Steam Engine People: Past and Present

Stories of steam engine people and the fruits of their labor.


| May/June 2006


Old Hedtke Case 

Paul Weber dug through his files after seeing an auction ad listed on page 29 of the January/ February 2006 issue. We liked the photo so much, we decided to put it on the cover. Paul writes:
This photo is of the Case 110 HP sold at the Hedtke estate auction in October 2005, which brought $155,000.
The photo was taken at the George Hedtke show about 35 years ago using a 4-by-5-inch view camera – does anyone use cut film anymore? The weather had been rainy and the day was overcast and hazy, which accounts for the rather “flat” look of the photo. Harry Woodmansee is the man on the throttle, but unfortunately I did not get the names of the other people  in the photo.

30 HP Case 

Randy Schwerin, 3040 160th, Sumner, IA 50674, sends us a photo of his latest engine. Randy writes:
I thought it was high time to furnish the good readers of Steam Traction a photo of my latest engine in my collection here on the farm.

This is a late-style 30 HP Case traction engine with a butt-strap boiler, serial no. 33523, built in 1916. This little gem was located thanks to my good friend Ed Gladkowski, a Steam Traction reader who lives in Houston, Texas. Ed happened to be on a road trip in south Texas and came across this little Case, took a couple of photos, sent them to me, and as they say, the rest is history. I wanted to take an opportunity to thank Ed for his help with this. Without good friends our hobby sure wouldn’t be as meaningful.
As I mentioned, the Case was built in 1916, one out of a litter of 50 built with consecutive serial numbers. It’s unclear to me how many of these late 30 HPs were actually built through the years. Perhaps some of the “Case experts” can respond to this? I have been able to learn there are about 10 left in the states. Colin Beamish wrote me some time ago and furnished me with a list. Thanks Colin!

I’ve been having a great time tinkering on the Case this winter, working on everything from the drawbar to the smokestack and a few things in between, too. Keep up the good work on Steam Traction. I enjoy it a lot.






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