Is Old J. I. Watching?


| September/October 1985

204 East Melbourne Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20901

When this story's first installment appeared (Iron-Men Album, March/ April, 1984), my wife, Helen CASE Brigham, had just survived her first encounter with a steam traction engine at Westminster, Maryland.

A great-granddaughter of J. I. Case, she was introduced to Tom Gingell's 50 HP Case and that was the genesis of a nostalgic trip through history and into the friendly, wholesome family of 'steam folks.'

The post-Westminster pilgrimage first took Helen to the 36th annual Rough and Tumble Old Thresher-men's Reunion at Kinzers, Pennsylvania, and subsequently led her to the big reunion at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, to George W. Hedtke's Hickory Oaks Farm in Davis Junction, Illinois, to Racine, Wisconsin, for a grand get-together with her great-grandfather's only surviving grandchild, to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to visit the 'No. 1', to the corporate headquarters of Tenneco (current custodian of the J. I. Case Co.), and to Sidney, Ohio, for an embryonic meeting of what may become a national 'Case Collectors Association.'

A detailed description of this trek would take more space than Iron Men Album could possibly devote to this 'case,' so I offer only a few selections from Helen's marvelous and continuing experience as she has journeyed in the footsteps of old 'J. I.'

At Kinzers/Rough and Tumble At Kinzer's Rough and Tumble Reunion, the featured brand at the 1984 show was Case; so organizer Roland Woodward invited Helen as the honored guest. Our good friends from Westminster, Tom Gingell and his '50' were there and they pleased us greatly by winning some of the Friday night 'games' against a large assortment of other engineers and engines (Cases, Fricks, Rumelys and others).


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