Farm Progress

Throwback Thursday: See products your father or grandfather may have considered buying 49 years ago.

April 5, 2018

3 Min Read
BEARS ‘CASE’ NAME: Look closely and you can see the name “Case” in the center of this smaller six-row machine. That’s about the only resemblance to the 1969 Case 1665 Corn Special combine.

The previous edition of this look back at agriculture through magazine advertisements in Prairie Farmer included a Chevy truck ad from 1967 featuring a wooden livestock bed. The lead item today is all about an all-steel livestock bed from Knapheide. As time marches forward, so does technology.

Even the magazine masthead changed from 1967 to the May 3, 1969, issue. The words “Prairie Farmer” were still prominent, but the “Indiana” above it was in script, not block letters as in 1967. In the 1950s, the cover simply featured “Indiana edition” in small print.

Here are products advertised in the May 3, 1969, issue:

 Knapheide farm bodies. “Great stamina — big pay loads” is the headline on the ad for Knapheide farm bodies, right above the image of an all-steel livestock bed in this two-color ad. The bed featured solid sides partway up and open sides above, and was equipped with a removable end gate that raised with a rope and pulley.

The ad says the company had been a leader for over 100 years. It’s still a leader in building truck bodies for commercial uses, and it’s still located in Quincy, Ill. Aluminum truck bodies are one of Knapheide’s featured products today. Check out

• ARPS loaders. OK, maybe you haven’t heard of ARPS loaders, but this 1969 magazine carried an ad for a loader mounted on an International utility tractor. The ad claims the company offered an exclusive “Quick-Tach” mounting for taking the loader on and off. The company, based in New Holstein, Wis., also made half-tracks, blades and rakes, wagon gear, and snow blowers. The ad was placed by a distributor, Corsicana Grader & Machine Co., Indianapolis.

ARPS later became Amerequip. An employee buyout kept the company going, and later it was bought out by management. It still operates in Kiel and New Holstein, Wis., making a wide variety of accessories and working with partners that include familiar names: Case IH, John Deere, New Holland and more. Visit


COMPANIES STILL EXIST: Both Knapheide and ARPS still make equipment in their original cities today. ARPS is now known as Amerequip, making products for several original equipment manufacturer partners.

• Aatrex herbicide. You think spraying 4-inch or smaller weeds as noted on labels for dicamba soybean herbicides today is tough. A rare full-color ad for Aatrex by Geigy in 1969 promotes catching weeds before they are 1.5 inches tall! The full-page ad was based around a situation where you were busy and couldn’t spray before planting. The ad promotes that Aatrex, a name brand of atrazine, was perfectly safe at all stages of corn growth.

Geigy merged with Ciba to form Ciba-Geigy, which eventually became part of Syngenta.

• Case 1665 Corn Special combine. A two-page color ad introduces this new model that came with a four- or six-row corn head. It featured the traditional Case orange trimmed in yellow and black. The ad claims it had “Paul Bunyan-size measurements — including a 52-inch-wide threshing and separating area.” The ad continues, “If you can use the Big one, it’s worth your trip to a Case dealer.”

The Case 1665 isn’t even an ancestor of the Case IH combine. Case IH went to the axial-flow design when the companies merged. The Case 1665 was a big combine in 1969, but would be a small combine today!

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