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Spring Plow Steam-Up

A Cascade of Steam Engines Plow Fresh Soil

| June 2007

  • AndreaGlenn
    Opposite page: Andrea Glenn at the controls of Butch Biesecker’s Keck-Gonnerman.
  • Engines
    Clockwise from top right: Engines waiting to be hitched to the plows. Jonathan Werning operating a Baker hitched to Butch Biesecker’s Keck-Gonnerman in an effort to dislodge the plow and free the Keck from the soft ground. Allen Samulesen’s Aultman & Taylor. Plowing in tandem during the Rough & Tumble Spring Steam-Up, May 12-13, 2006, at Kinzers, Pa. Jeff Doucette on Paul Stoltzfus’ Advance-Rumely.

  • AndreaGlenn
  • Engines

The second weekend of May is always host to the Rough & Tumble Spring Steam-Up, May 12-13, 2006, Kinzers, Pa. As an organization we are fortunate to have a neighboring farmer who leaves one of his fields un-plowed so the members of Rough & Tumble can use their steam traction engines to break the soil for the summer crops.

It's not uncommon to see 10 or more different steam traction engines parked in the field waiting to hitch to any one of several plows available. The field is about 3/4 of a mile across.

A bit of sister rivalry was caught on camera at the Spring Steam-Up. My daughter, Andrea Glenn, was piloting Butch Biesecker's Keck-Gonnerman engine across the field for a demonstration on plowing. Everything was going fine with good steam pressure and the machine was running fine - what could possibly go wrong?

Suddenly, Andrea came upon a soft section of the field and her wheels began to slip. That was the end of her pull - she was stuck - help was needed to get any farther. To make matters worse, the plow was fully buried in the soil. Meanwhile, sister Megan Glenn was coming along on the upper side of the field on an Advance-Rumely. She tips her hat and toots the whistle at her stuck sister, Andrea. Later she was heard saying, "It doesn't get any better than that."

Since the soil had a lot of resistance that day a few of the participants decided to pull in tandem.

Bill Glenn, 3601 Leike Road, Parkesburg, PA 19365; (610) 857-9341 (evenings, after 6 p.m.);


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