REUNION REPORTS

North Carolina Steam Historical Association


| January/February 1962



Traction engine

Black smoke billowed and steam whistles sang sad songs of a by-gone age, as the 'iron men' of seven states gathered at the fair grounds in Lexington, North Carolina July 20, 21 and 22.

It was the first convention of the newly formed North Carolina Steam Historical Association, a non-profit group organized to keep alive the memories of the age of steam and to show the old iron engines to the young people of today who may never have seen any of them.

It was also a gathering to give honor to the men who once used steam power for threshing and wood sawing the 'iron men' so called because of the massive iron castings of which the old engines were built.

Bob Powell, of Mocksville, President of the Association, called the convention a success, although it did not draw more than several hundred people as spectators. It was held practically without publicity. An announcement in the 'Iron Men Album' and word of mouth news brought some 150 participants and their families.

There were 14 traction engines on exhibition huge puffing monsters fired and traveling over the grounds under their own power. There were eight 'portables' engines made to turn machinery but which had to be pulled along by horses or mules.

J. W. Nipper, of Warrenville, brought along a three-foot model of a traction engine which operated under its own steam, pulling a red wagon in which he gave free rides. Bill Carrick, of Denton, brought a new threshing machine which was belted to several of the old engines, one at a time, of course, and used to thresh wheat.