One of the highlights of any modern farm show is watching a skilled steam engine operator maneuver a Case steam engine up an incline. But you may be wondering how the incline demonstration started.
It’s always been considered a stunt of sorts but in the early days of steam, the activity served a marketing purpose for J. I. Case Threshing Co. Under the slogan “Case engines are the only real hill climbers,” the company hung its hat on the fact that uneven terrain was no match for its quality line of steam traction engines. And to prove it, they were more than happy to demonstrate how easy it was to run it up and down an incline.
By all accounts, the first public incline demonstration took place at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. And more than 100 years later, the incline demonstration is still one of the most memorable images you can take away from a farm show.
Here’s a short video of a 40 HP Case steam engine on the incline at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minn., followed by some articles from the Iron-Men Album archive that talk about Case steam engines and the incline:
Related articles from Iron-Men Album and Steam Traction: