Volunteers Make It Click at Tractor and Steam Shows!

article image
by Raymond Mattox, Crete, Ill
The 2018 Central States Threshermen’s Reunion in Pontiac, Ill., was one of the biggest shows in memory there. The second oldest antique tractor show in Illinois, the Central States club hosted the Gathering of the Orange in 2018, welcoming more than 1,000 tractor displays

According to an old proverb, it takes a village to raise a child. Using the same logic, to produce a tractor or steam show, it takes a group of people big enough to populate a good-size city.

People are, quite simply, the heart of every show. The old iron on display plays a starring role, to be sure – but without the people who bring exhibits, work in demonstrations, line up endless rows of tractors, organize parades, build the buildings, plant and harvest grain, ready the show grounds and keep club-owned displays running, it’d be pretty boring business.

This year’s crop of show photos taken by readers of Farm Collector celebrate the volunteer. Behind every successful show is a small army of volunteers who spend weeks before the show opens getting things ready, and then punch in for dawn-to-dusk shifts every day of the show.

They’re grading parade routes and watering roads to fight dust. They’re setting up bleachers, staging tractor pulls, hauling grain (and trash, and supplies, and food, and ice). They’re making sure exhibitors have everything they need to keep their antiques running. They’re handling registrations, manning the information booth, answering emails and phone calls. Mowing. Working the gate. Parking cars. Cooking. Handling security. Running demonstrations several times a day.

Many are retirees; others take time off from work to help out. All have other things they might be doing, but they’ve chosen to put their energies into preserving the past. Enjoy these photos, and remember who makes shows possible: Cheers to the volunteers!  FC

A red jumbo tractor followed by a small portable engine

 1918 Allis-Chalmers Model 6-12 red tractor and owner white hard old man.
A row of red d-21 tractors
Lyle is on a Pioneer sulky cart pulling a 1930s-vintage International Harvester 1×19-inch red plow pulled by horses
Girl installing new grates in the 1916 Minneapolis 20hp steam engine owned by the Stratman family
Several small ridable trains being rode by a couple of men.
Young boy having dun wiht Grandpa (on the wheel of a massive Best steam engine)
A young man starting his family's 15hp Reid engine
A man demonstrates the nearly lost art of broom-making on a vintage broom maker
Man riding in his one-of-a-kind scale model of a 1915 Ford Model touring car
A man takes a ride on the Ozark Steam Engine Assn.’s Maytag red husker/shredder.
A man standing while riding the Le Sueur
This photo shows a Massey-Harris harrow and drag cart in action. The harrow’s center section is an A-frame with left and right sides built to fit. The cart poles are crossed so the cart will follow around a corner.
A mule-drawn one-row corn picker was put through its paces at the Tri-State Mule & Draft Horse Show at the Tri-State Antique Engine & Thresher grounds, Bird City, Kan., on Oct. 6.
A 1938 Massey-Harris PTO haymower and 1932 Wallis 20-70 tractor on display at the Picket (Wis.) Steam and Gas Engine Show, Sept. 8-9.
Ryan Hembrough, Jacksonville, Ill., prepares to start a pump engine at the Fall Festival & Steam Show Days, South Jacksonville, Ill., Sept. 28-30. Pumping engines and pumps were the show feature.
During the 20th annual Coal Springs Threshing Bee near Meadow, S.D., a 1947 Farmall H owned by Wade Hofer pulls an International Harvester binder owned by the Harold Flatmoe family. The Coal Springs club hosted South Dakota IHC Collectors, Chapter 21, at their 2018 show.
Four generations of Stratman family engineers pose proudly with their 1916 Minneapolis 20hp steam engine. Left to right: Wes Stratman, Steve Stratman, Braden Pryor and Craig Pryor. The engine was displayed at the Chaffee County Fair Show, Salida, Colo., July 28-29.
When this 50hp Case engine was built in 1915, it was shipped to Harrison, Ark. It is currently owned by the Ozark Steam Engine Assn. Association member Chris Brummett, Carthage, Mo. (shown here), operates this engine every year. It is primarily used to run the association’s sawmill
This recently completed reproduction grist mill is a handsome addition to the Nittany Antique Machinery Assn. fall show, Sept. 6-9, in Centre Hall, Pa.
Using mule power to bring in wheat bundles for threshing at a Heritage Antique Tractor Club event, McCook, Neb.
When a club completes a building project, a bit of celebrating is in order. Here, happy volunteers practically jump for joy at the grand opening of the new Walker gas engine shed at the Le Sueur (Minn.) Pioneer Power Show.
The hard-working threshing crew at the Le Sueur (Minn.) Pioneer Power Show cut the grain, loaded it and threshed it in demonstrations during the show
This 1/2-scale Gaar-Scott engine and tender are owned by Brian Field, Pleasant Hope, Mo. The engine was built in the early 1970s by Mr. Poe (first name unknown), who lived north of Kansas City, Mo. Brian is shown here driving the engine with Gib Thurman, Ottawa, Kansas, riding on the tender.
Taken by a drone, this photo shows Lloyd Ransom’s McCormick-Deering W-9 belted to the Coal Springs Threshing Bee’s Aultman & Taylor wooden threshing machine, with grain going into Wade Hofer’s 1946 Chevrolet truck during the 20th annual Coal Springs Threshing Bee near Meadow, S.D.
Threshing with steam on Griff Malleck’s farm with members of the Heritage Antique Tractor Club.
Ron Sevart, Gerard, Kan., (left) and Dan Fieker, Highland, Ill., running the Ozark Steam Engine Assn.’s 1915 Rumely engine. The boys catching a ride are Dan’s grandsons: Grady and Micah Martie.
William Ingram, Sistersville, W.Va., at the wheel of his 1948 Allis-Chalmers Model G equipped with a Midwest loader at the Jackson’s Mill Antique Tractor & Engine Show in Weston, W.Va., May 26
Launching the tractor cruise at the Macon County (Mo.) Flywheel Reunion
Blacksmithing demonstration at the Ozark Steam Engine Assn. show.
Raymond Swanstone (left) and Kevin Shannon (center) flex their muscles to help Ralph Blades start his Witte gas engine at the Northwest Missouri Steam & Gas Engine Show, Hamilton, Mo., Aug. 18.
Ed Lytle’s 1926 Rumely Oil Pull 25-45 Model R looms large next to his 1-1/2hp John Deere gas engine at the Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club’s February 2018 show in Ft. Meade, Fla.
This scale-model Rumely OilPull was built by Ozark Steam Engine Assn. President Charley Stark, Republic, Mo., in 2009. Charley is shown here, walking along the engine and keeping a close eye on it and the youngsters nearby.
The 18th annual display of antique farm equipment was a hit at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in North Carolina. This offset Farmall is a nice example of a tractor commonly used to cultivate small fields of tobacco in North Carolina and other parts of the south.
Picture of a black steam engine that people can ride.
At the 20th annual Coal Springs Threshing Bee, held during the last full weekend in September near Meadow, S.D., Alan Lemke, Lantry, S.D., hauls a load of bales with his International 706 pedal tractor.
Glen Horton, Chula, Mo., takes his 1954 Model A Copar Panzer for a joyride at the annual Jack Branch Engine Club Crank-Up, Sedalia, Mo., on Oct. 6. The Model A was the first of a long line of models offered by the firm, which went under various trade names, including Copar Panzer, Panzer, Pennsylvania Panzer and Meteor.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment