On With the Show!

Author Photo
By Farm Collector Staff

 “In the spring of 1949, Bob Whittinger, a farmer near Akron, Ind., had an appendectomy just at the time he needed to do his spring work. Neighbors and friends from miles around came together to get the preparations done, so Bob and his family could still have a successful year. My wife’s grandfather, Elmer Earl Meredith, is among those pictured with their tractors. Her family lived about a mile from the Whittinger farm.” Photo submitted by Leigh Morris, La Porte, Ind.

In a year like no other, antique tractor and engine shows tumbled like dominoes as the agonizing decision was made to cancel one after another after another. And yet, there were outliers: Some clubs found a way to forge ahead.

In the following pages, you can travel to shows across the country from the comfort of your easy chair, thanks to photos shared by Farm Collector readers. But you’ll find more than just show photos. With fewer shows taking place, we encouraged readers to share any photo celebrating the old iron hobby.

The photos came rolling in: tractor drives, kids working on dad’s tractor, family events and even a wedding set in front of an antique steam engine. It was immediately clear that this hobby is going strong, even in an era of social distancing.

As you take in this rich array of images, pay particular attention to the black-and-white photos. Decades-old pictures speak in a profoundly deep way. You’ll hear echoes of enduring values: taking care of each other, toil, achievement, sacrifice, family, taking pride in one’s work.

These photos are like a phone call from a dear friend. In a year when nothing was the same, these photos transport us. Here’s hoping they remind you of what once was, and what will be again. And now, on with the show!

This handsomely restored Farmall F-20 was among the tractors on parade at Brown Family Pioneer Days, Central City, Iowa, July 25-26. The show played host to the IH Collectors Chapter 5 State Show. Photo by Pam Olson, Kensett, Iowa.

This John Deere 290 planter was Dave Goette’s summer project. Dave, who lives in Bricelyn, Minn., restored the relic to working order with help from his father-in-law. “We are going to plant a small sweet corn plot next summer with it,” he says. Photo by Dave Goette, Bricelyn, Minn.

“This is my dad, Einer Jensen,” says John E. Jensen. “He is on his Allis-Chalmers Model C tractor with the mounted planter. Our farm was in Ringgold County, Iowa, near Clearfield, Iowa. I presume the photo was taken in the mid-1950s and naturally in the spring. I think I’m the kid in the photo, squatting and doing something, but I’m not sure.” Photo submitted by John Jensen, Knoxville, Iowa.

 “Although I’m in my 80s,” says Bill Albert, Eldon, Iowa, “I still mow my own yard. But obviously my reaction times have slowed.” Photo submitted by Bill Albert, Eldon, Iowa.

“Keep one cow apart.” A sign at a show in Geneseo, Ill., this summer adopted a lighthearted, but practical, approach to the pandemic. Photo submitted by Kim Engquist, Chillicothe, Ill.

Shelling corn at the Princeville, Ill., summer harvest show. “We were so thankful to have our summer show this year,” says Kim Engquist. Photo submitted by Kim Engquist, Chillicothe, Ill.

Norm Hays’ John Deere wagon lift, powered by a two-horse sweep, was put through its paces during the fourth annual Mule and Draft Horse Show at the Tri-State Engine & Thresher Assn. grounds in Bird City, Kan., on Oct. 10. The event featured 18 teams and demonstrations of a corn sheller powered by a four-team sweep, a hay baler powered by a two-horse sweep, and a sorghum press and grain grinder powered by single-horse sweeps. Field work included plowing, manure spreading, and mowing using horse- and mule-drawn equipment. Photo submitted by Norm Hays, Vernon, Colo.

The best part of a threshing bee just might be visiting with friends and family. At the Coal Springs Threshing Bee, Sept. 25-27 in Meadow, S.D., these friends took advantage of the chance to catch up (left to right): Bruce Flatmoe, Burnsville, Minn.; Harold Flatmoe, Meadow, S.D.; Harold Wahl, Dupree, S.D.; and Luddy Schmidt, Bison, S.D. Photo by Lisa Hofer, Brookings, S.D.

 At the Bos Brothers Fall Harvest Show in Erie, Ill., in September, corn was harvested by hand and horse-drawn wagon. Photo submitted by Kim Engquist, Chillicothe, Ill.

 “On Sept. 5, we had a family tractor-wagon ride. We called it the in-law and out-law cruise. We used a 1957 John Deere 620 purchased new by my father-in-law. We also used a 1951 John Deere A my father bought used in 1954. I have owned this tractor for 47 years. The third tractor used was a 1952 John Deere A, the first tractor I restored, back in 1993. The fourth is a 1948 John Deere A I purchased from a neighbor. It was about 23 miles of steady driving. We made it just before dark! It was a gorgeous day for the ride, with 41 family members ages 2 through 89.” Photo submitted by David Wolfe, Arcadia, Wis.


In the Roark family of Cheyenne, Okla., family members cut wheat with pull-type combines and old tractors. Later in the year, they return to sow 60 acres of wheat with John Deere DRA drills. Here, Parker Roark, 21, is at the wheel of a Farmall F-20, pulling a Woods Bros. combine.  Photo submitted by Juhretta Roark, Cheyenne, Okla.

The Roark family’s Farmall Model M and McCormick-Deering No. 76 combine, with 12-year-old grandson Gus Crawford as operator, cutting wheat. The grain is loaded into a 1948 Diamond T grain truck. Gus is the son of Jim and Tarryn Crawford. Photo submitted by Juhretta Roark, Cheyenne, Okla.

Arthur Hoeft and his new Minneapolis-Moline swather and his Farmall C. “Our farm was near Zumbrota, Minn.,” says his son, Arvin. “My father was so proud of his new swather and, also, proud of the grain crop that year. It was about 1957. Dad let me ride on the back of the swather. I can still smell the new-cut oats and straw. I still have the C and a friend and a neighbor have just repainted and overhauled it. It looks and runs like new!” Photo submitted by Arvin Hoeft, Lake City, Minn.

Antique tractors were showcased at the Education of Yesterday farm show in Dresden, Ohio, in October. Hosted by the family of the late Kenny Moore Jr., the event featured demonstrations and displays. Photo submitted by Paul Medaugh, Dresden, Ohio.

Bride and groom Katie Leach and Cody Stephens listen intently as John Dewell offers words of advice during the couple’s Aug. 8 wedding in front of John’s Russell steam engine. “It was a glorious wedding,” John says, “and it was great fun to take part in it!” Photo by Carol McIntire, The Carroll County Messenger, Carrollton, Ohio.

A Huber thresher in original condition on display at the Education of Yesterday show in Dresden, Ohio, complete with the Huber Roto-Rack and blower. Photo submitted by Paul Medaugh, Dresden, Ohio.

Mercedes Stirling, 9, Menno, S.D., on her 1946 Minneapolis-Moline ZTU and her brother, Joseph Stirling, 8, on his 1940 Farmall A at the Coal Springs Antique Show & Threshing Bee, Meadow, S.D., Sept. 25-27. Photo by Jared Stirling, Menno, S.D. 

Vendor Terry Shinabarger, Bison, S.D., talks tractors with Norman Waldner, Carpenter, S.D., during the Coal Springs Threshing Bee, Sept. 25-27 in Meadow, S.D. Photo by Lisa Hofer, Brookings, S.D.

Long intrigued by the Yeoman of England tractor, Galynn Ferris got the opportunity to drive one while attending a tractor show in Edendale, New Zealand, during the Farm Collector tour in January. “The V-4 diesel engine has a unique sound,” Galynn reports, “and the shorter length allows the tractor to be quite maneuverable.” Photo submitted by Galynn Ferris, Montgomery, Texas. 

Dale Dowden and his son, Ben, shot a selfie before heading to the 50th annual Southeastern Threshers’ Reunion, Denton, N.C., on July 4. “In the background are our 1949 Massey-Harris Pony and our 1946 Massey-Harris 101 Junior tractors,” Dale says. “A great father-son activity.” Photo submitted by Dale Dowden, Princeton, N.C.

This windmill (with a fan 20 feet in diameter) is more than 100 years old. “While windmills are very common here in Pacific Northwest, one this size is not,” says David Ruark, Pomeroy, Wash. “A mill this big would more typically be found in the southwestern U.S.” Originally placed on top of a 50-foot wooden tower near Eltopia, Wash., the mill is now on display at the Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum, Pomeroy, Wash. Photo submitted by David Ruark, Pomeroy, Wash.

 An eight-horse sweep – with Missy Redden directing traffic from the center – provides power to a corn sheller during the fourth annual Mule and Draft Horse Show at the Tri-State Engine & Thresher Assn. grounds in Bird City, Kan., on Oct. 10. Photo submitted by Royce Chambers, Sterling, Colo.

Hauling shocked grass hay on the Percy Chegwyn farm, McMinnville, Ore., in about 1948. The 1937 John Deere Model BO is pulling a 16-foot wagon bed mounted on steel wheels. Agnes Chegwyn is on the tractor; Herbert Chegwyn is on the wagon, and Charles Chegwyn is standing in front. Photo submitted by Charles Chegwyn, McMinnville, Ore.

Purchased just before the farm equipment shortages of World War II, this 1942 Allis-Chalmers All-Crop harvester was on the job in July of that year at the Percy Chegwyn farm in McMinnville, Ore. Herbert Chegwyn is at the wheel of a 1937 John Deere Model D. Kathleen Chegwyn, 11, is shown at front. Percy Chegwyn is sewing sacks, and Charles Chegwyn, 10, is watching the hairy vetch. Photo submitted by Charles Chegwyn, McMinnville, Ore.

This Allis-Chalmers threshing machine, owned by Dave Kress, Fulda, Ind., was powered by a John Deere 620 owned by Steve Kress (Dave’s brother), Jasper, Ind. John Kern, Mariah Hill, Ind., is on top during an Oct. 4 tractor show in St. Meinrad, Ind. Photo submitted by Katie Gullquist, Evansville, Ind.

“In the early 1950’s, my dad purchased an Allis-Chalmers Roto-Baler,” says Bill Albert. “This changed our lives tremendously. I bought one like it in 2008. I have baled several hundred bales with it.” Photo submitted by Bill Albert, Eldon, Iowa.

The Arizona Flywheelers Club in Cottonwood held its 36th annual show Oct. 30-31. “The tractor and engine displays were smaller than usual, but a good time was had by all,” says Gary Covert, club president. Shown here: Randy Waddle, Tolleson, Ariz. Photo submitted by Gary Covert.

Two boys, one coat. Solomon Lamb (left) and James Weed shared a coat on a chilly but beautiful day during the Finger Lakes Old Time Farmers’ Fall Foliage Tractor Ride and Hayride Oct. 3. Fourteen wagons and two wagons full of riders participated this year. Photo submitted by Katie Forst, Baldwinsville, N.Y.

The Finger Lakes Old Time Farmers’ Oct. 3 Fall Foliage Ride showcases the natural beauty of rural New York as tractors and riders wind their way through 20 miles of farm country back roads with stunning autumn views. Photo submitted by Katie Forst, Baldwinsville, N.Y.

For Greyson Platt, 3-year-old grandson of Linda and Paul Lensman, St. Paris, Ohio, this is about as good as it gets. Shown with his grandparents’ Case 1070 series pedal tractor, Greyson is also a huge fan of his granddad’s toy collection. Photo submitted by Linda Lensman, St. Paris, Ohio.

For his 2020 4-H project, Kevin Hembrough (with his dad’s help and guidance) refinished the John Deere pedal tractor that originally belonged to his great-grandpa, Richard Hembrough. Kevin is the son of Richard and Sheila Hembrough, Jacksonville, Ill. Photo by Richard Hembrough.

A pair of John Deere GP tractors displayed the flag at the Nittany Antique Machinery Assn. fall show, Sept. 10-13, in Centre Hall, Pa. Photo by Gary Gentzel Sr., Spring Mills, Pa.

“This 1953 Farmall Cub is one-of-a-kind,” says Rudy Valen. “Mowers at the San Diego Zoo, which sits on a lot of hills, were tipping over while mowing weeds. The zoo asked Farmall to build two special tractors for them. This Cub, one of the two, is only 36 inches tall. The rear wheels are wider, and there are weights on all wheels. Power for the sickle bar has to go over the rear axle and through the belts and pulley. A special lever goes into the rear axle housing to operate a two-speed differential (besides the regular transmission).” Photo submitted by Rudy Valen, Camp Verde, Ariz.

The Spark Plug Collectors of America celebrated the 45th anniversary of the club’s founding at the Florida Flywheelers show in February. Left to right: Mark Beard, Glen Kurth, Mike Healy, Gene Isenga, Bill Stevens and Tom Detwiler. “We never would have thought that this show would be the first and last show we would go to in 2020,” says Janet Healy. Photo by Janet Healy, Fulton, Mo.

This Palmer YT-1 marine engine was displayed by Jim Rose, Waterford, Maine, at the Cumberland (Maine) Fairgrounds Sept. 19 as part of a show sponsored by the Maine Antique Power Assn. Built by Palmer Bros., Cos Cob, Conn., the YT (Yacht Tender) line was launched in the early 1920s. Photo submitted by Gary Willison, Standish, Maine.

David Manktelow with his Ford Model T truck and a load of celery in 1920. Photo submitted by his grandson, Duane Manktelow, Ontario, N.Y.

It may have been cold and rainy but 2-year-old Elliana Gullquist (the daughter of Paden and Katie Gullquist), had the time of her life at a tractor show in St. Meinrad, Ind., on Oct. 4. She is posing with a 1951 Oliver Row Crop 66 owned by Elliana’s grandpa, Bob Demuth, Ferdinand, Ind. Photo submitted by Katie Gullquist, Evansville, Ind.

“In this 1945 photo, My grandfather, C. Martin Greenleaf Sr., then 38, with his two sons, Edgar (my father, age 9) and Scott (my uncle, age 5). Martin was the proud new owner of this Frick thresher being pulled by a Case Model LA tractor. Greenleaf did custom grain threshing around the area in Kirkwood, Pa. The three are no longer with us, but worked their entire lives in farming and agribusiness.” Photo submitted by Terry Greenleaf, Kirkwood, Pa.FC

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