fittings quite unlike the other Case steamers at the show.
The Case tractors on display outnumbered all the other brands and included a two cylinder Case 20-40, a 10-20 three wheeler, and several Case cross motor tractors. The Case Collectors set up a fine display of Case literature and related tractor items in the Case tent in the tractor area.
Austin Monk and Carl Tuttle belted the 100 Case steamer into the sawmill for a while and Milford Ash-worth belted the 20-40 Case tractor into the sawmill as well. Someone commented that the 110 did not seem to pull very hard in the mill, but head-sawyer Charles Richards, pointed out that he was sawing as fast as he could and had sawdust piling up on the elevator. While the 1917 two-cylinder Case tractor did not develop as much power as the 110, it did pull the mill with remark able smoothness.
Once again the Greenville Gang brought a power eater, a Baker, and an Advance engine. However, the Case spirit became so strong that John Holp engineered on Bill Nash’s 40 and actually enjoyed himself! Several engines took a turn belting into John Corya’s 36-inch steel Case threshing machine, while the power eater, dynamometer, and Baker fan remained in operation throughout the whole show.
The large turnout of Case tractors made a very impressive sight, but, the beautiful Case car stole the show. The polished brass and fine workmanship made it not so much a car as a work of art! Workmanship of another kind showed through in the collection of working scale model Case tractors and equipment displayed and operated by the Case tent.
Of course, we also had a large display of steam engines, tractors, gas engines, and equipment. A visitor could pick and choose from Oliver, John Deere, Allis-Chalmers, Farmall, Massey-Harris, or Rumely Oil Pulls, just to name a few.
Our 52nd Reunion on August 4, 5, and 6, 2000, will feature all of the oldest equipment we could find with special attention on items built in 1900. Allen Biehl will bring his 1908 Adams prototype tractor, built with a wooden frame (the production tractors used a steel frame). Dan Spalding will have a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine, built in 1900, running in 2000. And Calvin Whitaker will bring his A Gaar portable steam engine. In this case ‘A’ stands for ancient, since this is one of the oldest still running engines known. In addition, we will have about 40 steam engines, over 400 tractors, over 150 gas engines, and who knows what else! So make a point to stop by Rushville for the 52nd Reunion of the Pioneer Engineer’s Club of Indiana!