Showcasing 175 Years of Case Innovation

A historic anniversary celebration in Albert City, Iowa, exceeds all expectations as thousands “experience the evolution.”

| January 2018

Jerome Increase (J.I.) Case would have walked tall among the record crowd celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Case company, Aug. 10-13, 2017. The Case festivities were held in conjunction with the 47th annual Albert City (Iowa) Threshermen & Collectors Show.

A total of nearly 18,800 people attended the four-day event, breaking Albert City’s previous record of 16,100 in 2016. It was believed to be the largest-ever gathering of Case equipment, with more than 500 Case exhibits.

“There were nine rare Case automobiles, with two coming from as far away as Washington, and seven Case steam engines, including one from Pennsylvania,” says Connie Reinert, a member of the Threshermen & Collectors board of directors. “There were also many other unique and very rare pieces of equipment on display.”

When planning for the event began some five years earlier, several Case organizations (including the J.I. Case Collectors’ Assn., J.I. Case Heritage Foundation and five regional Case clubs) requested expanded activities, resulting in the addition of a full day of events at the Albert City show. The one-day Threshermen Experience included demonstrations and presentations on early farming practices, blacksmithing, spinning, one-room schools, threshing and broom making.

Displays showcase company’s first product

Show highlights included display of a groundhog-style thresher built by J.I. Case. Born in 1819, J.I. Case was fascinated by groundhog threshers at an early age. The device separated grain from the stalk, but still required winnowing to remove chaff.

A small, drum-style thresher, the first groundhog (so named for its spiked cylinder) was invented in 1786 by Scotsman Andrew Meikle. The groundhog-style thresher is widely recognized today as the first threshing machine – and possibly the inspiration for what would become a global manufacturing powerhouse.