After six months of working at Farm Collector, I finally made it to a farm show! I’ll be attending the Midwest Old Thresher’s reunion in Mt. Pleasant over Labor Day weekend with the rest of the Farm Collector staff, but I’ve been looking forward to finding opportunities to explore the farm collectibles hobby in person before then. The weekend of July 20provided a perfect chance: The Meriden Antique Engine and Threshers Association’s 36th annual show was just a short morning drive away.
My boyfriend remembers attending the Meriden show when he was younger, but I didn’t grow up in the area, so it was all completely new to me. We went early to try and beat the three-digit temperatures, and on the last day of the show there weren’t very many people around. The people who were there all seemed to be enjoying a leisurely start to the day with the church service, conversation and some of the on-site food (my co-workers recommend the pie, which I unfortunately forgot to try). I spent about an hour taking pictures of the tractors and equipment on display – after the all the time I’ve been spending on research for our upcoming special issue this fall, I was especially interested in the Farmalls and IHC equipment. There were also a few more unusual tractors that I’m hoping to learn more about in the near future, especially the Rock Island 18-35.
A 1940 Farmall A owned by Charles Jackson of Topeka, Kan.
1925 1-1/2 hp McCormick-Deering also owned by Charles Jackson.
A Farmall F12, serial number FS1534. Behind it is a Jaeger cement mixer built by The Jaeger Machine Co. Columbus, Ohio.
I'd never seen a Rock Island tractor before.
The show grounds also house several permanent displays, including a functioning 19th century flour mill, a blacksmith shop, a 22 hp Fairbanks-Morse engine (my boyfriend remembers it being used in a demonstration in previous years, but we didn’t have a chance to see that this year), and a sawmill setup.
This Perfection grain cleaner and seperator on display on the top floor of the flour mill was manufactured locally in Topeka, Kan.
It wasn't running when I was there, but this 22 hp Fairbanks Morse (circa 1900) has been used in demonstrations at past shows.
A McCormick-Deering WD9 powered the sawmill setup.
Overall I had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the chance to see some of the machines I’ve been reading about at work, as well as the opportunity to talk to a few of the area collectors. Given the easy drive and my love of fall festivals, I planning to attend the Meriden Thresher’s Assn.’s fall swap meet as well – maybe I’ll see a few of you there!