Torque Power hive Steam Models Hyattstown, Box 144-D R. F. D., I jamsville, Maryland 21 754
Due to circumstances beyond his control, Donald Madison will no longer be able to continue these articles. He has asked that I take over writing the articles in order to continue the young peoples page.
I thought I would devote this article to one of the most interesting steam shows I have ever attended. That is -The Eastern Shore Threshermen and Collectors Association, Inc., Show held near Federalsburg, Maryland on the Jim Layton Farm. For me it was my first time there and one I will never forget.
I arrived there late Friday afternoon. Leaping Lena, my old 1960 Buick, was so loaded up that there was barely room for me. I had brought with me my model steam engines, a 1% Hp. gas engine, and all the equipment necessary to run a small old-fashioned foundry. I was asked to run the foundry in order to show how the old steam engine parts were cast. This proved to be quite an attraction.
I spent Friday evening unloading my stuff and talking with many old and new friends. Shortly before dark Jim Layton, President of the club, took me out and let me drive a Nichols and Shepard engine which was owned by Pete Lovelace. This particular engine is a favorite of mine and it was quite a thrill to get to drive it around.
The first thing that struck me about this show was the large number of young people participating in it.
While talking with Jim Layton he told me how pleased he was with this young peoples page. Jim explained to me that the club saw a need for youth participation in it several years ago. Due to their foresight there are as many young people working at the show as there are older people. These are not the kids who come around looking for a ride on an engine but boys who fire and run engines under the watchful eye of the experienced engineers and girls who work preparing food or giving displays of sewing and other home arts. Some people consider this show a small one. But, they maintain a free admission policy and provide restroom and shower facilities for campers.
The model table was filled with about 75 models. Other objects of interest were as follows: had farm implements, a 6 Hp. portable steam engine and boiler, a working windmill water pump supplying water to the restrooms and showers, a hot air water pump in operation, a demonstration of broom making, a miniature and large sawmill in operation, a colonial blacksmiths shop, an oxen team pulling a cart filled with children, antique cars, shingle sawing, about 10 traction engines, a dozen or more gas tractors, 150 gas engines, several threshers, and the first old-time foundry demonstration ever given at a show.
I would like to say at this time that the Eastern Shore Threshermen, in association with Torque Power, will set up an iron and bronze foundry with the capability of making cast replacement parts for old engines. It will provide a good demonstration for people visiting the show and economically cast parts for old engines. Many of the young men in the association will receive training in foundry work. If nothing happens, the foundry will be in operation by the 1970 show.
I believe, after visiting the show, that the measure of a show is not how big it is in buildings and grounds or in the number of engines and antiques on display, but the spirit of the show. The spirit of the show is that of everyone having a good time, and everyone working together and learning about the old ways. One of the important virtues of a show is that a newcomer is able to become part of the show for the few hours that he is visiting.
There was an article in the last issue of the Iron-Men Album entitled 'Why Not Be A Little More Liberal' which points out that some exhibitors are almost down right rude. I must, from past experience, agree with this. It took me three years to get 'in' with the steam engine people. I am glad that someone from the older generation, or establishment as we young people often refer to them, had the courage to point this out. I think the article was a fine one and must compliment the gentleman who wrote it.
Because of the much publicized problems of youth today, a young person already has two strikes against him in the eyes of many of the older generation. Of course, there is always the exception such as the people at the eastern shore show who believe that getting young people interested in the steam hobby is a way of giving youth a means to expel their energy constructively.
Many of the engineers when asked a question at a show give no answer at all or a harsh one to a curious boy. I know many of you older people out there read this article so I am directing this to you. Try to think back over the years when you were young. Now, how many questions did you ask when you were young? A lot, I bet. And, if somebody hadn't taken the time to answer your questions, how would you know all that you do today? So, isn't it only right that you be patient with the younger set and answer their questions? Every exhibitor should consider himself a teacher and that the duty of a teacher is to teach.
Shortly after I arrived at the show I met a young man who was there with his wife and children. I was trying to get my 1 Hp. gas engine started when he approached and offered to help. I asked him if he lived near by as he seemed to know everyone. He said he didn't but that he was on his vacation trip and was heading back to his home in Orlando, Florida. He had just seen the smoke and decided to stop. It was the first time had had ever come across a steam show. He returned the next day saying that he couldn't resist coming back, that the people were so friendly and that he enjoyed helping. This is a fine example of a newcomer being able to be part of the show while visiting.
While at the show on Saturday. I was helped by two friends from Vienna, Virginia, Mr. Love and his son Steven who is 14. I was also assisted by John Ellingsen, 17, a member of the association and a model builder. I also met a young thresherman, Floyd Farmer who is also a member of the club. He was showing me how to feed the thresher, something I had never done before.
Sunday was our biggest day. Everything was going full blast, including my furnace. We had a very good attendance at the show even though we had a hard rain on Saturday night. But everything was pretty much dried up by Sunday afternoon.
I can only hope that more shows around the country will pattern themselves after this show and look for their future in their youth.
The show mentioned in this article took place on August 8, 9 & 10,1969.