Straw Hollow Show

Gordon E. Hopper
February/March 1990
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Partial line-up of tractors at the Boylston meet.


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An antique gasoline engine and tractor show conducted at Boylston, Massachusetts on August 12 and 13, 1989 by members of the Straw Hollow Engine Works, Inc. was one of the larger shows held in Massachusetts this year, with over 200 engines and 40 tractors on display throughout the weekend.

Members of the club and others with engines or tractors came from Northboro, Fitchburg, Framingham, Leominster, Oakdale, Berlin, Sterling, Lunenburg, Boylston, Concord, Hanson, Uxbridge, Hampden, Palmer, Monson, Sutton, Rutland, Bridgewater and Westboro, Massachusetts.

Other machines on display came from Barton, Brattleboro, Saxtons River and Athens Vermont; Burrillville, Rhode Island; Nashua, New Hampshire; Scotia and Schoharie, New York.

Gasoline engine sizes ranged from scale models to a 16 HP Jacobson. The most unusual setup was a display of 17 operating engines-a collection of the The Museum of Antiquated Technology owned by Mark Vess of Hanson, Massachusetts. Another group of eight engines was owned by George and Dave Banas of Southbridge, Massachusetts.

Marine engines displayed this year included several Gray engines, an Eclipse marine engine built by the Bendix Aviation Corp. and a 1? HP Pincors engine. A large selection of Briggs & Stratton engines included both commercial and military models.

A cabbage planter powered by a 1? HP Fairbanks-Morse engine was on the large field. Another unusual setup was a large Ransome cement mixer driven by a Stover engine, and a 350 watt Onan gasoline-driven electric power plant which was in continuous operation.

Maytag twin and single cylinder models were in operation and one display included 2?, 7 and 9 HP Economy engines.

Other engines were manufactured by Brownwall, Elgin, Domestic ('stove pipe'), Witte, Alamo, Fairbanks-Morse, Friend, Jaeger, Termaat-Monahan, Ideal, International, United, Galloway, Novo, Stover, McCormick-Deering, Aermotor, Cushman and Lee.

In the tractor lineup, owners displayed machines built by Ford (Ferguson System), numerous McCormick Farmall and John Deere machines, Case, Beeman, Minneapolis-Moline, Silver King, 1937 International Harvester, Rumely Oil Pull, a 40-year old Panzer and a 1933 Cletrac Model W owned by John Davison of Northboro, Massachusetts.

There were four different Massey Harris tractors and an old conversion unit with metal wheels using a Model A Ford engine.

Miscellaneous pieces of equipment on display included a Fairmont rail car, a 1987 steam launch, a 1901 Olds replica, an Eagle 75 corn chopper, a Sachs motor scooter, Whizzer motor bike and a Model A Ford truck.

The Straw Hollow Engine Works, Inc. is an active antique engine club with nearly 150 members. It is an area club with an objective for its members to have fun.

In 1979, a few members of the Boylston Fire Department, after returning from an engine show at Orange, Massachusetts, decided to form a new club at Boylston.

This was done and this year the club observed its tenth anniversary and engine show. Present club officials include: Don Haitsma, president; James Peterson, vice president; Robert Pauplis, secretary; Roger Wentzell, treasurer.

Three of the original club founders-'Skip' Ressigue, David Hamilton and Roger Wentzell-are still active club members.

The two-day show was sponsored by the Boylston Fire Department. Food concessions were staffed by the wives of club members, members of the fire department and ladies of the fire department auxiliary unit.


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