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Grown men could stand under the boiler of
the original 150 HP engine,
150 HP CASE PROJECT
by Kory Anderson
shown in this illustration from the original
The 150 Horse Power CASE steam engine is
somewhat like the story of the Titanic. It
was built as the largest steam traction engine
of its time, but all we have left are the
stories and a few pictures. Ever since I
was a little boy listening to the stories
George Hedtke would tell about this great
engine I was fascinated by it.
I was at an auction with my dad when I was
4 years old where he purchased a 65 HP Case
steam engine. After rebuilding this engine
at the age of 19, I decided to undertake
the seemingly impossible task of building
a 150 HP CASE.
The project started with a trip
out to Racine,
Wisconsin in 2006 to the CASE
I met Rich Tworek, who gave me
a tour of
the archives where all the old
stored. I paged through the thousands
old steam engine and shop equipment
and was able to make copies of
needed to start the project.
Immediately when I got back home
drawings I started to recreate
3D CAD (Computer Aided Drafting)
could generate a complete 3D
Model of this
great machine and also run FEA
Analysis) to test areas of high
determine what type of material
the best to use.
Kory Anderson and Colin Beamish with the
150 flywheel pattern
In 2008, I began making the wooden
out of mahogany that were needed
all the castings for the engine.
with the pattern for the Cylinder
when I had finished that pattern
it was the
first visualization of what this
would actually be, which is HUGE.
last 5 years I have continued
to make patterns
and currently have about a third
of the over
one hundred patterns done that
will be needed
to make this engine.
Patterns built by Kory
The casting process
We had Jonas Stutzman from Middlefield, Ohio
build a brand new boiler for the engine in
2011 which we have now in Andover, SD. In
December, 2013 we poured the first casting
for the engine part number 1400C, the Engine
Cylinder casting. The original 150 Case development
started in 1904 and the first drawing was
the engine cylinder casting 1400C, then all
the parts were designed from the cylinder
out to the wheels.
Right side of the engine showing the steam
I imagine that all the men who created this
engine for the first time in 1905 would never
believe that over 100 years later we are
building this exact machine again. Too bad
we don't have a few of them around to learn
from the mistakes they may have already made.
The advantage we have today is over 100 years
in technology advancements in Machining,
Fabricating, and in Metallurgy to use higher
quality iron where needed.
This project will be an investment
million to recreate a historical
visitors to the show can view
of this project as we host the
at the James Valley Threshing
show in 2016.
Billed as "the World's Largest
Engine", the first 150 horsepower
engine was developed and built
in 1904 by
J.i. Case Threshing Machine Company
Wisconsin. Less than a handful
of these engines
were produced and none survive
if things go as planned, the
will have a brand new one in
the next few years.
One original boiler is the only
any of the original engines still
today. It was tracked down and
now resides in Andover. Although
thru stays and flue sheets had
long ago, it served as the pattern
a brand new boiler, which is
assembly. All the other parts
will have to
be cast or fabricated from scratch
Kevin Anderson with the new 150 HP boiler
built by JS Boiler Works,
standing in front of the original
According to Anderson, "We are presently
finishing the engineering of the 150 into
3D CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), then as
the patterns are completed castings will
be poured and we will start making parts.
We have had a lot of people question the
possibility of the resurrection of the 150.
it would not be possible without the engineering
programs now available. When we have all
the prints converted into 3D CAD models,
we can validate the design to ensure there
are no interferences as well as run finite
element analysis to test the stresses and
potential fatigue points in the design. If
there are any issues we will be able to see
it in the CAD model and address it before
any parts are made. There may be even some
mistakes on the Case factory prints themselves.
Remember, the 150 was designed over 100 years
ago and was built as just a prototype.
This project will be one of the biggest recreations
ever and we are very, very excited to make
The 150 Case Steam Engine parts are coming
Kory Anderson with the flywheel which was
cast at the foundry last year. It is 16"
wide and weighs about 1400 pounds.
Specifications for the old Case 150 HP, from
the Case archive documents:
BOILER - Shell 42 inches in diameter.
TUBES - Ninety-three 2 inch tubes, 108 1/2 inches
long, of cold drawn, seamless steel tubing
FIRE BOX - 58 1/4 inches long, 39 1/4 inches wide,
and 45 inches high, made of the best open-hearth
HEATING SURFACE of boiler, 515 square feet. Grate area of
boiler is 15.8 square feet.
BOILER PRESSURE - The boiler tested at 350 pounds hydrostatic
pressure, and can carry 160 pounds as a working
WATER TANK - The capacity of the tank is about 500
WATER FEED - An Ejector will fill the water tank in
eight minures from any stream or other accessible
FUEL CAPACITY - The coal capacity is about 2750 pounds.
ENGINE CYLINDER - 14 inches diameter by 14 inch stroke.
HORSE POWER - The engine easily develops 150 brake horse
power running at its normal speed of 300
revolutions per minute.
TRACTION POWER - The engine has been built for heavy hauling
purposes and is capable of drawing 40 to
50 tons up grades from 5 to 10 percent. The
engine itself, not loaded, will go up a 40
Descriptions from the Case archive files:
"The rear wheels were eight feet in
diameter and 30 inches across. The length
of the Road Locomotive was 25 feet and three
inches, and the width was 10 feet.
The engine has been designed for use in localities
without steam railway facilities or where
the tonnage of freight is insufficient to
justify the building of a railroad. In hauling
heavy loads or plowing on a very large scale
it can be used at a saving of at least 50
percent over ox, mule or horse teams.
The water and fuel capacity is sufficient
for hauls of eight to ten miles."
The boiler was the standard locomotive type,
with large fire-box and ample heating area.
Being mounted on springs and hung in front
of the rear axle, it could travel the roughest
roads without injury. This was an essential
feature of the Road Locomotive.
Very little cast iron was used in building
this engine in the 1900's. The driving gears
were cast from a special steel mixture, had
extra wide face and heavy cogs to insure
the requisite durability, without which a
freighting engine could not be made a paying
Special attention was directed to the strong
construction of the drive wheels. They were
built to stand rough usage. The wide tires
with the diagonal lugs afforded a grip that
insured strong traction power, another necessity
for a road locomotive.
Case Road Locomotive 1906
|James Valley Threshers is extremely proud
of Kory and his awesome 150 HP Case project.
It is the most significant project in the
history of Case engines, and has created
immense interest and excitement in the community
of Case enthusiasts.
The James Valley Threshing Show
is the perfect
opportunity for everyone interested
amazing feat to meet Kory and
it first hand. It is an opportunity
be missed! We hope to see you
all at the
Show in September.
Progress is being made as shown in Kory's
video - Pouring the 150 Case cylinder
The Legendary 150 HP Case Steam Engine, an article written by George Hedtke, was
published in the Farm Collector magazine
for March/April 1987. Don't miss this exerpt
from the fascinating original article.
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