Best of Show


| January 2006

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    Butte, Neb. Packed with parades, demonstrations and more, some shows span days. Others like the Vintage Equipment in Operation Day held Sept. 18, 2005 pack a wallop into the blink of an eye.
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    Rear-mounted John Deere No. 26 loader in operation at the Vintage Equipment Day, Butte, Neb., and yes, that manure spreader unloaded its load.
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    A 1930 John Deere paddle grain elevator powered by a McCormick-Deering stationary engine, also at Butte.
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    Coal Springs (S.D.) Antique Club's Aultman & Taylor New Century, powered by a Case Model L.
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    Colfax, Wash. The Palouse Empire Threshing Bee (held Sept. 5, 2005) is unique in at least two respects, notes Wendell Love, Palo Alto, Calif. For one thing, it is held west of the Rockies. The second thing is the fact that the wheat is cut and transported to the stationary thresher using a horse-powered push header in combination with header box wagons. Nearly all threshing demonstrations that I am aware of, or have seen pictures of, utilize binders to cut the grain and then transport the bundles to the stationary thresher via bundle wagons. -- A frontal view of the header showing the cutter bar, reel and canvas draper for elevating the cut grain into the header box. Horses are positioned behind the business end of the header. Here, six horses are being used, three on each side of the driving tongue. In the early days, four horses were sometimes used on each side to provide more power on steep hills in the Palouse region. Photo by Wendell Love.
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    A view showing the rear part of the header. The horses were hitched so that they pulled on the large shaft or "driving tongue" (visible in the center of the photo), which in turn pushed the header forward. The ground-powered wheel is visible to the left. Photo by Carol Love.
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    Making the 90-degree turn at the corner of the field requires real teamwork between a skilled driver and a well-disciplined team of horses. The three horses on the left side of the header turn 90 degrees to the left and walk outward, while the three horses on the right simultaneously back up. The horses on the right are hitched so that they can pull back on the header as they back up. The resulting motion causes the header to pivot in place. Photo by Wendell Love.
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    Another view of the operation as the team approaches a corner of the field, requiring the header to make a 90-degree turn. A backup header box wagon waits its turn to move into position. The header box wagons are constructed with this distinctive shape so they will hold as much cut grain as possible but still fit under the discharge chute of the header. Photo by Wendell Love.
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    The header and header box wagon combination in operation. The driver of the header box wagon team must keep the correct pace and position with the movement of the header. The driver of the header team also has the job of steering the header by means of a tiller bar positioned between the driver's legs. Photo by Wendell Love.
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    Unloading the header box wagon at the loading platform, positioned beside the stationary thresher. The team in the foreground is pulling the cable that lifts the sling in the header box wagon, causing the cut grain to dump onto the loading platform. Photo by Carol Love.
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    Seymour, Iowa Collectors and restorers sometimes race the clock to finish projects in time to take to a show, even joking that the final coat of paint air-dried en route to the show. Here, a 1949 John Deere Model A and 1938 John Deere Model B, all cleaned up and ready to show at the Seymour Old Settlers Reunion in July 2005. Tom Sager, Seymour, is the proud owner (and photographer).
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    Brownsville, Pa. A 1927 Erie Type B steam shovel, once used to strip coal, in a demonstration at the National Pike Steam, Gas and Horse Show in August 2005. Photo by Jan Shellhouse, Shelby, Ohio.
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    Variety spices the show: A replica gas station at the National Pike show in August, sporting restored vintage pumps and automobiles. At left: a 1929 Model A Ford, restored by Lindsey Gillis; at right: a 1926 Studebaker restored by Carl Chadwick. And gas? Seventeen cents a gallon, according to the sign on the pump shown at right. Photo by Jan Shellhouse.

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Farm Collector readers share their favorites from the 2005 show season.

News flash: The amateur photographer is alive and well, and spending lots of time at antique tractor shows! Last fall, we invited Farm Collector readers to share their favorite photos from the just-completed show season. On the following pages, you'll see the results of that project … scads of images from shows all over the country, capturing the sound and smell and sights and just plain fun of old iron. We think you'll enjoy the variety, maybe find an idea or two for your show, and most of all, remember what a good time you had last summer. Thanks to all who contributed photographs - and now, on with the show!