Case IH celebrates 175 years

HARARE - American agriculture equipment manufacturer, Case IH (Case), is this year celebrating 175 years of operations.

The global company’s president, Andreas Klauser, said the anniversary was a testament to many years of quality, perseverance and progress.

“I find it amazing to see just how far the farming industry and our company have come during the last 175 years, especially given the fact that we are stronger than ever before today. The common theme which has always guided our innovative approach is to provide customers with ever-improving technologies that enable them to farm more efficiently and profitably,” he said.

Case, whose beginnings were closely linked with those of the American economy, as American pioneers moved West and new farms were established there to feed the growing population centres in the East, also operates in Zimbabwe.

In 1869, Case went on to manufacture the first steam engine tractor, which though wheel-mounted was drawn by horses and used only to power other machines, then in 1876 built the first self-propelled traction steam engine.

As steam engines quickly replaced horses for threshing, the JI Case Threshing Machine Company became the world’s largest producer of steam engines by 1886.

In 1902, five companies merged to form the International Harvester Company in Chicago, the deal being brokered, personally, by John Pierpont Morgan, the American banker who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation at the time.

The company produced its first combine harvester in 1915 and in 1923 introduced the Farmall®, the world’s first row-crop tractor.

Providing greater productivity, reliability and safety, it was a revolutionary unified system of tractors and implements for ploughing, cultivating and harvesting.

International Harvester sold more than 5 million Farmall tractors and in 1977 launched the unique single-rotor Axial-Flow® rotary combine, which revolutionised the farming industry with its simplicity, grain quality, grain savings, crop adaptability, matched capacity and high resale value. Axial-Flow combines still set the standard for harvesting performance today.

Case IH was formed in 1985 when J I Case acquired the agricultural division of International Harvester, uniting the legacies of Case and IH in a single brand.

Its first product, the Magnum tractor from 160hp to 240hp, was introduced in 1987 and became the first tractor to win the Industrial Design Excellence Award.

Now producing up to 380hp, the Magnum continues to be one of the most recognisable Case IH products and more than 150 000 have been sold.

The revolutionary Case IH Quadtrac tractor, which was launched in 1996, established a new benchmark and remains unmatched.

Now including the most powerful series production tractor in the world, the Steiger® Quadtrac 620 with up to 692hp, it delivers the greatest pulling power while implementing efficient, ground-conserving tillage and drilling concepts.

Since the turn of the Century, when Case IH reintroduced the Farmall brand, the company’s technical innovations have continued unabated.

“When I look at the enormous transformation which has taken place in agriculture over the last 175 years, it is very exciting to think about what might be achieved during the next 175 years. I am sure that will be discussed during our celebrations with customers, dealers and employees,” Klauser said.

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