What Do You Think?


| March/April 1986



Mr. Hellwinckel, in sending us this report of the Butterfield show, has this to say about the featured engine: 'The BTA flyer refers to this steamer as a '110'. I believed this to be incorrect for I remembered reading an article which 'Slim' Rennewanz, Box 145, Ennis, Montana 59729, wrote stating the 32 HP steamer could be distinguished from the '110' by noting the length of the smoke box. The smoke box is much longer on the '110'. My 1915 Case threshing machinery catalogue pictures a '110' with a double row of seven rivets in front of the boiler; the BTA engine simply has three. 'Slim', who in my opinion knows as much as any of the Case steam engine experts (and more than most), I thought would be the man to check with, so I sent him some photos and asked his opinion.' Mr. Hellwinckel sent us a copy of Mr. Rennewanz's letter, some of which we reproduce here: 'The Case engine in question is certainly a Case 32 HP, in general appearance built in 1908, which was the last year the 32 HP was built. According to Case records they built 334 simple traction engines rated 32 HP, 24 simple skid engines, one simple portable engine 32 HP, one portable boiler as used on the 32 engine and 18 skid boilers the same size as used and rated for the 32 HP engine. The early models of the 32 HP engines had a two speed gear and a flat topped dome with the steam feed line coming out of it near the side of the dome. They also had a cast iron heater plus cast iron cylinder bracket which was eliminated in 1907. Also the flat sided connecting rod was replaced with the channel type rod and steel cylinder brackets were added and steel heaters were then used. In 1908 the round top dome was also used. The boilers were three row riveted lap seam type with short smoke box. Any 12 by 12 Case engine with a short smoke box is the old 32 HP. In 1910 Case changed all their HP ratings and used the long smoke box on their boilers. The last Case 32 HP engine was built in 1908, serial number 21208. The first 110 Case traction engine was built in 1910, serial number 22990. The last Case 110d HP engine (traction simple) was built in 1913, serial number 29592. The last 110 Case skid engine was built in 1914, serial number 30795.

'Now as to the engine sold at the Neil Miller sale: it came from Silver Star, Montana, out of a collection of old engines by Lloyd Harkins. He got the engine from Boulder, Montana, where it had been in a county sawmill, as a skid engine driving a R.R. Howell no. 6 sawmill with gang edger top rig and swing cut-off saw slab conveyer, etc. This mill was later electric powered. The engine had sat at Silver Star for some years on skids. Wheels and gearing were gathered up around the Great Falls area, mainly from a wrecked 110 HP Case. The rear drive wheels had another set of 110 rear drivers bolted to them for extension rims. This made the drive wheels six feet in width, which was rather ridiculous.'

What do our readers think?