Most people in Racine have no clue that Jerome Increase Case owned two separate companies bearing his name, J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co. (1842) and J.I. Case Plow Works (1876). The latter was organized under the name Case-Whiting Plow Company. His partner E.G. Whiting, was the inventor of the center draft walking plow. Two years later Case bought out Whiting and renamed the business J.I. Case Plow Company. The business was reorganized in 1884 and named J.I. Case Plow Works. Jerome Case withdrew from the firm in 1890 and his son Jackson I. Case became the company president. Later Henry M. Wallis, Jerome Case's son-in-law, became president of the firm.
The J.I. Case Plow Works was located in the factory buildings at Water Street and Marquette Street. The buildings on the northeast corner were razed.
A view of the plow works building from the south.
The Plow Works building at Sixth and Marquette Street still stands as a reminder of this early Racine industry. The painted sign was visible for many decades and traces may still be seen.
After his death in December 1891 Jerome I. Case in his will disposed of all interests in the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co., and left the Plow Works to his family. This transaction created problems for both companies when mail came to Racine simply addressed "J.I. Case, Racine, Wisconsin." Each piece of mail had to be opened to determine which company it belonged to. This continued until 1928, then the J.I. Case Plow works was sold to the Massey-Harris Company. Later Massey-Harris sold all of the exclusive rights to the name "Case" back to the original J.I. Case Company.
This ad which appeared in the United Commercial Travelers Convention book in 1920 shows one of the disclaimers added to a Case Threshing Machine Co. advertisement after the book was already in print.
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