I am a subscriber to Farm Collector and Gas Engine Magazine. For some years I have visited at least a half dozen antique machinery shows around this area. I am amazed at how few people in the general population even know about the shows, or of the existence or the extent of collecting and restoring old machinery. This includes people with a direct connection with museums or an interest in earlier lifestyles. I have traveled by auto in all of the contiguous 48 states, and mostly off the interstates. I have visited many history museums, including all the major aviation museums. The aviation museums do sometimes appear in television shows and travel guides.
Most of my television viewing is confined to such shows on The History Channel, The Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, they have never covered the subject. Old cars and occasionally old airplanes, but never have I seen old farm machines. Sometimes, new, very large or very unusual machines are shown. Do the show producers even know about the extent of restorations? I admit I have done little to interest television, partly because I have not taken the trouble to really try to find out whom to contact.
I have written both the local newspaper and several television channels, with no answer. There are two rather good nearby shows - one at Georgetown, Ohio, and one at Brookville, Ind. Both are about a one-hour drive from my home in Cincinnati. Portland, Ind., is only a bit over two hours away.
My first knowledge of the shows was a small poster I saw at a tractor dealer outside of Cincinnati when I stopped to pick up a part for a tractor used in our construction work. I have been a fan ever since.
Most of the shows offer much besides just engines. You see many families at the shows, but it is probable that most of them live in rural areas. Yet, many city dwellers came from rural backgrounds and would have an interest in sharing experiences with their children. It could be an educational experience for several generations.
Perhaps there is a lack of know-how among show organizers as to how to get the publicity to bring the information to the public's attention.
Is this a subject that merits discussion in some of the Ogden publications?
Stuart L. Faber
5512 Evergreen Ridge Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45215-5754
Editor's note: As it so happens, we recently spoke with a party actively working to put together a series on farm shows for the Discovery Channel. We'll keep readers posted as we learn more.