The Grand Old Steam Engines

Huntington, Indiana

There is something about the Grand Old steam Engines that remind
me of the Grand Old Men of the Grand Army of the Republic that I
used to watch parade when I was a boy. Those Grand Old Men had
given their lives to the cause of their nation. There was only a
few left of what was once a mighty army. Their life’s work was
practically finished. However, their great joy was to get together
at their reunions and revel in reminiscent fellowship. Those
relatively few men of the Grand Army impressed me as being very
much alive and capable of enjoying and doing things. As I watched
them march along, the flag ahead and their banners streaming, I was
indeed thrilled and inspired. Mingled emotions of wonder and
appreciation filled my heart. These men, and those that they
represented had done so much for me.

The relatively few Grand Old Steam Engines of today represent a
great army of steam engines that have been the most dominant and
positive innovation of physical power and progress our world has
ever seen. Steam engines on the rail, on the water, in the factory,
and on the farm have perfected a hundred years of glorious
achievement and unimpeachable history. Those few Grand Old Steam
Engines still remaining assure us that they can be very much alive
and are capable of doing things. As we see them in action we are
thrilled and inspired. Mingled emotions of wonder and appreciation
fill our hearts. We still think that they are the most wonderful
invention we have ever seen. We wonder at the genius that invented
them. And we appreciate what the steam engines, the men that made
them, and the men that worked them have done for us. They have
initiated a marvelous new age of power and machinery from the
animal to the engine. We live in that new age. We are sure that the
Creator created man in His own image and that a part of that image
is the ability of man to create. When man’s creation is
something noble and benefits humanity as has the steam engine, then
we may well be truly thankful.

Some of the old soldiers, when I was a youngster, were working
every day at useful and important occupations. So today useful work
is still being done by steam. Not all steam engines are dead or
retired.

But now the Grand Old Steam Engines have something new to do.
This something was undreamed of just a few years ago. The Steamers
go to reunions. Now it is easy for me to be simple minded enough to
think that the old engines, like the old soldiers, enjoy getting
together. Just listen to them whistle and blow. Why, they never had
more fun back in the good old days. Just watch them strut, push and
pull. I tell you they are hot stuff. It’s worth anyone’s
time and money to see the Iron Monsters perform. And people are
getting wise to it too. Folks are coming from all over the country
to attend steam conventions to look and to revel in reminiscent
fellowship.

So let no more steamers be junked. If the needs of their labors
have terminated, let them be placed in honorable and even luxurious
retirement. There is a future for the Grand Old Steam Engines. They
will continue to bring people together at the various Old
Threshermens Reunions. This is a new and a good service the old
engines are giving to society today. It is a good service because
the Grand Old Steam Engines at the Old Thresher Reunions, provide a
good and dramatic form of entertainment and education and are
potentially marvelous friendship builders.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment