Project Update

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18 HP Russell No. 12458 under steam for the first time in 25 years. Jim Haley at the controls.
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75 Case No. 23525 sitting at Tracy Powers'. Notice just a bit of a shiny Port Huron in the background.
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Flywheel side of the Case on its way home.

R. R. 2, Box 120 Odell, Illinois 60460

I just received my copy of IMA and noticed how thin it was. So I
decided to do my part and write in and help fill the pages of my
favorite magazine. I hope all the rest of you steam fans will do
the same. Let’s keep the articles on all the old engine (yes,
even Case) rolling in. I’m also glad to see Anna Mae is not
giving up. I always enjoy reading her column. Well, on to
what’s been going on since I wrote and told the story of our
purchase of old iron a few years ago.

My 18 HP Russell rolled over for the first time in July. It sure
was good to see the old girl come back to life after some 25 years
of sitting idle.

The first show for the Russell was our home show at Pontiac,
Illinois, the Central States Threshermens Reunion. The Russell
performed very well for the first time out. Now I have to say to
all my friends who have been telling me after I run my Russell, I
will never run our 50 Case again, WRONG! I have to admit the
Russell is a nice handling engine but Case will always have a soft
spot in my heart. In fact, my next project is in the works already.
This spring I saw an ad for a 75 Case skid engine. After a phone
call to Mr. Russ Gelder at Zealand, Michigan, I knew I was back to
the chase again. Russ had bought the 75 complete from Alberta,
Canada, to build his skid 75 into a traction engine. Now he wanted
to sell what he didn’t need for his engine. I asked Russ to
send me some pictures of what he had to sell. By this time my wife
Sue was starting to worry. But I assured her I just wanted to see
what he had. After I began to entertain the idea of buying the 75
and restoring it back to a traction engine, I started to become
hooked. After checking with some friends to see if the necessary
parts might be found, I made the trip to Russ’s to view his

Well, after I saw the old 75 close up with its 1910 short smoke
box and like-new boiler, I began to weaken more. I took some
friends, Tracy Powers, Troy Pawson, and Jim Schrock to help me keep
my senses while I looked it over, but even with their help of
statements like, ‘It will always be just an old Case,’ and
‘Who needs a paper weight that big?’ I still couldn’t
get it out of my mind, so I called Russ when I returned home from
Michigan and began to talk of buying this

We soon settled on a deal that we were both happy with, and I
started another project. Bringing this engine back to life will be
a big job, but to have a 75 Case to play with someday will help
keep me going. If anyone knows of any 75 Case parts out there, I
would like to hear from you. I have found some of the parts I need,
but still have a long way to go. I especially need the traction
parts, wheels, gears, etc.

My brother John has also been busy. His 24 Minneapolis is very
close to running and probably would be, but he too, got into
another project. He bought a boiler for a 110 Case in Canada, and
is now in the process of finding parts to put a 110 together. I
will try to encourage him to write in and tell about it.

Well, I would like to close by saying that no matter what kind
of engine you have, Case, Russell, Port Huron, etc., they are all
good and you can have a lot of fun with them. I do have a lot of
fun joking about what make is the ‘best’, but to me
it’s all in good fun. I really like them all! Let’s keep
the stories rolling in.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment