Reader Photos: Old Steam Shows

An Indiana reader shares part of his photo collection of steam shows dating from the 1950s.

steam show photos - 9 hp Case engine

Roland Maxwell’s 9 HP Case at Jim Whitbey’s Old Time Thresherman and Sawmill Operator’s Steam Show in the mid-1950s.

Photo: John Ross

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John Ross of Hebron, IN continues to spoil us with period photographs of the early reunions, this time sending in some great shots of the shows held at Jim Whitbey's farm near Fort Wayne, Indiana in the 1950s. John writes:

My photo collection has a good number of traction engines that were displayed at steam shows in Ft. Wayne, IN about 50 years ago. I want to describe nine of them.

Photo #1 is of a little 9 HP Case engine I ran at Jim Whitbey's Old Time Thresherman and Sawmill Operator's Show in the mid-1950s. It belonged to Roland Maxwell.

This was a 1906-07 engine. The smokebox had been added to, with a later stack and homemade bunkers. This little doll was sure fun to play with the one or two days we attended every year until Whitbey died and the show closed about 1960.

Fred Stanton from north central Kentucky bought this engine from Roland's son Bruce three or four years ago. I hear someone up in Michigan now owns it.

Photo #2 of a 1904 or thereabouts 20 HP Case, no. 11857, that Leroy Jennings of Butler, IN owned back then. I only saw it one or two years at the show and it came to my side of the state and Justin Glick of Portage, IN now owns it.

Notice there is no Case name on the heater and the homemade bunkers on the back.

Photo #3 is an 80 Case engine I only remember seeing once, but the lack of a heater makes it stand out. If you look real close I'm sure that is Harry Woodmansee running it. I don't remember ever having been told who owned it.

Photo #4 is of a Frick plowing engine. It was at shows for several years and probably was owned by Elmer Egbert of Botkins, OH. I think it was his son Jack that I saw at the National Threshers Assn. at either Montpelier or Wauseon, OH in later years.

Photo #5 is a Banting Mfg. Co Greyhound owned by John Gay and Harold Bright from Decatur. It was the first Banting engine I ever saw. Jeff Dietwiler from Goshen, IN, owns it now I think.

Photo #6 is a 50 HP Case that was at most every show and was owned by R.W. Lainsay of California. I don't remember seeing him at the show. That looks like Wicky (Wacky) Jones of Winchester, KY with his back to us next to the controls. Jim Whitbey had this engine over to Leroy Blaker's farm several times back in the early 1950s.

Photo #7 and #8 are of a Port Huron and a Nichols & Shepard. I have no memory of who owned them but remember them at the show.