REPORT OF THE ANTIQUE ENGINE AND THRESHER ASSOCIATION,Inc

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Mr. Lyman Knapp of Blackwell, Oklahoma, sends us this picture and says, Beware! Rev. Mr. Ritzman at the throttle of the 1919 Stanley Steamer. Mr. F. J. Wood in the front seat and Helen Wood and Mrs. Ritzman in the rear seat. The editor says, That was the
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Mr. Lyman Knapp of Blackwell, Oklahoma, and his 21 Sterling Thresher taken in Arkansas August, 1954 before he loaded it to bring it home.

President, Blackwell, Oklahoma

At 1:00 P. M., August 13, 1954. Professor V. H. Stroud stepped
to the microphone and asked for everyone’s attention and for
all machines to come to rest. He then asked Reverend Elmer Ritzman
to give the invocation. This opened the program of the 4th Annual
Reunion of the Antique Engine and Threshers Association, Inc.

Every person, as he or she entered the grounds, was given a copy
of the days program. The events included prony brake tests, Case
Incline exhibition, threshing, teeter-totter, pyramid, tug-o-war,
setting contests, parade and sawmilling. Each event was scheduled
at a certain time and the event was staged at that time. Several
men and committees had made careful preparations for the various
events without which the program schedule would have failed.

‘Big Mac’ of Hoisington, Kansas and his ‘Elgin
Watch’ Case 40 re-enacted the famous Case Incline Exhibition at
1:20 and again at 4:00 P M. Big Mac also did the pyramid stunt with
this same engine. It seems a person never tires of watching this
pair perform these stunts.

Yoder’s 18 hp. Avery Under mounted engine powered the 32-54
Avery Yellow Fellow for the threshing events.

Lyman Kanpp’s excellenty restored 6 hp. Russell did the
teeter-totter event as well as the tug-o-war event. The tug-o-war
was manpower pulling against the steam power of the Russell.

Bill Merhoff of Newkirk, Okla., and his 25hp. Illinois engine
gave the ‘Plain and Fancy Whistling’ Calls at 2:00 P.
M.

The Grand Parade was well attended by 20 steamers and nearly as
many early model gas tractors. Sawmilling was the final event each
day using a 20 hp. Minneapolis engine belted to a Reeves 54′
sawmill. Harry Trego was engineer and N. J. Knapp was sawyer.

Saturday, August 14, saw the program opened by Rev. Ritzman at
10 A. M., and the various events were staged as scheduled by
program. The highlight, of the day was the presence of Mr. F. J.
Wood and Helen Wood, of Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Wood is the only
surviving manufacturer of steam traction engines in the United
States. Miss Mabel Luti, who was the first lady employee of the
Wood Brothers firm, flew from Oklahoma City to visit with the woods
and renew old times with her former ‘Boss’. It was truly a
happy reunion of close friends.

Soon, Herb Ottaway appeared in a nicely restored 1919 Stanley ,
Steam Car, which is owned by the Ottaway Brothers. The Woods’,
Miss Luti and the Ritzman family were taken for a ride around the
show grounds in this novel car.

R. D. Yoder’s 9 hp. Case with Norman Yoder at the throttle
did the teeter-totter event and the tug-o-war event.

Roy Kite, of Bird City, Kansas, turned in what proved to be the
winning time in the setting contest. In this event, the separator
is set and the engine hooked to it. At a given signal the pin is
pulled and the time is checked that is required to get the engine
turned around and in the belt and the thresher up to speed where
the feeder apron starts to travel. Roy used a 23-90 Baker Uniflow
and required one minute and 55 seconds to accomplish the job. His
helpers were Chet Sawyer and Lynn Brethouer of Bird City, Kan.

Sunday, August 15, the activities began at 10 A. M., in the big
tent with the Association Chaplain, Rev. Owen W. Reere in charge of
the worship. He was assisted by Rev. Ritzman. We will long remember
this excellent service led by the two former threshermen.

The scheduled program began at 1:00 P. M., and proceeded
smoothly to the finish at 5 P. M. Bill Merhoff was assisted in the
whistle codes by Mr. Everett Rohrer of Englewood. Colo., who is
president of the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club. Mr. Rohrer and Big
Mac gave several railroad code whistles.

Herb Ottaway had the Bryan steam tractor in nice running order
and he put it up and down the Incline several times. It operated on
500 pounds of steam.

Another ‘eye catcher’ was Trego’s beautifully
restored 20 hp. Advance engine. It was painted, polished and
striped in every detail.

The Case 110 hp. engine commanded many expressions from young
and old.

Among the models present was a Case by Mr. Bolton of Reece, Kan.
Jack Kauer of Wichita, also showed his Case model. An upright
boiler and popcorn engine was the power plant for a model built by
Mr. Jones of Wichita. Walter Bahre, of McPherson, Kansas, presented
his model.

The officers and board of directors wish to thank everyone for
their efforts in making this 4th Reunion a great success. It is
hoped you will all be able to attend again next year and make the
5th Reunion even more successful.

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