4Oth ANNUAL REUNION

National Thresher's Association


| March/April 1985



Threshing scene

Unidentified old-fashioned threshing scene.

111 Sexton Street, Porter, Indiana 46304

The author of this report writes: 'When Shirley Brodbeck, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Threshermen's Association, asked me to review the show for the 40th Annual NTA Show in June of 1984, I envisioned flashbacks of the very first show on Roy Blaker's farm in Alvordton, Ohio.

' I taped many interviews with sages whose expertise boggled this ole gal's mind. Since my experiences with steam were limited the information was wealthy and appreciated. I learned about lap strapped seams, butt strapped seams, horsepower, injectors, water flue engines and fire flue engines and so on. In fact, I kept getting in deeper and deeper and quite frankly a little uncomfortable.

'Overlaying all these technical questions were the flashbacks and the people. So, I wrote about the people. After all, are they not the ones that really make the machines go? I certainly respect the people who invented the machines and designed them and I greatly respect those who run them. This is a small tribute to those people and with all sincerity a thank you.'

Date Line 1944Riding next to Grandpa Kunkle on this hot day in July of 1944, I am unaware of the underlying tension of the day. Discussions earlier of the war and shortage don't make much of an impression on this four year old. I just know what I'm told and what I see in my world. We are on our way to Roy Blaker's farm. Grandpa is driving a 1936 B John Deere and pulling a grain wagon. My brother and sister are excited at this outing as in the small town of Alvordton not much goes on in the way of recreation. Mom says that's due to the war. I don't understand war though, except that it has made Mrs. King unhappy and she has three stars in her window.

Mr. Blaker's farm is about two and one-half miles from Alvordton. He has a pretty farm and has organized a threshermen's gathering at his farm. He has three steam engines and a small saw mill set up on his farm. With gasoline rationed this year many of the farmers shocked wheat by hand and are taking it to Blaker's to be threshed. I don't understand the process but I remember carrying bundles of wheat and stacking them up in neat little stacks. Then the farmers would twist wheat stalks around the bundles and they would stand in the fields. The shocked wheat was neat to look at and stood like soldiers at attention. Yesterday we gathered a whole load of these and grandpa and I are sitting on them on our way to Mr. Blaker's farm.