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1913 Case Torpedo Touring Car and Workers on an Utah Ranch

Today’s image takes us to a ranch or farm situated outside of Payson, Utah, and a view of officials and workers posing in and around a circa 1913 Case Model “O” 40 h.p. touring car with a torpedo-style of a cowl. Many of the laborers appear to be transfixed like a deer in caught in headlights by the camera because at the time it was likely that this was the first one they had seen and the first photograph taken of them.

The Case, on the other hand, was looking a bit worse for wear after a year or two on the road; the paint is looking worn and tired, the right-hand front fender has been damaged, and the bottom of the radiator core is clogged with dirt. Tires at the time had a life expectancy of only about three to five thousand miles, and the one on the left-front is suffering from a cut or crack in the rubber that is loosening its bond from its fabric carcass.

The photo by George Edward Anderson is dated August 28, 1915, and is courtesy of the Brigham Young University Library.

Editors note: Since the Case was such a limited production car, an article posted over two years ago here on The Old Motor had been combined with today’s post to include more information about the Automaker and the Case “40.”

Barney Oldfield takes Joe Tinker to Case Automobile School

Nov 3, 2014

Barney Oldfield has been no stranger to these pages over the years, as even after his career of driving racing cars in competition was over he became the perfect automotive pitchman. Here we see him promoting the Case Motor Car along with Chicago Cub’s Shortstop Joe Tinker, a Baseball Hall of Famer that was a part of the club’s outstanding double play combination during the 1902 to 1912 period.

The Case Model 40 Automobile

Case, was also promoting itself at the time with an advertising slogan “The Car With The Famous Engine” that attributed its Greatness to a long history of 70-years of being built an agricultural machinery manufacturer. The Case was built between the years of 1911 to 1927 in Racine, Wisconsin, and originated from the Pierce-Racine car. It was advertised in many of the agricultural magazines of the day to take advantage of its long history of building well-made and durable machinery that farmers came to count on and trust for farming.   

The Case Model 40 Automobile

Case also promoted it products on the race track starting in 1911 with its team under the management of J. Alex Sloan a racing promoter. While the cars were never a big success on the racetrack, they did do well in hill climbs, a popular test of the automobile at the time until the death of their star driver Louis Strang late in 1911. Full details of the Case Model “O” in the March 1913, “Auto Trade Journal,” which is generally referred to as the Case “40” can be found below. The postcard image at the top of the post is courtesy of Alden Jewell.

The Case Model 40 Automobile

17 responses to “1913 Case Torpedo Touring Car and Workers on an Utah Ranch

  1. Barney Oldfield, Master Driver of the World & America’s Legendary Speed King life long friend & next door neighbor Frank Chance first baseman for the Chicago Cubs with Joe Tinker at short stop and Johny Evers at second base completed the first double play on Sept. 15, 1902. There is also a historic photo of Barney Oldfied and Ty Cobb in the Prince Heinrich Benz from the Everett collection. Never Look Back, Barney Oldfield’s Great Great Nephew

      • Two likely possibilities.I was not able to locate where it was taken. I looked into this photo and found it was used on several different advertising postcards. Same picture used to advertise the JI Case Kansas City Factory Branch.

        • Racine-Journal Newspaper March 3, 1914.

          “Ball Players Now Use Automobiles

          Over a score of ball players in the major and minor league are driving Case cars today and two orders have been received since the New York show opened from men who make their living on the diamond.

          Joe Tinker, the new manager of the Chicago Federal league team, and Hans Wagner of the Pittsburg club were the first ball players in the country to turn to Case cars, and they have spread the Case enthusiasm all over the country.

          For the past three years, in fact ever since the Case company has marketed pleasure cars, the famous shortstop of the Chicago ball club has been a Case owner and this spring Joe will place his order for another Case.

          Hans Wagner Is also partial to the Case and has had one for the past two years. Bob Bescher of the Cincinnati club; Frank Chance, manager of the New York Highlanders: Pitcher Hendrix and 18 other players of diamond fame are today piloting Case cars.

          The most recent purchase of a Case car on the part of a major league was made at St. Louis, where Branch Rickey, the new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, has placed an order for a Case 40. Rickey was formerly a member of the New York Highlanders.

          One of the important arguments in favor of the ball players buying Case cars is the service offered their journeys around the country. Wherever they are, ball players are welcomed by the Case branch house managers and the big Racine corporation has headquarters in a majority of the big league cities, to say nothing of the many agents who are friendly to the baseball hero.”

  2. The Case “Eagle on Globe” on the postcard has been a Case trademark since 1865. The eagle represents ‘Old Abe’, which was a mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Regiment during the Civil War and was named after President Abraham Lincoln.
    There is a vintage Case steam tractor at Heritage Park in Calgary with a large “Eagle on Globe” on the front cover. Instead of saying ‘Case’ on the globe though; it has ‘J. I. CASE / THRESHING MACHINE CO. / RACINE, WIS., / U.S.A.’ in 4 lines. ‘CASE’ is in large letters separate from the emblem. The emblem is cast into the front cover in 3D relief and painted.

    • Many cast iron parts for tractors and other CASE farm products had the Eagle logo on them. CASE offered dealers a full 3 D cast iron Eagle and Globe for dealership signs. As I remember they were 6 or 7 feet tall.

  3. Now, I will research Pierce- Racine to find out if the “Pierce” part is related to “Pierce Arrow”, having occasionally driven a Fire engine with a Pierce-Arrow V-12 engine, I remain impressed with its absolute pulling power & huge torque capabilities , a must for moving a very large fire service vehicle and the ability to continuously pump water, without fail! Edwin W.

    • I don’t think they’re related.

      Pierce-Arrow started in Buffalo in 1865 as Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer. In 1872, George Pierce bought out the other two founders and renamed it the George N. Pierce Company. Pierce sold the company in 1907, and it became Pierce-Arrow in 1908 (the first Arrow car was built by Pierce in 1903). Studebaker gained control of the company in 1928, and they went out of business in 1938 (Seagrave bought the machinery to make the V-12 engines and continued producing them for firetrucks).

      Pierce-Racine was founded in 1893 as the Pierce Gas Engine Company in Racine, Wisconsin by Andrew J Pierce of Rochester (NY), who built gas motors for stationary use and for boats, then moved into cars in 1902 (the Mitchell for Wisconsin Wheel Works), then building the first Pierce-Racine car in 1904 after merging with Wisconsin Wheel Works and renaming itself from Pierce Engine Company to Pierce-Racine. In 1910 it was debt-ridden and was taken over by its creditor J.I. Case (now Case Corporation), which got out of the automobile business in the mid-20s.

  4. Given that the ranch photo was taken with a large format camera, the exposure time was probably one or more seconds long which likely accounts for the somewhat transfixed look of the workers. Plus, back then it does not appear that the concept of “OK everybody smile for the camera!” had been “invented” yet as the subjects of most photos exhibit a rather dour or blank expression at best. Think of portraits of famous folks from 100 years ago vs. now. Even the four gents in that brand new Case don’t seem particularly happy about their driving lesson.

    I suspect it was when exposure times got down to 1/8th to 1/30th of a second in the 30’s that photographers felt confident enough in capturing folks’ fleeting smiles. That plus the emergence of Hollywood celebrities as endorsers of products in advertisements where the broad smile indicated how happy you were with the vacuum cleaner or jar of cold cream you were holding made the smiling photo commonplace. Nowadays if you see a group shot where everyone ISN’T all happy faces you wonder “Ooh, what’s wrong there?”

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