Eastern Shore Threshermen & Collectors Association Show

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Crowd watches Frick outfit thresh.

6101 Harmony Road Preston, Maryland 21655

Mickey Stant shows how this 1870 Heebner & Sons, Lansdale,
Montgomery Co., Pa. ground hog thresher was used to separate the
grain from the straw. Even though by today’s standards it seems
very crude, in the mid 1800s it was a big labor saving device. It
is being powered by an 1880 6×9 Paxton engine made by the
Harrisburg Car Mfg. Co. of Harrisburg, Pa., with Eric Harvey at the
controls. My family owns the only two of these engines I’ve
ever heard of. If anyone knows of any others or any of the history
of the company, I’d be glad to hear from him.

The Eastern Shore Thresher men & Collectors Association,
Inc. held their 36th annual show on August 2, 3, 4, 1996. They
really had a good turn-out with a lot of new exhibits and new
exhibitors. We had a large and varied assortment of antique
tractors, gas engines and steam models. It is good to see a growing
number of people becoming interested in preserving this part of our

Also, I heard a lot of people say this was their first visit and
they didn’t know anything like this existed. They had never
given a thought to how much work was involved in simple day-to-day
farm activities of the past.

In addition to shingle sawing, rock crushing, blacksmithing and
sawing, one of our newer demonstrations is our ‘Evolution of
Threshing, from the Flail to the Modern Combine’ which was held
on Saturday afternoon. This is where we demonstrate how wheat was
threshed beginning with the flail and on to the ground hog
thresher, wooden hand-fed thresher, self-feeding steel thresher
powered by a steam engine, and a 1940s style John Deere steel
thresher powered by a John Deere A tractor of the same age. At the
end of the line is a John Deere 9600 combine to show how things
have changed from the days when you beat the grain out with a stick
to today’s one step harvesting in a comfortable air conditioned
cab. Narrator Clyde Nafziger adds a lot of interesting facts and
figures to show just how hard threshing was for our fathers and

Fred Miller (left) and Mickey Stant (right) demonstrate the lost
art of flailing wheat to separate the grain from the straw. Jim
Frampton awaits his turn to thresh using his homemade steam engine
and Ellis Keystone thresher. Lined up behind him are the Frick
thresher, John Deere thresher and in the background a John Deere
9600 combine to show today’s method of threshing.

1930 8 x 10 Frick traction engine serial #30519, the last
traction engine built by the Frick Company of Waynesboro, Pa.,
which is operating the Frick thresher. It is owned by the Layton
family with Mickey Stant as engineer. Outfits such as this threshed
a lot of grain in their day. Farmers who owned an outfit would go
from farm to farm threshing neighbors’ grain. Farmers would
help each other out to ensure enough labor when their turn came.
The hard work was rewarded by a good crop and a big dinner served
by the women of the family. Sometimes there was a friendly
competition to see who could serve the best meal and if your wife
was the best cook you didn’t have to worry about having enough
help show up at your farm. Of course, there were a lot of cases
where the women were out there in the fields working right
alongside of the men.

Jim Frampton hand feeds the Champion No. 3 wooden thresher, made
by Ellis Keystone Agri. Works of Pottstown, Pa., No. 7407.

These pictures depict the demonstration which we began in 1995
and is gaining in popularity. We hope to continue this
demonstration (weather permitting) on Saturday of our show each
year. We realize it is not perfect, but maybe each year we can
improve upon it.

This year’s show will be August 1, 2, 3, 1997 at our show
grounds located on Route 313 between Denton and Federalsburg,

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment