J.I. Case Steam Engines Abroad

J.I. Case sends steam engines to work in France

| July/August 2002

  • An early Case 12-20 gas tractor and a 20 x 28 Case thresher
    An early Case 12-20 gas tractor and a 20 x 28 Case thresher in front of Silvy Brothers, agents for Case in France in 1921-1922 at Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. This picture is presumed to have been taken in 1922, as the 12-20 was first introduced that year.
  • This 1907 postcard shows Case at the agricultural exhibition in Lyon, France that year
    This 1907 postcard shows Case at the agricultural exhibition in Lyon, France that year. The banner shows the name of Chalifour & Co., the French importer of Case products at that time. The model of the Case traction engine is unclear, but the Case portable steam engine to the left is a 6 HP unit.
  • A 60 HP Case performs on the renowned Case incline
    This picture dates from a 1909 agricultural exhibition held in Marseilles, France. A 60 HP Case performs on the renowned Case incline. French importer Chalifour & Co. was responsible for this Case exhibition.
  • This picture dates from a 1909 agricultural exhibition held in Marseilles, France
    This picture dates from a 1909 agricultural exhibition held in Marseilles, France. What appears to be a 60 HP Case deftly climbs a set of blocks. The engine behind it appears to be a 12 HP.
  • This photo shows a threshing scene near Toulouse in the southwest of France sometime in 1920
    This photo shows a threshing scene near Toulouse in the southwest of France sometime in 1920. The steam engine providing the motive power is too obscured to clearly identify, but it's assumed to be a Case, possibly an 18 HP. The hay press is an 18 x 22 manufactured by implement manufacturer Brouhot & Company of France.
  • 6 HP Case portable steam engine belted to a Case thresher with a Caussiguela self-feeder
    This undated postcard shows a 6 HP Case portable steam engine belted to a Case thresher with a Caussiguela self-feeder. The photo, taken at Le Vernet, near Toulouse in southern France, appears to have been a promotional piece for the Caussiguela self-feeder. The cancellation mark on the stamp suggests the photo dates from around 1907.
  • Clearing the land with a windlass
    Clearing the land with a windlass: A balance plow drawn by a Case traction engine at Draguignan, a small town in southern France near Marseille. The date of the postcard is unknown, as is the exact model of the Case shown. Perhaps a sharp-eyed readers can confirm which engine this is.
  • This photo shows a threshing scene near Toulouse in the southwest of France sometime in 1920
    This photo shows a threshing scene near Toulouse in the southwest of France sometime in 1920. The steam engine providing the motive power is too obscured to clearly identify, but it's assumed to be a Case, possibly an 18 HP. The hay press is an 18 x 22 manufactured by implement manufacturer Brouhot & Company of France.

  • An early Case 12-20 gas tractor and a 20 x 28 Case thresher
  • This 1907 postcard shows Case at the agricultural exhibition in Lyon, France that year
  • A 60 HP Case performs on the renowned Case incline
  • This picture dates from a 1909 agricultural exhibition held in Marseilles, France
  • This photo shows a threshing scene near Toulouse in the southwest of France sometime in 1920
  • 6 HP Case portable steam engine belted to a Case thresher with a Caussiguela self-feeder
  • Clearing the land with a windlass
  • This photo shows a threshing scene near Toulouse in the southwest of France sometime in 1920

In 1869 J.I. Case introduced his first steam engine, an 8 HP portable engine now affectionately referred to as Old No. 1.

Less than 10 years later annual steam engine sales at Case climbed to 220, and within another 10 years the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co. was the largest manufacturer of agricultural steam engines in the world. By the time production of steam engines at J.I. Case ceased in 1924, the Case company had built an estimated 36,000 steam engines of varying size and design.

The North American market was, of course, central to the growth and success of J.I. Case's company. Even so, it was recognized within the company early on that success in overseas markets would be critical to the company's continued growth and prosperity.

As early as 1878, Case sent a thresher to France, where it won first prize in the Paris Exposition that year before being put to work on a French farm. The developing markets in Europe, North Africa, South America and the Middle East encouraged Case to build their presence overseas, and by 1908 the company had established branches in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Odessa, Russia, Melbourne, Australia and Paris, France.



Iron-Men Album reader Pierre Bos, a resident of Marseille, France's second-largest city, has collected images of Case's presence in France in the early part of the 20th century, and he has graciously provided a sample of his collection for the pleasure of IMA readers.

The photographs and postcards presented here date from 1907 to around 1921. Documenting a variety of Case equipment, from portables to traction engines and threshers, these photos show Case engines and equipment in a variety of venues, from agricultural expositions to working farms.



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