California Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association 1972 Show Report

Fairbanks-Morse Engine

Donald G. Beach

Content Tools

2734 Chaffee Street, National City, California 92050

The Third Annual Spring Show of the California EDGE&T Association is now but a memory. But what a memory! On June 17th the Santee Lakes Festival got under way with a parade, a Queen, the bands playing, and Boy Scouts marching -- also Merle Shipley, our septugenarian steam buff, blowing the whistle on the steamer. Yours truly sat up a couple of nights the week previously and gave the old John Deere a fresh coat of paint and decals, and was rewarded with a spot in the parade pulling a float. The float was carrying a 1922 baby Cletrac owned by new member Pat Stanzione and his wife of Chula Vista. Considerable interest was expressed both in the parade and at the Gas Engine show in the tractor display. Perhaps a separate report in other issue would be justified on this subject. Also fit subjects for special reports were the Early Day Kitchen and the Early Day Blacksmith Shop.

It was difficult to obtain an accurate count of the actual numbers of engines, equipment and people participating and those who were spectators. I counted 128 gas engines, 43 pieces of other equipment, 14 tractors and three special displays. I could have missed some, as from time to time I was distracted from the counting procedure by well-wishers, friends and spectators who seemed to yearn to learn more about these strange bits of the past which were so noisily making themselves also a bit of the present. Someone who was knowledgeable estimated by Sunday noon about four thousand had passed by and viewed the corn shelling, wood sawing, hay cutting and water pumping which was going on continuously. Tractor rides were a major attraction also, with many (8 or 10 at a time) getting a ride about the area on the float pulled by a John Deere, and driven by a succession of old tractor buffs who like the smell of burning kerosene and hot oil.

No report would be complete without mention of the people involved in the action. The accompanying pictures will assist in this, but some mention would be in order for those who labored to make this show the huge success it was.

Jack and Barbara Arbuckle contributed so much to the pre-show arrangements that words are scarcely adequate to bring the kind of attention they deserve. National dinner meeting reservations, motel accommodations, relay of messages, and even preparing a very nice water pumping display were some of the accomplishments of this fine couple. I noted their son, Bill, camera in hand, shooting footage during the show, so I am hopeful that we may have some professional-type 16mm film to view in the future.

Jim Gibson, our over-worked and under-paid treasurer was so busy in the days preceding the show that he barely got his own engine display to running.

John Molamphy, our national director at-large, came to the display grounds and camped in his camper keeping a watchful eye on the equipment brought in early, and also helping set up the stands and displays as they were brought in. Mike Ashbeck, our irrepressible vice-president, also came early to assist in a multitude of chores.

Claire Tietsort, through whose efforts nearly all the major structures were set up, and whose efforts nearly exhausted him, had a large and versatile display which was at the heart of the show.

Cliff Hardy travelled down from Woodland with his 40 hp Fairbanks-Morse. Many viewers who watched this FM run for two days were amazed when it would fire. Cliff had it running so slowly it appeared to have stopped - barely 75-80 rpm, and firing only once in 15 or 20 seconds. Then, when everyone was sure it was all through -- Whoomph! and it would turn for a while longer.

Wes Hamilton brought his 4 cylinder Clark down from Long Beach and belted it to the 6 inch pump. The outlet was then reduced to 2 inches and that belt was tight as a fiddle string as the huge Clark powered a stream of water half-way across Lake Six at Santee.

A sight to behold, too, was the line-up of pumps along the lake shore pumping water in and out of the lake. Sump, centrifugal, reciprocating, pressure and natural flow pumps were all represented. Some of the makes we can recall are Gould, Deming, Aermotor, David Bradley Fairbanks-Morse and there are some we can't recall.

We believe we have one of the finest Clubs in the country. Each of us -numbering over 350 members - has contributed something to the total goodness of the Club as a whole, and we are looking to the future with great expectation and healthy anticipation.

Our calendar for 1973 includes the following dates and activities: The national Date Festival at Indio, California has invited us again this year and we expect to have at least 40 units on display from February 17 through 25. The Tropico Gold Mine at Rosamond, California has invited us to participate in their celebration March 3rd and 4th and a number are planning to journey to the gold rush festival and join in the festivities. Our Fourth Annual Spring Show is in the planning stages to be held in conjunction with the Santee Lakes Festival at Santee (near El Cajon), California June 9th and 10th. The Orange County Fair at Costa Mesa also invites us to display our equipment at their exposition July 6th to 15th. The Riverside County Fair at Hemet will benefit from our displays and demonstrations August 18th and 19th, and the Antelope Valley Fair at Lancaster on September 1st through 3rd will be the scene of activities.

The Fall Show has not been finalized as yet, but will be later at the Orange County Fairgrounds, in Costa Mesa, of the new Guajome County Park near Vista, California. Preparations for our area at the new park may not be completed in time for the Fall Show however, and in that case we will probably meet at the Costa Mesa site.

All in all, a busy year is projected for 1973 - and YOU are invited to participate! Come from far or near, you'll have fun. Southern California invited, so plan your vacation activities to include at least one of the dates when we will be doing our thing. See you there!

At top left is E. R. Palisch proudly displaying his 1-1/2 HP Economy pulling a David Bradley pump jack. Center view is Wes Hamilton of Long Beach, California standing beside his 4 cyl. Clark ready to squirt water 500 feet across the lake. At right is Claire Tietsort standing behind his display of mine hoist equipment which includes a 15 HP Fairbanks-Morse pulling a FM hoist and a 6 HP Fairbanks-Morse pulling a West Coast hoist.

Bottom left, Leo Coss displays the skill of the early day blacksmith at his forge at Santee Lakes, California. Center, Vivian Paxton shows all of us how to operate the spinning wheel at the California Early Day Kitchen demonstration at Santee. At right, Betty May demonstrates an early day activity in the Early Day Kitchen replica at Santee Lakes, California.