| July/August 1973

July 8th, 1972, opened the second annual show of the Central Kentucky Steam & Gas Engine Association, Inc., an organization of over 100 members from counties in and around central Kentucky. Throughout the 2 day period, over 4,000 people attended and enjoyed the activities.

I talked to several people who had traveled from as far as Chicago and the New England states of the north; and from as far south as the Carolinas and Georgia.

Paris, the site of the show, is located in the heart of the Kentucky bluegrass country, the home of thoroughbred horses and mint juleps. Paris is approximately 20 miles north of Lexington, Kentucky, and 80 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. Paris is easily reached from interstates 75 and 64, and is centered in the heart of some of Kentucky's finest traditional settings. Surrounding Paris is Claiborne Farm the largest horse breeding farm in the world. Architectural enthusiasts can see some of the more elaborate Kentucky homes constructed in the old southern tradition and dating back to pre-Civil War times. Cane Ridge meeting house, built in 1791, and the scene of one of the great religious revivals in early U.S. history, is about a 15 minute drive from the show grounds. Kentucky's history is abundant at every turn of the road, and the annual show is an attempt to bring a part of that history and tradition alive for everyone to enjoy.

Anyone interested in the aspects of farming and life in general dating from the turn of the century through the 1970's was fascinated by the exhibits on display. Farming equipment of all sizes, makes, and models were not only on stationary display, but were set up to do the work for which they were originally designed.

One power source which claimed the interest of the crowds was the display of gasoline engines. The engines ranged from a horsepower Vim that might have been used to run a washing machine or a corn sheller; up to the huge 32 horsepower Fairbanks Morse that was found in Orangeburg, Kentucky. However, the large display of gasoline engines was only one type of equipment to be seen.

One of the most interesting exhibits was the display of antique tractors. All the tractors to be seen were restored to the exact specifications as when they were manufactured and distributed in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's. Many companies were represented in restored machinery exhibited by members of the association. John Deere, Waterloo Boy, Farmall, International, Minneapolis, Case and Titan were the main makes represented. All of these tractors were put to work in tractor pulls, woven wire fencing, and with the threshing machines that kept busy over the weekend. The opportunity to see these machines at work, some on steel and some on rubber wheels, was far more interesting when the observer realized the 40 or 50 years ago these same tractors were doing this same work.