Growing up on the family farm in Iowa, Jeff Tillman spent most of his childhood working. By 4 years old he already had regular chores to do around the farm, and he was driving tractors and farm trucks by the time he was 10. He remembered the CASE tractor, also known as the Road Locomotive, for its legendary power and reputation. Jeff’s father, Kay Tillman, built this miniature rendition of the famous steam engine tractor.

In addition to his CASE tractor, Kay used to build model boats from scratch, becoming nationally recognized for his craftsmanship. Always being industrious, even earning the nickname “Work” as a youth, Mr. Tillman managed to turn his model boat hobby into a money making enterprise. The wood molds and wheel chalk for this model were also made by Mr. Tillman.

Exhibit added: November 24, 2018 - Last modified: April 28, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship