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Baker Steam Tractor. Radiator type condenser.
Baker Steam Tractor. Radiator type condenser.
2 / 3
The Baker's boiler. 168 sq. ft. of heating surface.
The Baker's boiler. 168 sq. ft. of heating surface.
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The largest locomotive in the world and it is equipped with Gear.
The largest locomotive in the world and it is equipped with Gear.

Sec.-Treas., N. T. A., Inc. Alvordton, Ohio.

Report of the Tenth Annual Reunion of the National Threshers
Association, Inc., held at the Williams County Fair Grounds,
Montpelier, Ohio, June 24, 25, and 26, 1954

Once again it is my pleasure and duty to report the highlights
of an N. T. A. Reunion, this time the 10th since LeRoy held his
first little gathering on the farm in 1945. Many things have
happened since that time–new friends have been made, cherished old
one have passed away, but interest in steam power and all that
pertains to it has increased; in fact we believe that it is the
fastest-growing hobby in the land today, as evidenced by the last
issue of THE IRON-MEN ALBUM, in which sixteen such gatherings were
announced. As the tempo of modern life is stepped up, safety valves
in the way of hobbies or recreation seem to be necessary, and at
the moment I can think of nothing which more quickly supply that
need than running, restoring or even just admiring one of those old
monsters in action.

That we are not alone in that belief is apparently confirmed by
the attendance at our recently held Reunion, at which it was
estimated that 25,000 persons were present. Since admittance was to
members only, and hundreds had obtained membership cards long
before the Reunion opened, accounting of attendance was difficult.
Also this year we used several buildings not used last year, two of
them at the north end of the grounds, which naturally scattered the
crowd and made for less crowding at any one point. When we have had
time to record the membership figures, we shall be glad to present
some figures of attendance and receipts, if the editor will

Speaking of the editor, we are reminded to mention that probably
the most important person at the Reunion was the editress–perhaps
there was previously no such word, but we have just now coined it.
We were all delighted to make the acquaintance of the charming new
Mrs. Ritzman and small Marsha, both of whom proved to be good steam
engine fan material. In our Friday night parade, they rode on a
wagon in regal style, and on the second time around were presented
with two purses from the National Association and also from the
Michigan Live Steam Club by our Iowa director, Ray Ernst, president
of the Midwest Old Settlers Association.

The second most important person there was probably Edgar
Bergen, who surprised us by coming Thursday evening. His and our
good friend Ralph Lindsay, of Hollywood, drove to Toledo Thursday
evening to meet him, bringing him back in time to see the fairyland
picture of engines steamed up in the infield, with the smoke rising
to the sky, illuminated by the hundreds of electric lights that
made the grounds lighter than day. We were delighted that he came
not as an entertainer, but simply as a steam fan, which he proved
to be by his intelligent interest in the various makes of engines.
Before he left on Friday afternoon, he entertained hundreds of
women and as many men as could sneak in, at the Women’s Program
held in the Administration building. We regretted that members of
the Abbott Company called and took him away before our evening
program, but we counted ourselves lucky to have had him with us as
long as we did.

Women played an increasingly important part in our program and
this year they enjoyed an elaborate demonstration by the Toledo
Edison Economist, Mrs. Margaret Sutton, given each day in the
Administration building. Also the Williams County Home-makers
Chorus sang, and Mrs. C. L. Chafee of Cleveland talked of her
hobbies of weaving and decorating. Mr. Chafee was in charge of the
movies shown Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights in the
Administration Building.


  • Published on Sep 1, 1954
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