Manitoba Case Expo Show Report

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This long line of powerful old engines was pure Case from its beginning to its far-distant end.
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Altogether, eight old Case eagles stood in front of the Foundation's headquarters tent.
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Phyllis Elder of Hartney, Manitoba displayed a huge silk-screened quilt featuring color pictures of Case Heritage activities.

204 East Melbourne Avenue Silver Spring, Maryland 20901

To put it mildly, the third annual International J.I. Case
Heritage Exposition at Austin, Manitoba, on July 26-29, 1989, was
the greatest gathering of vintage Case in history. It was a worthy
successor to the International J.I. Case Heritage Foundation’s
two previous Expos-#1 in Pawnee, Oklahoma, in 1987 and #2 in
Kinzers, Pennsylvania, in 1988.

Based on a one-time scan of the list of exhibitors and their
exhibits, it appears that there were on display at Expo #3
approximately 21 full-size Case steam engines, more than 70 vintage
Case tractors, nine scale-model operating steam engines of varying
sizes, at least a half-dozen

Case threshing machines, six Case cars (all in running
condition), more than a dozen modern Case tractors and related
pieces of equipment, eight (count ’em, eight!) Case Eagles plus
one live Case eagle in the person of Robert ‘Abe, himself’
McMillan of Miami, Manitoba (far from Florida!) in his eagle suit,
eight Case dealer signs, and at least 43 other miscellaneous
exhibits, ranging from plows to balers, literature to vintage Case
farm toys, model farm displays and even a Case theme quilt.

The large grandstand at Austin was jam-packed every day for the
parade and filled to standing room only with overflows seated on
the grass and lining the fences on Friday and Saturday (this
year’s Expo ran from Wednesday through Saturday). The audience
stood fast after the parade each day to take in the grain stooking
(Canadian for what many Americans call ‘shocking’that is,
standing up bundles from the binder in multi-bundle groups for
curing in open air and sunlight before threshing) and threshing
contests in the arena in front of the grandstand.

Jim Briden of Fargo, ND was at the throttle as Jack Beamish s
110 Case engine pulled many bottom through the tough Manitoban sod
at Expo #3.

The display of Canada-based steam and tractor power was awesome,
with two 110 HP Case traction engines (one belonging to Jack
Beamish of Hamiota, Manitoba, and the other owned by the hosting
Manitoba Ag-Museum) and virtually the full line of other sizes of
steamers on hand, plus a wide variety of crossmounts and other rare
Case tractors. However, some ‘imports’ for the show
attracted a lot of attention.

For starters, there was Sigmund Jacobson’s magnificent 1922
40-72 tractor, which came all the way from Brocket, North Dakota,
and pulled eight bottoms plowing on Saturday afternoon, first in
low gear and then in high, without missing a beat. Sigmund’s
tractor made such a great contribution to the show that, following
the close of Expo, the exhibit received a special award from the
editors of Foundation’s quarterly newsletter, Heritage Eagle.
There was also the vintage 30-60, brought to Austin by John Tysse
of Crosby, North Dakota. What a sight to behold, the 40-72 and the
30-60 side-by-side, then running 1-2 in the parade line-up of
tractors. Case tractor fans thought they’d died and gone to
heaven, but that wasn’t all; there were more than a dozen other
tractors in the exhibition that came out of the first 20 years of
this century, all of them 70 or more years of age. There also were
some ooohs and ahhhs around the much younger 1936 RC brought from
Maryland by Case Heritage Foundation director Tony Wells, because
it sported that Wells trade mark a peerless restoration to like-new
condition. Amid the older, more weather beaten tractors, it was a
marvelous thing to see people like Lavern Batie of Webster, South
Dakota, and Larry Lowe of Manitoba working side-by-side trying to
get the Manitoba Ag-Museum’s old 12-20 started after it had
been frozen-up for many years. It finally started!

Some of the Canadian steam engines, like the Beamish 110, with
44 x 66′ separator and water wagon, and the Patterson, Adams,
Sterling and Sterling 75 HP engine with its vintage tender, sprang
to life for attendees at Austin; other show stoppers included the
beautifully restored 9 HP tandem brought to Expo by its joint
benefactors, David Fie and Foundation director Kevin Anderson, from
South Dakota.

While we’re talking about steam, we need to mention what a
sight it was to behold as three and sometimes four threshing
machines contributed to the building of the straw stack each day at
Austin. The Beamish 110 took a stint each afternoon, then went on
to do some powerful plowing; the threshing continued with other
Case engines and some of the other makes working so hard that, by
the end of the four-day show, the straw stack probably stood 40 or
more feet high.

Not all of the threshing power was from steam. For instance, on
Saturday afternoon, one of the hook-ups was a double-belted
arrangement using both a Titan and a Mogul for power. With Bob
Anderson of Mac-Gregor, MB, overseeing the operation, it was a
sight to make an old IH man let the chest out an inch or two with
pride. The sawmill operation also demonstrated Case steam at work
and processed plenty of timber to lumber in the process.

The whole nine yards: Jack Beamish’s 110 Case steam traction
engine pulling a Case 44 x 66′ separator and water wagon passes
in review.

There were the Case cars six of them, four of which had never
attended an Expo in the past. There were three cars attending from
Manitoba, including ‘Miami Bob McMillan’s bodyless 1915
Model 25 chassis-with-motor that was making its first public
appearance, while the 1913 touring car from the Elkhorn, MB,
Antique Auto Museum (chaperoned by a wonderful new friend, Lind
McAuley) was a gem to see because it was in original paint, and
George Heaman’s 1910 (that’s right, 1910the first year Case
had a car!) five-passenger touring car attracted lots of
well-deserved attention because not too many people had seen a 1910
before. The other newcomer to Expo was John Gust from Bashaw,
Alberta, who had just gotten his 1912 model 40 touring car running
and nicely restored a few weeks prior to Expo. The Gust car was
acquired by John in not-so-good condition from an old gentleman in
May 1988 and it took up to a year of hard work to get her in
tip-top shape and up to John Gust’s personal standard a very
high standard, we might add of restoration. Maryland’s Tony
Wells was on hand for the third straight Expo with his
magnificently restored 1917 seven-passenger touring car from
Maryland, while Stan and Katy Sill of Rockford, Ohio, checked in
with their fantastic 1924 Model X Roadster that made its debut
during Expo #2 at Kinzers. Assuming Aeroquip Corporation continues
to provide some sponsoring support for this auto’s appearance,
the Sill’s car is expected to be a featured attraction at next
year’s Case Heritage Expo in Brooks, Oregon.

There were eight of those wonderful old cast iron, four-foot
Case dealer Eagles at Expo #3, a new record. Two each were brought
to the show by Bob McMillan, the Manitoba Ag-Museum and Peter Cowan
of Minnedosa, Manitoba.

In the last couple of years, the Frank Hillikers of Lakewood,
Colorado, and Alex Zelankos of St. Catherines, Ontario, have been
premier exhibitors under the Case Heritage ‘big top.’ They
were truly stars of this year’s event, but they had some
company. For instance, Walter Ellis of Komoka, Ontario, came with
one of his superb model farm exhibits; it was a Case-oriented farm
with working equipment in the barnyard and even a miniature Case
Eagle standing watch. Then there were people like Charlie Brawn of
Coleville, Saskatchewan, with a great toy display; Bill Day of the
Rollag (Western Minnesota Threshers), who brought a small-scale 110
HP Case cutaway that fascinated steam buffs; Phyllis Elder of
Hartney, MB, who displayed a dandy, newly completed quilt featuring
silk-screened blocks of color photos showing Case Heritage
activities; Elwood Heath of Waskada, MB, exhibiting superbly
crafted wooden steam engine models; Clarence Hoehman of Pittsburg,
Oklahoma, displaying some vintage literature and Case artifacts;
and many, many more. By the way, Clarence, who is the
Foundation’s ‘Case Car Doctor,’ had a lot of fun
driving and studying some Case Cars he hadn’t seen before and
also enjoyed working on the 40-72 and 30-60 tractor (he apparently
is a pretty good ‘Big Case Tractor Doctor’ too!).

As readers might expect, we’ve found that there’s some
truth in the adage, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’
so you’ll find a few thousand words’ worth of pictures
accompanying this story. Believe me, there are a million words’
worth of pictures left over. I conclude with the statement posted
in behalf of the Foundation on the bulletin boards at Expo #3. It
said: ‘The International J.I. Case Heritage Foundation
expresses its sincere appreciation to all of those persons
associated with the Manitoba Agricultural Museum, including its
staff and Board of Directors, its Ladies Auxiliary, and especially
the Museum’s Case Heritage Expo Committee (Chairman Jim Down,
Terry Farley, Jack Beamish, Robert Beamish, Grant McEwan, Robert
Anderson and Robert McMillan) for their cooperative spirit and
generous contribution of personal time, hard work, expertise and
ideas in making this 1989 Exposition such a pleasure for all of the
rest of us. Additionally, the Foundation expresses sincere thanks
to the Case Heritage Expo Exhibitors who’ve come from far and
near to make this a truly outstanding presentation of engines,
tractors, machinery, Case Cars and memorabilia for the education
and enjoyment of all ages of persons who attend this event.

Signed for the Foundation: Helen Case Brigham,
Secretary-Treasurer, Case Heritage Foundation.’

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