Show Report.....Pioneer Steam & Gas Engine Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania

Steam calliope

Shows the steam calliope with the Farquhar steamer

Ervie F. Pennell

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401 Bank Street, Titusville, Pa. 16354

We waited a whole year for the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Show which is a must in our lives. On Wednesday, the 19th, we moved our camper to our camping lot and set everything up. We took our booth under the grandstand Thursday morning. We put up the display panels and put out some engine magazines. Some shelves were put up for an attractive and interesting display.

Thursday the fellows were moving in machinery all day and it still looked like a small show, in spite of a quantity of advertising. The Ladies Auxiliary opened up their food stand so the set-up people could get something to eat. This proved to be a great contribution to the show.

Friday we were out early to see how the show looked to start. Some fifteen or twenty campers had parked near ours and many near their engines and flea market spaces. Things really looked good with about eight big steamers, a sawmill, a couple of threshers, a treadmill, a baler, a sweep power, a ground hog thresher, a baker fan, a shingle mill, some twenty or thirty small engines and near twenty gas tractors.

The small passenger train was set up. The model tent was set up in the midway area and space roped off for the antique cars. At opening time over thirty flea market spaces were filled. The two parades, afternoon and evening, were very nice with a great many entries.

In its new position the model tent was soon filled with fine models in operation, showing some of the finest workmanship skilled hands can produce. A quarter scale steamer operating a model baker fan, also several larger models were displayed outside the model tent.

The restaurant and several other food stands were open. No one needed to go hungry. There was music both afternoon and evening. With wood from the buzz saw we had a campfire in the camping area and several people gathered around till bed time.

Saturday things were moving long before official opening, whistles blowing, engines barking and coughing, people buying and selling. The opening prayer and National anthem whistled by a Lady to the accompaniment of the steam calliope. This was worth driving miles to hear. When the noon whistle sounded it seemed almost everyone was too busy looking around to stop and eat and yet all the concessions were doing a land office business.

As the time was leading up to the afternoon parade, the music from the platform and the home show building made you just want to pause and listen. We really appreciated these fine musicians whose music was from the era of the horse, the steam, and the gas engine.

On the field by this time were ten of the big steam engines, over one hundred and fifteen gas engines, thirty or more gas tractors, some oil tractors, several teams of horses, and ox and a dog in a tread mill running a butter churn. Out on the parade track was a dog in a basket on a high wheel bicycle riding around looking over the show. A horse in a tread mill and an ox on a power sweep was seen. Threshing, sawing lumber, baling straw, candle making and other crafts were being demonstrated. Just too much to see and too little time to enjoy it. The Saturday evening show in the home show building was the best ever and more people turned out to see and listen to it.

Sunday started much like Saturday except the crowd started gathering earlier and the spaces which had been empty in the flea market were now filled. The flea market had over fifty spaces sold and the crowd was large enough to support it. At 11:00 o'clock everything came to a standstill for the worship service and in the hush of the Lord's presence Mr. Stephens brought the gospel to us. A good number were in the grandstand for this service. After the noon hour it was time for the interviewed parade which has been a highlight of the show for a number of years.

We had throughout the show the talented whistling lady. This lady along with her husband and dog who ride and do tricks on a high wheel bicycle are a show in themselves. The parade headed by thirty or forty antique cars followed by horses, ox, gas tractors, then the mammoth traction engines were truly a spectacular observed only at the greatest show in Crawford County. The Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Show at the Crawford County fair grounds.

The Standords really went all out and put on a musical program. Mr. and Mrs. William Proper deserve a lot of praise also. The Society is grateful for this program and after this tremendous start hope it will grow with each coming show.

What did you think of that flea market? Mr. Lundberg deserves a lot of credit for turning this activity into a very successful undertaking.

Mr. Parley Carpenter was at the show worship service and gave a very inspiring morning prayer.

Under the guidance of Carl Spring the gas engine section expanded many times this year and we are assured next year will see an even bigger line up and layout.

The two miniature steam powered railroads gave many youngsters the ride of a lifetime, even now plans are being laid for expansion and more track.

We must not forget to thank Francis Proper for providing us with a trailer for the show headquarters and also the show directory in the grandstand entrance.

This year we missed Mr. Steam Inspiration himself, Mr. Oliver Rhea who lay in the hospital ill. But we know his spirit was at the show as was much of his equipment.

Did you notice the big John Deere harvester in the field? This we thought was a real attraction giving the comparison of one machine against several horses, the reaper, the binder, the steam or gas engine, the water wagon, and the thresher. One sweep of progress killed the greatness of the harvest and togetherness of threshing.

Some other spokes we must mention are Don Hager, Clarence Onspaugh, Dillon Wescoat, Bill Millspaw, Ralph Hunter, and others who get the machinery moved in and out.

The Antique car people were sure pleased with the way Lew Shadie handled the antique cars this year having them roped off so they could be seen but not touched.

There were so many people who did so much to make the show a success that it would be impossible to name everyone.  You could take the roster and pick out any name and see what a great contribution they made to the show.  However, we think we should mention the officers and others who worked very hard for the show, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Green, Mrs. Wescoat, Miles Miller, Mr. Waid, and many others as the list could go on and on.  The Society truly appreciates and thanks everyone for their participation.

Our President is to be commended on the way he was able to bring everything into focus so almost every job was done with the expertise of perfection.

Mr. and Mrs. Gorden Telford of New Zealand were guests of our show.  These folds who have more than passing interest in antique cars and old equipment timed their trip so they would be able to take in our show and several others.