THE WICHITA SHOW

Content Tools

PART I

The 1959 Antique Engine and Thresher Show is history and presents some interesting and worthwhile data. The program presented had its usual good timing and followed along the intended schedule.

The featured events surrounded the main triple threshing exhibit in the center of the field. This consisted of threshing with Harold Ottaway's Avery Yellow-Fellow Thresher, an old style hand feed machine, and with a model rig. Mr. V. H. Stroud provided the oats for threshing. The usual thrills and memories of sawmilling were provided by a s awmill operating almost continuously nearby. The sawmill was operated during the show by Buck Spencer of Newton, Kansas, who also did much work for the show weeks before it opened. He is a great Steam enthusiast and has had many years of experience in cabs of Santa Fe locomotives.

Around the sides of the main open field were a number of fine models, steaming about the grounds, giving rides to the children and attracting the attention of everyone. The models made their headquarters under the shade of a large tree next to the road leading about 100 feet to the hill climbing event. Mr. Jack Kaurer of Wichita was in charge of the model portion of the show. The hill climbing event took place in a beautiful wooded part of the Ottaway 's park at a spot where only 10 days earlier had been a ravine and lots of trees. The week before, Harold Ottaway provided for a bulldozer and Amos Rixmann operated it to first clear part of the area and then build two inclines with different grade angles. Many yards of earth were moved to build the two inclines approximately 15 feet high vertical distance. The steepest of the two grades was approximately the same as the standard built-up wooden ones officially used in this famous event during the first quarter of the century. The second and adjacent grade had a lesser angle and any engine with cleats could negotiate it, while the steep one was used only by Mr. E. C. Macmillan himself. At the top was a large level area built up for the engines to stand.

Although 'Big Mac' was ill about a year ago, he did his usual SPLENDID job on the incline! Using Harold Otta-way's 50 Case he performed all the feats, as in years gone by, using this earthen incline. It is wonderful to see the excellent traction a good cleated wheel has on packed earth. Mac's control was perfect all the time! This performance was a beautiful sight under the huge trees surrounding the area of the incline.

Mac asked George Jackson of Ft. Scott, Kansas, to take over part of the time this year and George did a very good job.

Moving around the field a little further toward the headquarters tent was the Prony Brake set up under a shade tree. This was one of the finest and most detailed events of the show. Full-scale tests, including accurate fuel consumption data were conducted. Professor Luck, head of the Automotive and Diesel Technical School of Oklahoma State University, and his assistant, Mr. Alvin Sherman, came to Wichita to conduct these tests. The prony brake had been modified by using a new airplane tachometer reading 10 to 1 (which made speed readings extremely accurate) and by adding a water pickup system, which took out water as fast as an open large type garden hose could supply it (100 hp plus was maintained with no overheating condition). The scale used was a large Toledo dial type model which gave perfect readings.

A full discussion of the data obtained, including power and torque curves will be covered in a separate article in the following issue. The results are quite interesting! Mr. A. H. Shear of Plymouth, Michigan, was on hand to again show his engineering ability. His performance in the economy tests will be discussed in the following article.

A bit further around the field was the headquarters tent housing food, drink and resting facilities. Nearby Mrs. V. H. Stroud, wearing appropriate dress of the threshing era, played the calliope serenading the crowd. Prof. V. H. Stroud acted as master of ceremonies and covered all the events thoroughly. His usual description of the show was again complete and colorful. Through his direction on the loudspeaker the various events followed the schedule accurately.

Lyman Knapp's participation did a great deal to make the show a success. He provided both his 25 Russell and 60 Caterpillar, which put on an excellent drawbar pulling event. With Lyman on the Russell and Amos Rixmann on the 60 Caterpillar, an accurately controlled series of drawbar pulls were made using an official hydraulic pull meter from a large crawler tractor manufacturer. Unusually high and interesting pulls were registered. The many details of this event will be fully discussed in a following issue. At such time various phases of tractor and engine pulling will be discussed. Watch the IRON-MEN ALBUM - coming issue!

Concluding this first phase of the report, it must be emphasized that the 1959 Show in Wichita featured an extremely interesting program of action events. Nowhere has any show featured such detailed and accurate action events. Certainly the people enjoy and appreciate them. It is very gratifying to hear from people far away as Canada and New Zealand concerning these subjects. (TO BE CONTINUED)