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25 HP Russell engine owned by Percy Sherman of Palmyra, Michigan plowing at the 1967 Old Time Thresher Show. Photo by Leo R. Clark.
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Photo by Leo Clark, 105 Harvey St., Washington, Illinois. Wickie Jones and Charles Barker of Lexington, Kentucky plowing with an Advance-Rumely engine at the 1967 Old Time Thresher Show.
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20 HP Rumely engine pulling the sight-seeing wagon at the Old Time Thresher Show in 1967. Photo by Leo R. Clark, 105 Harvey St., Washington, Illinois.
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Mrs. Don Conwell and daughter, Becky, of Huntingdon, Indiana being (???) taken into custody by the ''Keystone Kops'' at the 1967 Old Time Thresher Show. Photo by Leo R. Clark, 105 Harvey St., Washington, Illinois.
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Greyhound and Russell engines threshing wheat at the 1967 Old Time Thresher Show. Photo by Ernest Hoffer, 444 Starr Ave., Toledo, Ohio.
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John Goodison engine built at Sarnia, Ontario, Canada seen at the 1967 Old Time Thresher Show. Photo by Ernest Hoffer, 444 Starr Ave., Toledo, Ohio.

633 Cleveland Street, Decatur, Indiana 46733

During the month of August each year, one of the most looked
forward to events takes place on the Jim Whitbey farm which is, of
course, the ‘Old Time Thresher and Saw Mill Operator Show.

The extreme popularity of this show is due to the fact that the
visitor is well entertained by a well planned and scheduled program
of events; starting at 10:00 o’clock each morning and
continuing through the rest of the day and well into the evening

Starting early in the spring, preparations for the forth coming
‘Old Time Threshers Show’ are taking place. From this time,
until show time, the ‘Working Dozen’ are on hand at various
times getting the grounds and equipment in shape for show time.
Proof of this is shown by the clockwork like manner in which the
different events take place at their assigned times during each
days scheduled program of events. For those performing at each
event, know that their jobs have been well done by looking at the
satisfied expressions on the visitors faces.

What did the visitor see to cause those expressions? He saw logs
made into lumber on the saw mill that was powered by the different
steam engines. Close by, he saw the model sawmill in operation and
being powered by several of the model engines. These models, by the
way, were exact duplicates of their bigger brothers. Next in line,
the veneer mill where a thin slice of wood was shaved from a log
very similar to the way that it is done in the modern mills of
to-day. This veneer is highly prized as a souvenir of the ‘Old
Time Thresher Show’, as not a scrap is left when the show is

Always a popular feature of the show is the threshing of grain.
The different methods of grain separation featured the chaffer
which just separated the grain and chaff from the straw by means of
an agitating rack. This chaffer, by the way. was powered by an old
time horsepower, a team of ponies belonging to a close neighbor,
furnishing the power. Nearby, a model hand-feed thresher was seen
in operation and was powered by the many model engines on the
grounds. Common to this model hand feed and a full sized one
located at a different place on the grounds, the grain was
separated and cleaned from the chaff and straw and measured in peck
or half bushel containers while the straw and chaff was elevated
from the rear of the machine by means of a web stacker. The next
and final method of threshing was that of the modern grain
separator, these being powered by the different steam engines and
big gas tractors on the grounds.

Gas engines? We had them! They arrived in car trunks, on
two-wheeled trailers, on flat bed trucks and one load even came
loaded on a semi-trailer. One very big spot on the grounds is
completely taken over for this display of hundreds of old time gas
engines. It is known as ‘Gasoline Alley’.

A feature of the show is the display of early American antique
farm machinery. This display has been very popular for the past two
years and will be repeated at future shows. A lot of thanks are due
to the surrounding area implement dealers for bringing in modern
farm machinery so the visitor can see how it used to be compared to
the way that it is in these modern times.

When the announcement is made that the plowing demonstration is
about to take place, the crowd heads that way by the hundreds. It
is quite a sight to see as the steam engines and large tractors
hook on to the plows and start to strut their stuff. It takes a lot
of power to pull the plows through the dry Indiana clay loam soil
during the usually dry month of August.

What else did the visitor see to keep that satisfied expression
on his face? He saw engines climbing the hill, sometimes two at a
time. He was pleased by the sight of the big heavy engines being
balanced on the wooden balancing platform. He was treated to
parachute drops from high in the sky, by pony pulling contests, to
square dance and drill team performances by the Elkart Co. boys and
girls and their horses; by the various steam engines strutting
their stuff on the Baker fans and to dozens of other exhibits and

A lot of thanks are due to the wonderful group of concessions
and stands that return each and every year to the show. The
‘Old Time Thresher Show wouldn’t be complete without these
wonderful folks. In the line of food the visitor can get everything
from snacks and sandwiches to complete meals. The sanitary
facilities are completely modern and the drinking water the purest
and sweetest in northern Indiana. For those wishing to pay their
respects to the Lord, the famous ‘Old Time Thresher’ Church
services are held on Sunday morning of the show each year.


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