Reunion Reports


| November/December 1962

  • Powered steam engine

  • Powered steam engine

Pres. 263 W. George St. Yoe, Pennsylvania

The Early American Steam Engine and Old Equipment Society, Inc. held its fifth Annual Show at Stewarts town, Penna. July 12, 13 and 14th under the theme 'Steam-O-Rama'.

I was deeply impressed with the cooperation of all the officers and members of the society and express my sincere gratitude to all who contributed toward making this show a success.

An amazing and delightful experience is in store for anyone who has the opportunity to view the Mechanical Variety Show in action. The show is the brainchild of Dr. J. J. Hochhalter, Optometrist, of Steele, North Dakota. Dr. Hochhalter completed the creation in the spring of 1961. The show itself incorporates a variety of mechanical toys and dolls in action, all powered by a steam engine. A tiny model thresher with a man pitching bundles, woman pumping water, dog that moves, blacksmith pounding a lay, ferris wheel, whirling trapeze artists, chicken feeding, dancing and others boating, churning butter, announcer; many have movable arms. Two even are designed with movable chins that make them appear to talk. The idea for the mechanical display was born after Dr. Hochhalter had successfully made and shown a smaller model steam engine and threshing machine in 1956; he began work on the toys and larger steam engine that year, finishing the project almost six years later. The show is mounted on a trailer which has hinged sides that form a roof for the concession. Canvas curtains are also used.

There is a lot of hard work connected with putting on a show of this type. First of all, there is wheat to be cut with a binder, then hauled to the grounds to be threshed during the show. Following this demonstration the straw is baled. Logs are brought in for the saw-mill, shingle bolts, coal for the steam engines, engines, oil-pulls, tractors, small gasoline engines and museum pieces collected and brought in. Cider must be made and apples 'schnitzed' for the apple butter.

The Ladies Auxiliary under the leadership of Mrs. Eugene Crotts deserves much of the credit for a successful show. They worked very diligently in preparing and serving the meals. They also have the hobby tent. Their projects consist of aprons, bonnets, needlework and ceramics by the Ebersols of Lancaster Co.


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