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Case tractor
CASE POWER: This Case tractor probably came out not long after the “Farm Power That Pays 40 Ways” brochure made its way around the country. It’s owned by the Hedrick family, Battleground, Ind.

‘Farm power that pays 40 ways’

Throwback Tech: With slogans like that, early tractor companies show they knew how to advertise.

It’s no wonder the Case name survives today, even though J.I. Case no longer exists. The Case name is prominent in CNH and Case IH products.

Some 80 years ago, Case knew how to promote equipment. I stumbled upon a pamphlet titled “Farm Power That Pays 40 Ways.” It features a rubber-tired Case tractor pulling a moldboard plow. Inside there are both rubber-tired and steel-tired tractors. It never mentions a single model. The implication? If it’s a Case, it’s better than other tractors and horses.

The pamphlet also uses one very old and one very modern technique. First, it includes quotes from farmers to make up the 40 ways farm power pays. Stephen Wright, founder of Prairie Farmer magazine, knew in 1841 that farmers would listen to what other farmers said.

Yet the second technique was visionary. Today it’s easier to find stories with lists of things. People have little time to read, so promise them what they’re going to get, tell them how many points to expect and deliver. Case did that 80-plus years ago by promising 40 ways to learn why Case power is superior.

Case tractor

Examples
Here are a few of those 40 ways:

Reserve power for extra-heavy loads? “Picks up big loads at once without causing engine to pop spit.” — W.S. Bower, Lamoille, Nev.

Does the transmission avoid waste of power? “The Case has more direct drive, therefore, more power.”— Otto Berger, Mesa, Arizona

How about the weight of the tractor? “I like the Case tractor because it has 2,000 pounds less weight of its own to pull over the fields.” — J. H. Stout, Condon, Ore. The brochure adds that the Case tractor of that day was lighter than the Case tractor of 20 years earlier. Obviously, that trend would reverse course.

Can you run hour after hour without stopping?  “I plowed 100 acres in 48 hours with our Case tractor and 6-foot Wheatland plow.” — Geo. C. Bierschank, Edmond, Okla.

Can you handle more acres per hour or per day? “I can plow 3 to 4 more acres per day with the extra speed and power of my new Case tractor.” — Art Rasmussen, Belleville, Wis.

Do you want to cultivate better and more often?  “Laid by as high as 40 acres per day with our Case Motor-Lift tractor and cultivator and did a better job of cultivating than with a horse cultivator.” — Wm. V. Seaver, Carthage, Ill. Ah, here is a direct reference to how Case is still competing against both other tractors and horses.

Can you reduce hired help required? “With my Case tractor, I am farming 250 acres alone more easily and more efficiently than I formerly did with a hired man and 10 good horses.” — Harry R. Pearce, Gifford, Iowa. The tractor obviously didn’t eat as much hay, either.

Will you get years of faithful service? “My Case is a great tractor — dust-proof and oil-saving. It looks to me it will give 10 years more service without much cost.” — J.D. Kerner, Newcastle, Ind.

Good for 20 years? “I have operated my Case tractor four years, and during this time I have never adjusted a bearing or put in a new ring. I expect it to give me 20 years of faithful service.” — C.W. Owings, Morral, Ohio

Comments? Email tom.bechman@farmprogress.com.

TAGS: Technology
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