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.
The 4-H Club deserves mention also. The boys worked in the
parking lot and the girls demonstrated their projects and sold home
made candies and cookies.
A very rare musical instrument called a Uniphone was on display
and played by several persons.
Bob Bohaty of Long Island, N. Y. brought his 1899 Loco mobile
Steamer and Art Crafts of Akron, Ohio brought a small hot-air
engine. The Lancaster Brothers of Mt. Savage, Md. had their model
steam engine and thrashing rig on display. We extend a most cordial
invitation to any one who has engines, models or antique cars to
bring them to our show in ’63.
Frank McGuffin of Washington D. C. created a ‘First’ for
us. He had a platform built for people to ascend in to a steam
engine and having the mechanism and operation explained by an
There are those steam engine clubs within a radius of fifty
miles and I extend to them my sincere thanks for their bringing
engines and in helping with the show.
Evening entertainment was provided by the ‘Country Music
Night Hawks’, the ‘4-H Club Band’ and the ‘Saw-Mill
We have one performer of whom we are very proud. He is
‘Silver’ who operates the dog-tread mill. For a country
dog, he likes to show off and just can’t wait to put on his
act. Silver also goes to other steam shows. His next appearance
will be at the Maryland Steam Show.
Since this show is history we’ll be looking forward to
seeing you in ’63. If you are tired of Steam Engine Shows think
of this motto ‘Silver To See In ’63’.