R.R. #13, Box 209 Brazil, Indiana 47834
One of the many interesting aspects of the steam hobby is the
locations of different steam shows around the country. I work swing
shift for an electric utility and can only attend shows on certain
weekends. As a result of this I spend a considerable amount of time
consulting my atlas and steam show guide. I particularly enjoy
attending a show I have never been to and seeing different engines.
The ‘new’ show I attended this year was the Northeast Steam
and Gas Association Show at LaGrange, Indiana.
The LaGrange Show was well worth the 225 miles (one way) I drove
to get there. The first stop after arriving was at the Cockshutt
tent, which was the feature tractor at the show. The display not
only had Cockshutts but many Co-Op and Blackhawk tractors also. I
saw many different tractors I had not seen before.
The Cockshutt Company was broken in 1959 by ‘corporate
raiders’ who specialized in stripping companies by selling off
different divisions for their cash value. This allowed White
Equipment in 1961 to claim credit for a brand new self-propelled
combine into whose design they had almost no input.
Even though you may prefer an Allis Chalmers or a John Deere, I
believe everyone should show support by patronizing vendors who are
connected with the feature equipment. I hope the Cockshutt people
were satisfied with the results as you could see they had put a lot
of effort into their displays and equipment. My older half-brother
and his wife drove 650 miles from near Kansas City, Missouri, to
attend this show mainly to see the ‘Gathering of the
After purchasing a new Cockshutt hat, I headed to the steam
area. I was pleasantly surprised to find the feature engine of the
show was a 20 HP Harrison Jumbo (as I own a 17 HP Jumbo myself).
That afternoon I tracked down the owner of the Jumbo, Bob Laughlin.
Bob was surprised to learn that there was another Jumbo in the
state of Indiana. Bob who is on the show’s board of directors
is a spry 80-year old. His Jumbo is serial #2344, 20 HP with an 8 x
11 cylinder which develops 65 brake HP. The engine cost $3500.00 in
1928 with rocker grates costing $15.00 additional.
Bob bought his Jumbo out of Illinois, sight unseen, after
spotting it in a Prairie Farmer ad several years ago. Bob
is one of the few people who can drive his engine to the show. He
has bands made to fit on his wheels so he can drive on the blacktop
roads, two miles to the show. Besides Bob’s Jumbo engine there
were eight other full size engines: 25 HP Advance Rumely, 20 HP
Advance Rumely, 25-75 M Rumely, 25-85 Nichols & Shepard, 24 HP
Minneapolis, 20 HP Sawyer Massey, 50 HP Case, and a Buffalo
The model engines were represented by two Advance Rumely models.
One was a scale of a 20 HP Advance Rumely. The other was a scale of
a 22 HP Advance Rumely, which was built from scratch and is owned
by Bill and Butch Vollmar. Bill kept his engine busy pulling a
model sawmill which he also built.
The largest engine on the grounds was a 125 HP stationary engine
used to power the sawmill. One event I really look forward to is
steam plowing. The engines at LaGrange certainly gave a good show
of pulling the eight-bottom plow until Mother Nature put a stop to
it with a terrific downpour Saturday afternoon. Bob Laughlin
reported that his 20 HP Jumbo can more than hold its own on the
plow. He feels that the larger diameter wheels on the Jumbo make
the plow pull somewhat easier. Many of the area Amish attended the
show and were most friendly to their ‘worldy’
My wife and I appreciated that the flea market was mostly
antique related and had no ‘junk.’ I hope you can find time
to attend the 1995 Northeast Steam and Gas Association Show at
LaGrange, Indiana, August 10-13, which will feature Gaar-Scott and