Oil Pull Tractor

Oil Pull Tractor at Maryland Steam Historical Society Show in 1969! (See story The Maryland Steam Historical Society's Fourteenth Annual Steam Show) Courtesy of Bill Hopkins, Union Mills, Maryland 21157

Bill Hopkins

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Antique Acres, Cheraw, S. C.

Registrants from 21 states, Canada & D. C. shook up the 5700 residents of this little South Carolina town April 10-11-12, 1970. The weather was perfect for those that left 18 inches of snow in Pa., Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Canada, etc., as well as those that arrived from Florida.

Mr. Charles Hope of Arlington, Va., our Master of Ceremonies requested everyone to come to the central area about 10 A.M. Friday. He introduced Mayor Miller Ingram who gave a brief welcoming address. Senator Anthony Harris then introduced Mrs. John West. Lt. Governor John West is hopefully the next Governor of S.C.

A form of massive renaissance erupted soon after my closest neighbor and close friend, the Executive V.P. of Chamber of Commerce, a retired yankee strolled down into our valley. The exhibitor nearest the entrance was another friendly yankee from Bradford, Pa. Bradford is also the home office of my retired neighbors oil company, and after an hour or two of exchanging truths, (???) my neighbor retreated uptown and promptly returned with the city government (Mayor and City Fathers). Several T.V. and radio stations were phoned, and within the day we were being televised and broadcast across the Carolinas. This steam-up was some thing new for South Carolinans. They did not know what it was all about, but they did know that they liked it, and they wanted more people to see it.

Mr. & Mrs. D. C. Sage, Bradford, Pa., with their oil well rig, three gas engines, and two scale steam units, arrived in advance of opening date. Right then everyone could 'feel' that South Carolina's first show would be a near, if not total success. From time to time, I asked Mrs. Sage if I could get her a more comfortable chair or a cold drink of water or anything. Her repeated reply was that she just wanted to sit and bask in the sunshine. She had left 18 inches of snow and here she was two days later reared back in a chair, shoes removed, toes wiggling, and looking at acres and acres and thousands and thousands of flowering dogwood, azaleas, iris, wisteria, etc. bordering on about two miles of pathways.

Being a paid up member of Eastern Shore, R & T, West minister, Williams Grove, Berryville, Sarasota, etc., I am adding one more task to presidents Layton, Brubaker, Hull, Herndon, etc. I am asking that they advise me on the proper selection of a form of appropriate appreciation for our 'first exhibit' by Mr. & Mrs. D. C. Sage of Bradford, Pa.

Arriving soon thereafter was Col. and Mrs. Houston Herndon from Sarasota, Fla. They brought the first hot air engine ever to be seen in this area. Their smooth running engines combined with warm sunshine lulled the Col. to sleep now and then. If anyone has a picture of the Col. wearing cowboy boots and Texas hat stretched out on the soft carpet of green grass, and snoring away, please send me a copy with authorization to send it to 'Irene.'

Recording the arrival sequence of others was interrupted by my doing a few other chores. In event anyone has doubts about other chores, ask your local officers and directors. They do a lot of work. Never again will I leave a show without expressing appropriate appreciation for their hard work.

Walter Clements (Ph.D.) of Auburn, Ala., brought a hot air engine.

Mr. & Mrs. Denis McCormack photographed most of the activities. They timed a return from their Florida home to their Baltimore home to coincide with our show. Their portable steam powered battery charger was another unheard of item in Cheraw.

Charles Hope of Arlington, was just plain M.C. until his masterful control of the mike and his ability to keep things moving earned for him the distinction of, and he will hereafter be entitled MASTER - M.C.

Robert La Porte and Charles Hope installed an elaborate speaker system consisting of a lot of little speakers tied together with a mile or two of T.V. wire instead of a few big speakers that could not penetrate the magnolias, etc. Robert is from Hartsville, S.C., and brought a F.M.Z. Engine. He has a nice collection.

Mr. & Mrs. Ted Gowl of Baltimore operated their scale saw mill.

Mr. and Mrs. James P. Riley of Rising Sun, Maryland, had an eight cycle aero-motor engine.

Mr. & Mrs. Everett 'Bus' Longrod (Editor of Flywheel News, WNYCSEA) fought their way through snow to mid Virginia to bring their models. Read the 'Fly Wheel News' to get their most complimentary viewpoint.

Bill Grimley of Durham, N.C., operated a pick-up load of engines that included a tulip hopper aeromotor and a household type cooling fan powered by 'heat.'

Jimmy Thomas of Cheraw had a scale model train engine that was built in Cheraw by his father.

Steve Parker, Richfield, N.C., operated a pea thresher alternately powered by three engines.

Max Wigington of Easley, S.C., loaned us his Wade drag saw.

Mrs. C. C. Idol of Winston Salem, N.C., sewed name tags with a sewing machine powered by a steam engine, of which Mr. Idol was engineer.

Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Nipper from Warrenville, S.C., (down on the Georgia line) brought two small steam traction engines, and giving rides to people created unusual interest.

Paul Russell of Apex, N.C., had a number of gas engines.

Lloyd McGowen of Easley, S.C., had a pick-up load of gas engines.

Robert Miller & Archie Cline of near Mocksville, N.C., alternately operated our double Frick that hauled hundreds and hundreds around the grounds.

Robert Lyerly and Arnold Broadway of Mocksville, N.C., operated some of our stationary steam units.

Robert Rogers, III, our son, alternately operated the Moline Universal and about a dozen stationary steam engines including our upright Westinghouse steam traction engine. Bobby needs help. Why don't a few of you experienced 'Engineers' and 'Iron-Men' come down next April and spell Bobby. He will gladly give you an operator's plaque.

Roland Wicker of Cheraw was in charge of our Titan 10-20, our 8 hp. upright Root & Vandervoot, and about a dozen other gas units, as well as helping visiting exhibitors with special stubborn gas units. Roland will have about sixty 'Operator's Plaques' for experienced gas engine operators. Just bring your friendship and your adjusting tools. We furnish the engines.

Jack Williamson of Cheraw was in charge of our mule powered up and down scale saw mill as well as general trouble shooting. Jack also operated the old style shingle mill, and a wood splitter. Many people in the South still use the old wood burning stoves in the winter as this was the only space heat provided for in kitchens.

Mr. & Mrs. Keith Oderkirk of Haynes City, Fla., had some nice whistles, lubricators, etc., and when I said had, I mean had all were sold!!

We fell for Oderkirks suggestion that his four barrel three foot long whistle (from the model T days) would go good on the Moline Universal that we plan to use in parades.

Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Daniels of Warminister, Pa., parked their trailer by a 'live oak' tree. A Live oak tree is a spreading evergreen oak that is the worlds elite. No other tree can compare for year round beauty or shade. Alfred brought down a steam boat whistle eight feet high. He carried back a stack of legal tender about yeah feet high.

Miss Gail Clem and Mrs. Clem of Manassas, Va. and Mrs. Charles Hope of Arlington, Va., registered guests and generally assisted Charles Hope in announcements, etc. They also sold subscriptions and back issues of IMA and GEM.

Claude Brown of Florence, S.C., James Shelbaer of Charlotte, N.C., Hills Antiques of Clio, S.C., David Turner of Windmill Antiques, Charlotte, N.C., had most interesting displays of antiques.

Harold Weldon of Cheraw displayed nursery plants for sale.

Elnora Eastland of Cheraw made soap, from wood ashes and old fat, from the kitchen.

Antique cars were displayed by Roy Parnell, Robert Johnson, Dowell Coker and 0. R. Thomas all from Cheraw.

Present in spirit if not in person; Irene, Earlene, Anna Mae; Rev. Ritzman, Uncle Jake, Donald Knowles and all others that bring us together and then hold us together with year round reading enjoyment.

One of the most futuristic developments of this meet, is that subsequent thereto, many people without our area have notified us that next year they will help operate some of the equipment that did not operate often enough or not at all.

Mrs. Rebekah Jacobs of Cheraw was in charge of interior registration and the newly formed mini-museum. She demonstrated the dog-powered churn, the grandma-powered churn, the cash monitor and other operating items.

A few minutes before 10 A. M. Sunday, Charles Hope (M.C.) asked that all engines be stopped and requested everyone to come to the central area. 'Peb' Huntley opened with a prayer which was followed by a brief sermon by William Thrower.

Eight mules powered our sweep, that operated a scale up and down saw mill. Souvenier collectors carried away every piece sawed.

The water wheel also powers the up and down saw. The mule powered hay press works like it was new.

The water pumping system was shut down during the day in order for guests to walk paths. The system pumps water through about two miles of pipe at the rate of 3,000,000 gallons per day. Our pump collection is powered by gas, electricity, steam, water and man.

Judging from letters received from exhibitors, their wives are coming back next year to see the Gardens whether hubby can come or not.

They liked the setting, the millions of blooms that inspire and exhilarate, like only spring bloom can give. This is Margaret's department. She works hard all year at planting, mowing grass, weed pulling, etc. that is, until I tell her I will be away for about a month, that I am going to Va., Maryland, Pa., Ohio and around to see some steam shows. I will bet any of you veterans of steam that has at least 25 years seniority on me as to steam-up, that my wife can change from gardening attire into steam attire, quicker than your wife can. We thoroughly enjoy your shows.

A late cold spring prevented the reconnecting, after relocating five water rams, that continuously water certain dry areas in the gardens.

The latest and coldest spring in 25 years also delayed getting into operation three water wheels we purchased in the Kinzer, Pa., area while attending R & T last year.

Also postponed until next year due to a cold late spring was installation of a large Corliss that was hauled in sometime in February. The cylinder is 16' x 48'. Can someone tell me the hp. After erection, the flywheel will be 14 feet in the air.

Exhibitors from Florida to Pennsylvania had charmed and awakened local attendants.

Thanks to the inspiration exuded by out of area exhibitors, Cheraw now has eight interested instead of one collector-exhibitor-sponsor.

Now that you exhibitors and attendants have so inspired and so enthused so many local people, this is a special solicitation that you again inspire and enthuse in 1971.

Running neck and neck, and yet to be determined is, did I get more pleasure from instigating South Carolinas first steam up, or am I now getting more pleasure from exhibitors letters stating that they will be back next year. On second thought, the letters should win, because the letters are for the future, they will promote LIVING HISTORY, of which this wonderful country of ours can use more of.

Two most unexpected but highly welcome attendants to our show was writers and photographers for an 'area' magazine that has 600,000 circulation. The article is to be properly timed to publicize our second annual show next April. I believe that if Miss Clem, Mrs. Clem and Mrs. Hope will again write subscriptions to IMA and GEM, that they can write enough new subscribers for Rev. Ritzman to say 'come hail or high water, I will be in S.C. next year.'

Eighty six new memberships were gained. A few days after the show, Mayor Miller Ingram on Behalf of the People of Cheraw wrote a personal letter: Emphasizing 'Thank you for coming and please come back' to all out of state registrants. We hope that all attendants will register next year.

We ask that the attendants from the states of Kansas, Oregon, and Washington write us an authorization to enroll them on our register. Several people talked with you but no one seems to remember your names and addresses, and you did not sign the register. The Mayor of Cheraw, on behalf of the people of Cheraw, desires to write and thank you for coming. We can then be proud of; registered signatures from 24 states, D.C. and Canada.

I join the thousands and thousands of steam and gas fans that have united to create a LIVING HISTORY of which we are all proud.

I also join you in being proud of the media that brought us together; IMA, GEM, E & E, WE and others, for without them, this report would never have been written.

Now in finalizing this report, I can say to those attending and to those that exhibited, I think I know some of the feelings you carried home, however I have no doubts about knowing all the feelings that you left here; you left a totally inspired and enlightened people.

You did a wonderful thing by coming.

Show Report

By Bill Hopkins Union Mills, Maryland 21157

The Fourteenth Annual Steam Show of the Maryland Steam Historical Society, Upperco, Maryland was held at the Arcadia Fire Department's Show Grounds, Arcadia, Maryland; on September 11, 12, 13, and 14, 1969. The usual hustle and bustle was evident for the last minute preparations are the most trying for President Gilbert Wisner and his staff of Directors and those people who serve without titles. The real spirit that makes s show tick is derived from every person who serves with the utmost, giving time and energy and time at the fullest and going home dead tired only to return the following day, until the show closed on Sunday.

The weather was watched with anxious eyes, for rainy weather will spell disaster and twelve months of preparation are gone down the drain. We must at least break even for the money spent for organization of the show is gambled on our most fickle of all elements, the Weather Man. Twelve months to prepare a show seems a lot of time, but believe me at times it is not enough. We failed to complete a miniature diesel train and set up the track for show time, so this is number one for the show in 1970. Preparation for the 1970 show began September 14, 1969.

Our September Show makes it possible for our members to visit many of the Shows in the Eastern part of The United States and from them we try to improve our Show. We thank many of these shows for they give us new ideas and entertainment. Our New Train Car, pulled by a Steam Engine, hauled fifty persons at a trip and was held up by Bandits operating an antique white buick touring car. The white buick was occupied by four desperate men. These same bandits robbed the ticket booth, but the Sheriff and his two Deputies captured the Bandits after much shooting and chasing only to get the money bags and then lose the Bandits in the crowd of about six to seven thousand people. These same Bandits returned the second day (Sunday) they did the same feat only to be caught again; this time being forced to leave their antique white buick, the engine failed to start, after stalling. The Bandits fled on foot with the Sheriffs in pursuit. Needlessly to say the Sheriffs were out of ammunition and again the crowd swallowed the Bandits up and no further trace could be found of them.

The Sunday Show was not planned, but at the request of numerous people who returned on that day; we put on the robbery and capture. Our thanks to Cliff Sullivan, the venerable conductor of the train car, who sustained the shock of being held up, but who bravely defended his passengers only to lose his money sack. The kids cheered and demanded that the Bandits be shot on the spot, but the Sheriffs bungled and the Bandits got away the second time, losing themselves in the huge crowd. The Bandits were known to-be Sterling Walsh, Haystack Weaver, Billy Burk, Tom Wickline and Grason Cooper, being later identified by Sheriffs Paul Hahn, Glen Rex and Bill Hopkins, who were operating a Model A Ford Pick Up. Many readers will recall the twenty fifth re-union of the National Threshers Association, Wauseon, Ohio, this year who's main attraction was the three Hillbillies operating an old Model T Ford touring car. These three men put on a good show. This gave us an idea to create some new interest and excitement, at our own show.

This year we purchased a live steer weighing 1160 lbs. The steer dressed out only 445 lbs., to this we added 255 lbs., from this total the meat was processed into 110 lbs., for roast, hamburger and barbecue. I noticed that there were no half eaten hamburger rolls, and the platters contained no meat scraps. Every bit of meat was sold before closing time on Sunday. I personally ate hamburger platters, roast beef platters and barbecue and on Sunday I wanted one more bit of that good beef in the form of a barbecue, but Bob Gearheart our Food Man-agree (M-S-H-S Director) informed me that only one spoon full was left from the 700 lbs., of beef. Soft drinks were drank by the truck load. I have never seen a hungrier or thirstier crowd. Needlessly to say we ran out of cider this year; the other item mentioned in last years show held out to the last. My wife baked cakes and by the time I ate supper every slice had been sold. The French Fry People were very happy at their stand. They too had to go for more potatoes each day. If you could see what people will buy, just stop at our flea marts. Next year we will move our model steam engine tables to another location to give these people more room. We hosted many trailers, hooking up additional outlets for their convenience. It seems that many people are traveling from one show to the other these days, via campers and enjoying the smell of coal smoke and steam cylinder oil and enjoying the huffing and puffing of the old steam traction engines. Twenty three steam engines were here at the show. Other units on display were gasoline tractors, threshers, reapers, saw mill, shingle mill, baker fans and the dynamometer were in full swing. The Belt Holding Gang Members were here also, but failed to have any one to initiate this year. This part of our organization is a very exclusive group. This Show has produced another exclusive group of members, who contribute $100.00 for membership. Among this first membership is none other than the Wizzard of Fowblesburg, Walter Armacost, who joined after some dickering. We hope more will be able to join this exclusive group.

Our show would not be the success, if it were not for members of the two other Maryland Associations, who attend and bring their Steam Engines. One great showman, Oil Pull Pete Lovelace from the land of pleasant living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; brought up his sassy Nichols Shepherd steam engine and we were honored by the presence of Albert Cooper, the President of the Mason-Dixon Historical Society, Westminster, Md. Last, but not least we enjoyed having Reverend Elmer L. Ritzman, Editor of the Iron Man Album, with us. His presence is very inspiring. Space does not permit me to list all who attended the show, so please do not feel slighted.

The Oil Pull Tractor has always been some what of a mystery to me. I have had some doubts of just whether it was like a steam engine or a gasoline engine. After our show was. over, one member failed to move his oil pull tractor and I have submitted what I think is sufficient proof that it is more steam than oil pull. Looking closely at the picture you will note that a pile of coal ashes lies slightly under the rear platform. I have reasoned that the stack is used to create some kind of draft to consume the burnt coal smoke and make it smell like kerosene fumes. Well that is my deduction anyway, correct me if I am wrong. The picture is as good as a thousand words, so the Chinese say.

We are looking forward to our 1970 show held the week end following Labor Day in September.