ANNUAL SHOW PRESENTED BY NORTH CENTRAL STEAM AND GAS ENGINE CLUB OF EDGAR, WISCONSIN
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It was interesting watching the people watching the work being
done. There were folks with video cameras, regular cameras, sound
recorders. One of the steamers suddenly made a terrible clunking
sound and quit working. People came from all around to see what the
trouble was. Some just watched, some made 'helpful'
suggestions on cause and cure, some talked and compared this with
modern machinery problems. It was neat how even a breakdown was of
interest to everyone there. After a little tinkering here and there
we were off and running again. 'Running' may not be quite
an accurate description of our movement. We were able to talk to
people quite comfortably strolling alongside us as we rode
When the steamers weren't plowing, they got to work with the
threshing machines. Several wagon loads of oats had been cut and
saved for the event. Among the antique machines used was a Red
River Special owned by Kurt Umnus. After taking their turn at
threshing, they ran the sawmill and cut up some lumber. There was
always a large crowd gathered there to watch and plenty of wood
ready to be cut.
The oldest steam engine that we found was a Minneapolis 22 HP,
made in 1913. It was brought to the show by Steve Mole,
Connorsville. His grandfather had worked with it when it was new
and it has been in Steve's family since his grandfather bought
it from its first owner. It was beautifully restored with bright
red wheels and yellow trim. Some of the mechanical parts on the top
were green with the embossed parts highlighted in gold.
We got a kick out of seeing the smaller items at the show as
well: the Maytag washer with a butter churn attachment, a scale
model sawmill built in 1945 by Norman Franck of Minoqua, a 2'
scale 'Phoenix Steam Hauler' logging engine built by Dan
Kiekhaffer of Colfax, model carousels, pumps and Ferris wheels run
by hot air compression motors and made by retired carpenter Russell
Bryan of Baraboo. We liked the McCormick Deering Type M, 3 HP,
gasoline/kerosene engine from 1936 with the quirky habit of blowing
perfect smoke rings and the collections of toy tractors. One
display of toy John Deere tractors had examples ranging from the
Waterloo Boy Model R, 1915-1919 through the 5020 model of 1965-72.
You could see the development in farm machinery happening right
there before you. The display was presented by Bill Proft, Waukonda
and Russ Buss, Athens.
A permanent fixture at the farm is a display of household
objects, cooking utensils, plates and fancy dishes, dolls and other
toys, old magazines and books. We liked browsing in this area and
getting a feel for how the rest of the family lived while the men
were out running their machinery.
Sandi Coyle brought her scaled down version of a cook shanty. It
is a faithful reproduction of the building used by the wife of the
threshing foreman for her job of feeding the threshing crews. Sandi
was aided in researching the authenticity of her project by finding
an ex-cook living in her hometown of Granton. She has plans for
additional work to be done. Sandi was usually to be found cooking
buckwheat pancakes in the Pancake House run by the ladies of the