Antique Engine & Threshers Assn., Inc. Wichita, Kansas
The third annual Reunion of the Antique Engine and Threshers Association, Inc., held August 28, 29 and 30, 1953, is now history, but for the benefit of those who were unable to attend, I am writing this report. On August 25, the Board of Directors held a meeting at Joyland Park, Wichita, and surveyed the work remaining to be done before the show. Several men had already spent a couple of days preparing. Jobs were assigned to the different committees and every one was busy hauling engines, repairing, cleaning and getting all equipment in first class shape. The biggest job was to move the equipment to the Athletic Field of Joyland Park. Included in this move was the Incline used by Big Mac and his 40 hp. Case engine to re-enact the famous Case Incline Stunt. The Incline was moved by truck and low-boy trailer without mishap. The Prony Brake was moved and fenced in and two new gadgets were hauled in by V. H. Ctrand and John Eales the teeter-totter and the pyramid. Other equipment was placed and engineers assigned.
The Reunion was officially opened at 1:00 P. M., Friday, August 28, with invocation by Rev. Elmer Ritzman and Mrs. V. H. Strand played 'The Star Spangled Banner' on the 53-whistle calliope. Different events were scheduled every 15 minutes for the remainder of the day, and as Mr. Strand, on the public address system announced the time had arrived for the next event, the committee in charge was prepared and a very fine program accomplished.
Twenty large steamers were in operation plus several model engines. Probably, Ralph Shelburne, of Zionsville, Indiana, and Carter Dalton, of Ambia, Ind., traveled the farthest with their models, unless it was Mr. L. L. Wood of Mendon, Utah, who brought a model horse power and a model C. Aultman apron thresher. A. J. Goodban of York, Neb., had his nice model Stevens engine present. Charley Bolton of Reece, Kansas, showed his model Case engine and another model Case was shown by Jack Kauer of Wichita.
The big engines ranged in size from the 6 hp. Russell and the 6 hp N&S to the Case 110. A 14 hp. Aultman Taylor return flue bevel gear engine was in operation and got much attention. Nearly every size Case engine was present from R. D. Yoder's 9 hp. to the Case 110. Several gas tractors were there with such famous names as Avery, Aultman Taylor, Case, Huber, Advance Rumely 'Oil Pull' and International.
Several engines were tried on the Prony Brake but the crowd seemed to enjoy Mr. Jake Yoder's 18 hp. Avery Under mounted and the Case 110 the most.
Saturday, the 29th, saw more people present. Rev. Elmer Ritzman opened with prayer at 10:00 A. M. Events of Prony Brake, Incline, threshing, saw milling, pyramid, teeter-totter, plowing and tug-o-war between 6 hp. Russell and manpower filled the schedule till 5:00 P. M. Corky Edminster and his KANS Corral Gang staged a 30-minute live broadcast at noon from the reunion grounds.
Mr. F. J. Wood and daughter Helen from Des Moines, Iowa, arrived by plane on Friday.
Sunday, August 30th, the meet opened at 1:00 P. M., with the usual ceremonies of the previous two days. Mrs. Strand played various selections on the calliope and struck up appropriate tunes every time Big Mac would attempt the Incline. Events came off as scheduled and on time. At 4:00 P. M. each day, the Grand Parade was held. This day, Mr. F. J. Wood and Helen led the parade in an automobile, closely followed by the 22 hp. Wood Bros. engine No. 331. This day had the largest attendance ever and was the final day of the reunion.
Prof. V. H. Strand, master of ceremonies, announced the final event at 5:15. The men and women who had done the work and planning for the reunion could relax, secure in the knowledge that each person had done his job well.
As president of the Association, I wish to thank every one who had a part in the planning and operation of the reunion. The cooperation you all gave provided the Association with its best show. Our thanks also to the thousands of people who attended. May we meet again.