Oklahoma Steam Threshers

Oklahoma Steam Threshers 20 x 36 Allis-Chalmers Corliss Engine, Pawnee, Oklahoma.

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2315 South Birmingham Place, Tulsa, Okllahoma 74114

The 1977 Steam Show at Pawnee, Oklahoma was held July 14, 15, 16 and 17. A daily parade was a highlight of the show. Approximately 22 traction engines and numerous gas tractors circled our pavilion where several hundred spectators were seated. Included in the parade was a 35-70 Minneapolis owned by Heine Bomhoff of Calumet, Oklahoma and the Spurlin family of Enid, Oklahoma, and a 25-50 Avery owned by Floyd Kelley of Ralston, Oklahoma. Kenneth and Cecil Kelley of Pawnee showed their fine collection of Case engines. Other events drawing large crowds daily were plowing with the 110 Case and 75 Case; and the hill climb with a 50 Case, owned and operated by Art Kosted of Oklahoma City.

A 28-90 Minneapolis powered our sawmill and the grist mill was run by 3 and 4 inch scale model steam engines. Another popular demonstration was a shingle mill. It was powered by a 30 HP Russell portable engine owned by Ivan Burns of Edmond, Oklahoma. Engineer was Max January of Tonkawa, Oklahoma. Cutting shingles for waiting customers, were Herb Little, Yukon, Oklahoma and John Martens of Fairview, Oklahoma.

A growing interest in model engines was reflected in our '76 and '77 shows. There were several 3 and 4 inch scale engines. Fine craftsmanship was also shown in the smaller models displayed by Walter Jantz of Newton, Kansas and Paul Kirk of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Wesley Pittman, Scott City, Kansas; Chuck Chapman, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and John Younkman, Newton, Kansas, were engineers on the 20 x 36 Corliss valve steam engine. This display is a crowd-pleaser because of its large size. New for the '77 show was a 11 x 16 Frick stationary engine and a 5 x 8 upright steam powered exciter engine.

There was a number of gas engines on display including a beautifully restored 8 HP Famous horizontal engine owned by Ervin Shelby of Mutual, Oklahoma. Also, Dallas Womack, Fairview, Oklahoma, brought his one-of-a-kind tractor powered by a 10 HP Fairbanks engine.

Henry Martens made ice cream with a large freezer and a 1 HP John Deere engine. Bob Reudy of Oklahoma City displayed his Wurlitzer band organ which provided music all during the show. Exhibitors came from all parts of Oklahoma and also from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Arizona.

As in past years, free entertainment was a part of our show. Country and western musician, Johnnie Lee Wills, played a noontime program and the American Theatre Company out of Tulsa presented a melodrama one evening. There was also a dance with music provided by Johnnie Lee and All the Boys.

The main building on the show grounds housed food service booths run by Pawnee Senior Citizens and local church groups. One popular booth every year is the donut shop run by Mrs. Henry Weibe of Corn, Oklahoma. Antique dealers, artists, craftsmen, booksellers also had booths, as did the American Red Cross for a first aid station. The Women's Auxiliary of Oklahoma Steam Thresher's (the 'Pop-offs') was in charge of the information booth, souvenir, cornmeal and shingle sales.

Tents and trailers for food and drinks were scattered around the show grounds, with many exhibitors and visitors camping near the show site.

Our 1978 show will be held July 14, 15 and 16. For more information you may contact Kenneth Kelley, Pawnee, Oklahoma 74058.