Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

1922 Tractor Makes Its Case

Rare Case Steam Engine Tractor Still Runs, Still Certified

 

October 27, 2022

Daria Anderson-Faden

Joel Cross and Kurt Baker cruise down the parade route during Banner County Historical Days in June aboard the museum's 100-year-old Case steam engine tractor.

The Banner County Museum's 1922 Case steam engine tractor is 100 years old this year and remains operational. The Case 65 H.P. steam engine tractor in Harrisburg is one of only a few in the area that actually runs and is certified.

The steam engine tractors must be certified because they have a boiler.

Legacy of the Plains Museum has a steam engine, but it is no longer certified. Another is located in Crawford, but the man who worked on it has died, and another steam engine tractor is located in Scottsbluff but doesn't run.

The Case tractor has a top speed of 2.3 miles per hour.

Banner County Museum president Kurt Baker said, "Sometimes it would take them two or three days to move to the next place to thrash."

The tractor has to be certified every two years by the state boiler inspector, a division of the state fire marshal for the museum to operator it. It had been out of compliance, but with the leadership of Joel Cross, the tractor was re-plumbed.

This spring all new piping was installed and everything is up to specs according to Baker. He estimated that about 10-12 guys have over 600 man hours dedicated to re-plumbing the engine this year. The museum was able to purchase a copy of the original owners manual, which has a complete diagram and safety precautions.

Joel Cross and Norris Leafdale were both museum members when the steam engine tractor was purchased. Case sold its last engine in 1924.

 
 

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