Jerome Increase Case founded the J I Case Company in 1842 and soon gained recognition as the first builder of a steam engine for agricultural use. During his tenure as president of the company, Case manufactured more threshing machines and steam engines than any other company in history.
In addition to his innate talents as an inventor and manufacturer, Case also took an interest in politics and finance. He was mayor of Racine, Wisconsin, for three terms and was state senator from the Racine area for two terms. He was the incorporator and president of the Manufacturer's National Bank of Racine and founder of the First National Bank of Burlington (Wisconsin). Case also founded the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, was president of the Racine County Agricultural Society and president of the Wisconsin Agricultural Society.
Known in manufacturing circles as the "Threshing Machine King," Case received more popular recognition as the owner of "Jay-Eye-See," a black gelding racehorse acknowledged as the world's all-time champion trotter-pacer.
Case was born and lived during a pivotal period: During his lifetime the Industrial Revolution and expansion of the United States combined to produce one of the greatest nations the world had yet seen. Case was to become a part of this process, being one of the select few --- including Cyrus McCormick, Major Leonard Andrus, Eli Whitney and other individuals --- to use the fruits of the Industrial Revolution to transform American agriculture. By applying ingenuity and technology to farming, these men so raised production levels that the United States was to become the breadbasket of the world.