Global gi­ant Case IH still fly­ing high

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The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FARMING -

This year the Case IH road­show has been ap­pear­ing through­out the coun­try to mark its 175th an­niver­sary.

It has had a long and il­lus­tri­ous past but its ori­gins are the stuff of leg­end.

It be­gan in 1842 when its founder, Jerome In­crease Case, be­gan his cus­tom thresh­ing op­er­a­tion in Amer­ica’s Mid-West.

Dur­ing har­vest in 1842 Case bought six Pitts Ground­hog thresh­ers and headed west to Rochester in Wis­con­sin where he sold five of them and started to con­tract thresh with the re­main­ing ma­chine.

That win­ter he be­gan to build his own thresh­ing ma­chine and dur­ing har­vest 1843 it per­formed well.

At this point thresh­ers only threshed so Case fit­ted a fan so they could clean the sam­ple while thresh­ing.

Suc­cess fol­lowed from the har­vest of 1844 when the new clean­ing-type thresh­ers went to work and by 1847 Case was a big em­ployer with a steam­pow­ered plant and foundry.

Fur­ther im­prove­ments were made over the years and in 1863 Case took on Massena Ersk­ine, Robert Baker and Stephen Bull as part­ners.

In 1869 the first Case steam-pow­ered por­ta­ble engine to drive a thresher was pro­duced. This started a long pe­riod of pro­duc­ing steam en­gines of many types to help drive Case and other thresh­ers.

The com­pany be­came the largest man­u­fac­turer of steam en­gines in the US un­til it moved to in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gined trac­tors in the 20th Cen­tury.

Case machin­ery bore the fa­mous trade mark of an Amer­i­can bald ea­gle atop a globe, and how this came about is a story in it­self.

An ea­gle chick cap­tured by na­tive Amer­i­cans was sold to a set­tler for a bushel of corn. He then sold it to the 8th Wis­con­sin In­fantry Reg­i­ment as a mas­cot for two and half dol­lars. The soldiers chris­tened the bird Old Abe af­ter their com­man­der Abra­ham Lin­coln.

It was seen by Case in 1861 while vis­it­ing the camp on busi­ness. He was struck by the bird’s war cry when the reg­i­ment was march­ing and de­cided to adopt the bird as the com­pany mas­cot as soon as the civil war was over.

His im­age lived on Case prod­ucts un­til 1969.

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