Showcasing 175 Years of Case Innovation

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

  • Among the exhibits: Case high-crop tractors from the collection of Doug and Barb Deshaw, Hopkinton, Iowa.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Bird’s eye view of the Case display at the Albert City Threshermen & Collectors Show in August 2017.
    Photo courtesy Connie Reinert
  • George Schaaf, Frankfort, Ill., plowing with his rare 1923 Case 40-72.
    Photo courtesy Connie Reinert
  • Dennis Powers plays a role in preserving large, powerful tractors like this 1912 Case 30-60.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Randy Koenig, Sioux Rapids, Iowa, demonstrating a walking plow.
    Photo courtesy Connie Reinert.
  • Case equipment from the Seventies and Eighties demonstrating discing.
    Photo courtesy Connie Reinert
  • Charlie Widlund pulling a Case binder, followed by four generations of Case combines.
    Photo courtesy Connie Reinert
  • Jerred Ruble brought two 110 hp Case steam engines to the Albert City show, including this 1910 model.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • At some point before he bought it, Jaren Steenhoek’s Case Model L’s original steel wheels were replaced with rubber tires. In its day, the Model L was commonly used for threshing and sawmill work.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen

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.


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