The J.I. Case Corporation
The industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was pioneered by inspired individuals and progressive companies, and its inventions and innovations changed more than the world of industry. The Case Corporation was one of these companies.
Agriculture slowly picked up and adapted the new inventions and concepts that were shaping the new faces of manufacturing and began to mould innovations such as the steam engine to the fields and barns of farms.
Nowhere was the potential for change more ready than the vast wheat fields of the American Midwest and the Great Plains. Inventors and entrepreneurs of the early nineteenth century began to change the concepts of man-power and horse-power on the land.
A farmer’s son, one Jerome Increase Case, saw one of the first mechanised basic threshing machines demonstrated and his family took a franchise to sell them.
Jerome Case, in the early years of the nineteenth century moved to Wisconsin, the then heartland of the wheat country, and modified, improved and added his own ideas to produce a thresher which separated grain from stalk, dropping the heavier grain down a channel and the lighter straw moving on and out of the back.
The thresher-separator was well received and Case, decided that producing machinery and innovation in the fields was his way forward, and moved to the town of Racine, Wisconsin.
He became established there and built a factory along with his carpenter associate Stephen Thresher, and advisor, fanning mill maker Richard Ela. Within four years of establishing The Racine Threshing Machine Works, Case was producing one hundred threshing machines a year.
In the mid to late eighteen hundreds, inventions and improvements in farming methods attracted Case, who bought many patents of mechanical ideas for reaping and threshing. The growing of wheat in the Midwest and Great Plains was profitable, but had to be achieved on a large scale.
This scale was unique to North America, and the development there of mechanised equipment carried on apace.
In the late eighteen hundreds Case produced its own steam traction engines, and by the time Case began producing its internal combustion, petrol powered tractors, it had supplied around one third of USA’s farm steam engines.
As an established “major player” the Case Corporation went on to produce agricultural machinery and become a world-wide name in not only tractors and harvesters, but in the field of hydraulics, innovating inventing and adapting, becoming world renown for bulldozers and backhoes, excavators on tracks and wheels, wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, material handling, and all the other CASE devices sold, serviced and maintained by Hanlon-CASE in the UK.
The list is as long as demand requires, adaptability being the byword.