Ford City, Pa.
I am a Model Steam Engineer and over the years I have visited and displayed my engines in 27 different shows in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New York and Milton, Ontario, Canada.
I think in so doing I can sort of act as spokesman for our group, this is not to say all Model Engineers may agree to my viewpoints. First of all, I think we add a little to the diversity of all Steam Shows. This is evidenced by the happy smiles and genuine interest shown by the people. We have to answer a million questions by everyone viewing our displays. Believe it or not, even the women will astound you in the knowledge they have concerning machinery. We spend countless hours in our workshops in the winter evenings, machining and fitting the various parts, some of which present difficult methods of finishing a part, owing to our limited facilities. We take great pride in duplicating the larger engines, whether it be stationary or traction to the best of our ability. Many of us travel hundreds of miles to help put on a show and believe it or not we have to pay our way into some of them. Considering the travel costs and motel cost, etc. it really runs into quite a sum if we display at a half a dozen or more shows a season. Some shows do not accord us very adequate accommodations, making it clear that they do not regard us as contributing much to their show. Needless to say we Model Engineers have our little black book and also pass the word to others not to waste their time going to these shows. On the other hand there are many shows where we are given the red carpet treatment and their facilities for displaying our models are fine indeed. To name some of the shows in the East that cater to models and ones I have attended for many years are Milton, Ontario Canada, Canandaigua, N.Y., Alexander, N.Y., Dover, Ohio, Kinzers, Pa. and Berryville, Va.
The crowds at the Model Engines display is definite proof that we do contribute to the overall picture and all we ask of any Steam Show Committee is to provide us suitable tables and either steam or air on which to operate our engines. We make many new friends wherever we go, meet people from all walks of life and that is our reward for the time, patience, skinned knuckles etc., we get in building our engines. And that is what the Steam Shows are all about. They bring people together, regardless of their station in life. It is gratifying indeed to see the smiles and looks of contentment on the faces of men who are reliving one day of their past, bringing back pleasant memories.
It behooves all Steam Show Committeemen to conduct their shows in the safest manner possible so that nothing occurs that could curtail such an operation. I have seen fans not adequately protected, belts not properly policed, excess crowding around large log sawing equipment, etc. In the Model Display area all steam outlets not being used should be plugged, whether valved or not. Kids have a tendency to twist and turn things with handles on. Every Steam Show should have an active Safety Committee.
Looking forward to the coming shows and exchanging pleasantries with fellow Model Engineers - - -See you there.