Old Nancy, a 1905 Case steam traction engine that had been on loan to Auburn University for more than four decades, has a new home inside the Museum of East Alabama in Opelika.
It was in 1974 that Mrs. A.C. Whatley, whose father had purchased the steam tractor in 1906 to power his Lee County sawmill, loaned Old Nancy to Auburn. Two years later, students in what is now the Department of Biosystems Engineering fully restored the antique as a way of highlighting advances in agricultural engineering and technology through the years.
Old Nancy’s relocation to the Opelika museum in August came at the Whatley family’s request. Oladiran Fasina, head of biosystems engineering at Auburn, said the department is grateful to the family for allowing the university to use the historic engine for teaching purposes.
“The Department of Biosystems Engineering thanks the Whatley family for entrusting Old Nancy to us for 45 years and for allowing us to be a part of the technology that transformed and significantly reduced drudgery in agricultural production,” Fasina said.