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Case Corporation
Predecessor J.I. Case and International Harvester
Successor CNH Global
Founder(s) Jerome Increase Case
Headquarters Racine, WI, United States
Products agriculture machinery tractor, construction machinery, engines
Parent formerly Tenneco
Subsidiaries Steiger, David Brown, Steyr Tractor

Case steam tractor

Case Corporation (formerly J.I. Case Company) was a manufacturer of construction, agricultural equipment and engines. The Companies origins go back to about 1842 when Jerome Increase Case started building Threshing machines. The company was incorporated as the J/I. Case Threshing Machine Co. in 1880. The company became JI Case in 1923. Tenneco took Case over and in 1968 re branded the company as Case Corporation In 1999 they merged with New Holland to form CNH Global. The name Case lives on in two brands of the company:

  • Under the Case CE (for Construction Equipment) brand, CNH Global is the third largest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world.
  • Under the Case IH (for International Harvester) brand, CNH Global is the second largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the world.


Case Model R at Cromford steam fair 2008

Case model R tractor showing drawbar and PTO

For several generations the name Case was legendary to many North Americans. Its farming and construction products became household names from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. Following the 197? take over of David Brown in the UK, they became well known there as well, Prior to the Merger with International Harvester to form Case IH.


Main article: J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co.

Jerome Increase Case (1819–1891) was born in 1819 to a New York State farming family. As a young child, Case read an article in the Genessee Farmer magazine about a machine that could cut wheat without people needing to use their hands to aid it. He developed an interest in agriculture at that point. In 1831, the first reaper machine was demonstrated at Steele's Tavern, Virginia, by Cyrus Hall McCormick (McCormick Tractor). This moment has been considered by many agriculture experts as a key moment in farming history.

Jerome Increase Case took a small, hand-powered threshing machine from Williamstown, New York to Rochester, Wisconsin, where he fixed the machine and established the J.I. Case Company. In 1843, J.I.Case Thresher moved to Racine, Wisconsin, in order to have better access to water and facilities where more threshers could be built and repaired. In 1863, Case sought partnership with three other farmers, Massena Erskine, Robert Baker and Stephen Bull. These four would later be nicknamed "the big four" of the farming industry. In 1842, Case created the J I Case Company. He was later recognized as the first American to create a steam engine for agricultural use.

Case was also involved in politics, becoming mayor of Racine three times, and state senator twice. He was also involved in other endeavours, such as science, arts, banking, and president of several Racine agricultural associations. He was also a race horse owner.

Competition in the farm business

As stated above, McCormick devised his famed wheat reaper and started his legendary binder business. The McCormick Company eventually moved to Michigan Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois, across from the Wrigley Building. In 1859, McCormick's reaper earned a gold medal award at the Royal Exposition, in London, England.

J I Case introduced an eagle logo for the first time in 1865 after a legendary Wisconsin Civil War Regiment's mascot. Case constructed his first portable steam engine in 1869, an engine used to power wheat threshers. This engine is in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Case won first place at the 1879 Paris Exposition in France for his thresher; this was the first thresher sent abroad by the Case company and was the first of thousands which would later be exported internationally. It is at this time that Case created his first self-propelled traction engine, with a drive mechanism on one of his portable engines.

Meanwhile, in 1871 the Great Chicago Fire destroyed the McCormick factory. Despite Case's offer to help McCormick with the manufacturing of their machines, McCormick Company refused the offer and a new facility, called the McCormick Works was built, in southwest Chicago. The McCormick company introduced the first of many twine binder machines in 1881, leading to the so called Harvester Wars that gained the attention of the farm industry during the 1880s. (An interesting bit of trivia: this also was the origin of the generic term 'binder' or 'corn binder' for any International Harvester tractor or truck by fans (or detractors) even to this day.)

Another interesting piece of trivia: Case made a visit to a farm named after him in Minnesota during 1884, upon receiving news that one of his thresher machines was not working. Infuriated by the fact that he could not fix the machine himself, he set it ablaze the next day, and sent the owner a brand new thresher machine upon return to Wisconsin.

In 1890, the Case Company expanded to South America, opening a factory in Argentina. In 1891, the company's founder, Jerome Increase Case, died at age 72. By this time the Case company produced portable steam engines to power the threshing machines, and later went into the steam traction engine business. By the turn of the century Case was the most prolific North American builder of engines: these ranged in size from the diminutive 9 HP, to the standard 15, 25, 30, 40, 50, 65 HP and up to the plowing 75 and 80 HP sizes. Case also made the large 110 HP breaking engines with its notable two story cab. Nine massive 150 HP hauling engines were made, in addition to steam rollers. Case engines were noted for their use of Arthur Woolf valve gear, feedwater heaters, and the iconic 'eagle' smokebox covers.

Internal combustion tractors

A Case Model C of 1937 at the Stoke Goldington Steam Rally 2009

By 1895, the Case Company had begun to produce gasoline engines. By 1899, the Case Company entered the Russian market. By 1902, six major American agricultural manufacturing companies decided that a consolidation was needed, and so the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, the Deering Harvester Company, the Plano Manufacturing Company and four others merged their companies, rebranding the new company conglomerate as International Harvester Company. It became a giant in the industry.

In 1904, Case had introduced the first all steel thresher machine. Case sold their first gasoline tractor that year, and established a continuous presence in most of Europe when the company won the first place in a ploughing match held in the so called "old continent". Case at this time developed a wide line of products: threshers, binders, graders, water tanks, ploughs, buggies, and even automobiles.

The advent of oil engines by the turn of the century, suggested a change on the horizon. From Froelich's first tractor to Hart-Parr products, oil tractors seemed the way ahead. Case hired Joe Jagersberger, and he tested a motor (engine) by racing it in the 1911 Indianapolis 500. Case began production of the 30-60 oil engine in 1912. Case also produced kerosene tractors in the teen years, similar to the Rumley-Oil Pulls. During World War I, Case's sales and demand grew dramatically in Europe. These increases were directly connected to the war; as many farm labourers became soldiers, each remaining farmer must become more productive, and machinery was the way to make this happen.

In 1919, the John Deere Company entered the harvester business, and International Harvester's reply to their new competition was to purchase the P&O Plowing Company of Canton, Illinois, and the Chattanooga Plowing company of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Henry Ford also entered the tractor business with his Fordson Tractor produced at the massive Rouge River plant. During 1923 a so-called Tractor war ensued, a four-way struggle between Ford Motor Company, John Deere, Case, and IHC. Ford, with a massive advantage in manufacturing capacity and distribution, had the upper hand, producing an estimated 73 percent of all American tractors, with Case-IHC in a far away second place at nine percent, and several other companies sharing the rest of the percentages. Also in 1923, the IH Farmall entered the agricultural industry. Farmall would later become part of Case IH. That same year also, the 100,000th thresher machine produced by Case made its way out of the assembly line, marking an important milestone for the Case company.

J.I. Case Company badge from a 1960s US built Case tractor

In 1928, another name change came for the company, this time as the J. I. Case Company, while it ceased building its legendary steam engines the year before. Case steam engines, of which over 30,000 were produced, were painted in black with green machinery, while the gas tractors were painted grey. Later in the twentieth century, Case changed its colour scheme to orange, with the excavators being a ruddy yellow. By 1929, Case had expanded to Australia, Mexico, Sweden and other countries. Also in 1928, The J.I. Case Company produced its first crawler tractor. Case introduced Case Model LAIH Diesel engined tractor based on the Case Model L in 1933, using a diesel from the Hasselmann Company of Stockholm.[1] At this time Caterpillar were introducing diesel models of it crawler tractors. But sales faltered after the US federal Government put a tax on diesel to raise revenues from industrial users. This made diesel unattractive to farmers so sales were insignificant. The Case Model S and V tractors were introduced in 1940. Eventualy in 1953 Case added a diesel engined tractor again with the Case Model 500.[1]

Work in the Second World War

Case evolved as World War II arrived, becoming involved in the manufacturing of shells for the United States and allied forces military, as well as making aircraft parts for the B-26s, and bombs. Three new plants were opened across the United States during that year, and, in 1942, the company produced its first self-propelled combine – a Model 123 SP harvester. That same year, Case released the company's first cotton picker, which is currently preserved by the Smithsonian society in America.

In 1947, the "C" was dropped from International Harvester's "IHC" logo, with the company using the logo "IH" since. A Farmall factory was opened in Doncaster, United Kingdom. By 1958, the International Harvester company was selling the IH Model 560 tractor, at that time considered by many farmers to be the latest in farming technology. For the next 31 years, the company went through more globalization, becoming a well-known company in the agricultural markets of Australia, Japan, and other places.

Many other companies joined Case during this period. - (more detail required 1950 - 1970s history missing)

40px-Crystal Clear app kedit.svg.png Please help improve this article or section by expanding it.

Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion.

In the 1970, Tenneco, (a gas and oil company), purchased 53% of J.I. Case when they purchased its owner Kern County Land Company, the agricultural equipment manufacturer based in Racine, Wisconsin, USA.[2] In 1972, Tenneco purchased UK-based David Brown Tractors and merged it with the J.I. Case business. In 1984, Case parent Tenneco bought selected assets of the International Harvester agriculture division and merged it with J.I. Case. All agriculture products are first labeled Case International and later Case IH. Tenneco purchased the articulated 4WD manufacturer Steiger in 1986, and merged it into Case IH. By 1994, Tenneco decided to begin getting out of the ag business and agreed to sell 35% of the now named Case Corporation.[3] In 1996, the spin-off of Case Corporation was completed. The company was acquired by Fiat in 1999 and merged with New Holland to form CNH Global.[4]

Modern mergers

In 1984, Case parent Tenneco bought selected assets of the International Harvester agriculture division and merged it with J.I. Case. All agriculture products are first labeled Case International and later Case IH.

In 1996 Austrian tractor builder Steyr Tractor was purchased.

The Case Corporation joined with New Holland N.V. to become CNH, now CNH Global, in November 1999. Because of the merger CNH was forced to release its production plants in Doncaster, England and Winnipeg, Canada. The Doncaster site is bought by the ARGO-group, owner of tractor builder Landini, and brings back the McCormick brand. The plant in Winnipeg was taken over by the Buhler family to start Buhler Tractors.

In Europe the merger with New Holland (including the former Ford and Fiat tractor lines) was proved to be the success Case IH had expected. In 2006 Case IH came with a plan to bring back the "International"-feel to their products. They changed their logo, bringing back the old International Harvester logo and made more technical difference between the two brands.


  • 1876-1924 - Case built nearly 36,000 Steam engines. Most being post 1900, with production continuing as the first Gas tractors were built.
  • 1895 - Start selling 2 cylinder Gasoline tractors.
  • 1898 - The "Branch House system developed to sell the machines (Dealer network, carrying stock of machines)
  • 1902 - Competitor International Harvester formed by merger of several firms
  • 1905 - Introduce an automatic baler
  • 1910 - the 30-60 & 20-40 are introduced
  • 1910 - Case become agents for several brands;
  • Engines from the Raymond Company
  • Road Graders & Scrappers fron Perfection Road Machinery Company of Galion
  • 1911 - 30-60 wins Gold Medal in Winipeg trials.
  • 1915 - the tricycle 10-20 tractor introduced.
  • 1917 - Henry ford starts building Fordson tractors in compertition with Case & IHC
  • 1919 - case buy the Grand Detour Plow Company
  • 1919 - Solid rubber tyres offered for tractors
  • 1920 - Nebraska Tractor Tests begin
  • 1923 - Case switches colour from green to grey for the tractor line.
  • 1924 - The 100,000 Threshing machine built.
  • 1928 - Name changed to J.I. Case Company.
  • 1928 - Take over the "Emerson-Brantingham Farm Equipment Company. Gives Case a full line of machinery for farmers.
  • 1929 - Wall street chrash and great depression hits farm sales.
  • 1929 - Case add new models; The Case Model L, Case Model C and the Case Model CC fitted with a cultivator. The PTO offered on the Model L.
  • 1932 - introduce 8 combine models / versions.
  • 1933 - Case Model R introduced.
  • 1937 - Case bought out the Rock Island Plow Co. from Illinois.
  • 1939 - Second World War starts, production of V series of Victory tractors begins in 1940 as part of the war effort. (build from parts from other firms)
  • 1945 - War ends and a 440 day strike starts.
  • 1953 - New Case 500 series and Case 400 series introduced.
  • 1964 - Case taken over by the Kern County Land Company
  • 1967 - Tenneco International takes Case over.
  • 197? - Case Parent Co Tenneco takes over David Brown Tractors and merges them in the UK. With the David Brown Products rebranded as Case
  • 1984 - Parent Co Tenneco takes over International Harvester and merges it with J.I.Case to form Case International, Later Case IH.

Tractor Models Listing



  • Case Steam Tractors

Gasoline Tractors

  • Case 30-60 - 1911-1916 (525 built) possibly 5 survivors[1]
  • Case 20-40 - 1912-1919 (4,303 built)
  • Case 12-25 - 1913-1918 (3,351 built)
  • Case 10-20 - 1915-1918 (6,679 built) 4-Cylinder engine, competitor to the Bull tractor.


  • Case Crossmotors range
  • Case 9-18 - 1916-1920 (6,687 built)
  • Case 10-18 - 1917-1920 (7,367 built)
  • Case 12-20 - 1921-1927 (9,237 built)
  • Case 15-27 - 1919-1924 (17,629 built)
  • Case 18-32 - 1925-1928 (9,890 built)
  • Case 22-40 - 1919-1924 (1,757 built) - A 5 plow model
  • Case 25-45 - 1925-1928 (1,184 built) - (cost over $3,000 new)
  • Case 40-72 - 1920-1923 (only 42 built) - 50/90 hp model, weighed nearly 10 ton !

Standard and Row crop

L series
  • Case Model L - 1929-1940 (31,827)
  • Case Model LI - 1929-1940 (2,196 built) - Industrial
  • Case Model LAIH - 1933 (23 only) - Hasselmann Diesel
  • Case Model LA - 1940-1952 (35,439) - replaced the Model L
  • Case Model LAI - 1941-1952 (6,125) - Industrial
C series
  • Case Model C - 1929-1939 (20,478)
  • Case Model CC - 1929-1939 (29,824) 2-speed version of the Model C
  • Case Model CI - 1929-1940 (791) - Industrial version
  • Case Model CO - 1929-1938 (1,275) - Orchard version
  • Case Model CO-VS - ? 4 years (190) - Vineyard special
  • Case Model CCS - 1937-1938 (115) - Sugarcane special
  • Case Model CH - 1937 (7 only) - use ?
  • Case CC3 1937 17/37 hp model ?
R series
  • Case Model RC - 1935-1939 (15,948) - Row crop
  • Case Model R - 1938-1939 (? )
D series
  • Case Model D - 1939-1953
  • Case Model DC - 193?- ?
  • Case Model DO - 1950 Orchard model with wrapround body.
  • Case DEX 1941 lend lease version based on Model D
S series
V series - "Victory war time models"
  • Case Model V - 1940
  • Case VA - 1950s
  • Case VAH - 1948 High clearance model
Number series

Current Models

For the Later tractors see

Main article: Case IH


Early steam models

It is doubtful that any were imported when built. The ones now in the UK have been imported from America or repatriated from else were in recent years. (If any reliable source say otherwise please add details and cite the source)

Early internal combustion tractors

These were imported especially during the war years (First and second world wars). But a lot of the tractors now seen are recent imports.

Case post (David Brown merger)

A Case 2090 at Pickering Steam Rally 2009

Details required of UK model line from this period.

  • Case 2090 - 120 hp circa 1979 US Built ?
  • Case Agri King range

Case IH models

For detail of these, see Case IH.


A Few of these early models are in the UK. Some are original imports others are recent ones sourced from both the USA and Europe were dryer climates have better preserved the tractors in a original patinated finish, rather than rotting (rusting) away in the damp.

A lot of the Case Crossmotor models appear to be recent imports, and not Genuine UK worked models.

Please list known examples of tractors in preservation (in sn order) in the table below. Popular models may also have a table on the individual Model no page. Please add to both lists.

List of Preserved Case tractors
view  talk  edit
Make + Model No. Reg No.
(if known)
Serial No. Build-Date Engine-Type/Make Owner
(if known)
Photo Were seen/Featured in Other info
Fill in with your data ? sn if known year engine owner 100px

seen at misc



Please add any tractor with known reg or serial no. with Photo if possible.
Create a page (link) for an individual tractor by linking the reg or serial number using reg number or serial number in the relevant column. Then once saved click the red link to start the new page and add info on that tractor.

See also

Related companies
Collector & preservation
  • Shows and Meets - Shows featuring old tractors & steam etc - (add your event or any you visit to the list)
  • Clubs Listing - Old machinery clubs (add your club to the list)
  • Web Site Links - list of useful tractor & machinery web links

References / sources


  • Erb, Dave., Eldon Brumbaugh, and J.I. Case Company (1993). Full Steam Ahead: J.I. Case Tractors & Equipment 1842-1955. St. Joseph, Michigan: American Society of Agricultural Engineers. ISBN 0929355423
  • Stonehouse, Tom, and Eldon Brumbaugh (1996). JI Case Agricultural & Construction Equipment 1956-1994, Vol. 2 St. Joseph, Michigan: American Society of Agricultural Engineers. ISBN 0929355768
  • Tractor Data from:- Case Photographic History, by April Halberstadt, ISBN 0-7603-0061-5
  • Wendel, Charles H. (2004). Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements & Antiques. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. ISBN 0873495683

External links

  • add relevant links here

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