First J.I. Case Heritage Exposition:

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Amos Rixmann (in straw hat) of Nashville, IL serves as the colorful calculator of steam power at the Prony Brake.

204 East Melbourne Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901

A Photo Report

For a writer, it’s difficult to admit that any event is so
large and successful that it defies description. I am a writer, and
I am telling you there is simply not space enough anywhere to
describe adequately the a heritage ‘happening’ on May 1-3,
1987 at Pawnee, Oklahoma.

The event was the first International J. I. Case Heritage
Exposition; and, even for people who are not loyal followers of the
Case line, this was a magnificent occasion with beautiful weather,
flags flying, dozens of steam traction engines on the move, scores
of antique gas tractors lined up and in action, whistles blowing,
machines at work, a great gathering of wonderful people from across
the whole United States and Canada, a powwow of Old Case cars (all
in running condition), beautiful models (scale models of engines
and machines, not pin-ups!) and much, much more.

A sage once said ‘a picture is worth on thousand words.’
On that premise, this writer will do little writing in this report
and will let photos of the 1987 Case Heritage Exposition do most of
the story-telling.

Giving credit where credit is most certainly due, much praise
for the Expo’s success must go to members of the Oklahoma Steam
and Gas Threshers’ Association, which hosted the event in
cooperation with the recently established International J. I. Case
Heritage Foundation. Success also was dependent upon the hard work
of a broad-based group of people knitted together last fall at the
Western Minnesota Threshers’ Reunion in Rollag and called the
International J. I. Case Heritage Steering Committee. Steer, they
did, and very well!

In between the two and no doubt sometimes feeling the squeeze
were Kenneth and Minerva Kelley, who were hosts at their place in
Pawnee for the Case Heritage Foundation’s Barbecue and first
Membership Meeting. Special helping hands came from afar (Racine,
Wisconsin!) from the J.I. Case Company, which presented awards for
Expo exhibitors traveling the greatest distance to Pawnee and was
ably represented by two greatly admired Case Men, Harry Kline (who
kindly brought old J.I.’s Ground Hog Thresher, two vintage Case
factory whistles and other fine exhibits) and Bill Simpson (who
brought himself, and that’s a large package of knowledge and
congeniality). They were accompanied at Pawnee by the Case
Company’s friendly, enthusiastic and most helpful Public
Relations Manager, Rick James.

The 12-inch Crosby chime whistle, which used to sound off over
the Case factory in Racine, Wisconsin, provided some special
‘music to the ears’ for steam whistle-lovers (who
isn’t?) at the Expo.

To mention anyone else would involve running the risk of leaving
out many important people who contributed so importantly to the
success of the first Case Heritage Expo.

It is said, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ After
three great days, the party in Pawnee was over. But, the beat goes
on and there is some more good news to report, to wit:

1The International J. I. Case Heritage Foundation signed up
several hundred members and, with subsequent additions to its
membership roll from all over North America is well on its way to
becoming one of the world’s premier heritage organizations.

2A date and place for the 1988 International J. I. Case Heritage
Exposition are already set. That will be
Wednesday-through-Saturday, August 17-20, at Kinzers, Lancaster
County, Pennsylvania, where the Case Expo will be held in
conjunction with the Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical
Association’s 40th anniversary show. Kinzers is in the heart of
the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch Country, one of the great cradles
of American agriculture.

3The Foundation’s Board already has settled on Rollag,
Minnesota, for the 1992 event and hopes to soon work out plans for
a Case Heritage Expo in Canada, where Foundation membership is
growing rapidly.

Persons interested in joining the Foundation and learning more
about future Case Heritage Expos/activities or desiring to find out
about procedures for the selection of future Case Expo sites should
contact the Secretary, Case Heritage Foundation, 204 East Melbourne
Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901.

Arthur P. ‘Brig’ Brigham is a public relations
consultant and former newspaperman. His wife Helen Case Brigham is
a great granddaughter of J. I. Case.

A centerpiece in the Case Expo tent was sign from the Rockford,
IL Case plant, restored by Ray Knudson of Davis Junction, IL and
brought to Pawnee by George Hedtke, pictured.

The traditional Case Eagle and a unique neon Case sign were
displayed by Tommy Forman of Stillwater, OK, who also worked long,
hard hours as show registration chairman.

Joe Ertl, toy maker par excellence, was all smiles as visitors
admired models prepared especially to commemorate the first Case

Bob Porth and his son, Jason, prepare to unload their 1938 Model
R Case tractor after their 1,000-mile trek from Regina,
Saskatchewan, to Pawnee. The Oklahoma Association’s Chady
Atteberry stands by to offer a helping hand.

Bill Simpson, right, Product Information Officer for the JI Case
Company and one of the company’s most widely known ambassadors,
spreads good will to friends at Expo.

A model threshing machine displayed by John Chitwood of Conway
Springs KS is foreground for an impressive line of Case steam
traction engines (from 100 HP down to six!) gathered for the 1987

Seldom, if ever seen before was this year’s featured twice
daily double-header’ climb on the 50% incline. First up is Tom
Terning, Valley Center, KS and his 40 HP, followed by Chady
Atteberry, Blackwell, OK and his 40 HP ‘Elgin Watch’
Chady’s passenger is Helen Case Brigham.

Scale model Case engines that could pulled up in front of
Kenneth Kelley’s 110 HP Case. They are owned and ridden by Vern
Neitzke, left, who brought his 1/3-scale 1915 65 HP 800 miles from
Grand Blanc, MI, and Russ Logan (1/3-scale 1912 65 HP) and wife Pat
who came 1,100 miles from Sunrise, FL.

Tom Gingell’s 1920 Case 50 HP steam traction engine on the
move with lots of happy kids at the Expo. The engine and owner hail
from Emmitsburg, MD and no doubt will be doing their thing again at
Case Heritage Expo #2 in Kinzers. Gingell won an award at Pawnee
for traveling the farthest, about 1,300 miles to participate. Photo
by Billy Howell for the Pawnee (OK) Chief Newspaper.

J I Case Co. awards were given to these exhibitors for coming
the longest distances. Left to right, they are: Tom Gingell,
Emmitsburg, MD, steam traction engine, 1,020 miles; Tony Wells,
Upper Marlboro, MD, Case dealer/exhibitor (Case car and 2 antique
gas tractors) 1,050 miles; Jason and Bob Porth, Regina, Sask., gas
tractor, 950 miles; and Russ Logan, Sunrise, FL, scale model steam
engine (1/3 scale 1912 65 HP), 800 miles. Another winner, Harold
Musolf, Seattle, WA, 1350 miles, is not pictured here.

Director Otis Astle shares his Rough and Tumble Engineers cap
with the Case eagle. Otis will be a key member of the
‘home’ team preparing for the 1988 Case Heritage Expo at
Kinzers next August 17-20.

Other individuals on this page are Case Heritage Foundation
directors Kevin Anderson, Andover, SD; Jack Beamish, Hammiota,
Man., and charter president, Jim Briden, Fargo, ND.

Tony Wells, Upper Marlboro, MD, George Hedtke, Davis Junction,
IL, Helen Case Brigham, Tommy Lee, Calhoun, KY, Chady Atteberry,
Blackwell, OK and Kenneth Kelley, Pawnee, OK.

Farm Collector Magazine
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