Daffodils, Robins and Gas Engine Shows

Fordson tractor

Pete Wing of Millbrook, New York, coming off the balancing platform with his Fordson tractor, which he will take around for a second time. The shortest of the two times was recorded for each contestant.

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R.D.1, Box 116 Wassaic, New York 12592

What do daffodils, robins and engine shows all have in common? All are sure signs of spring-at least in this 'neck of the woods'. The Century Museum Village & Collector's Association gave spring a good boost forward on May 17-18 with its 11th annual Antique Engine & Machinery Exposition, held near Stanfordville, New York in beautiful, historic Dutchess County. Over 2500 spectators and 125 exhibitors migrated to the event from miles around to enjoy antique engines, tractors, autos, motorcycles, railroad section cars, fresh popcorn and the country music of well known artist Gill Rogers. Tractor owners were an especially busy lot as they pitted man and machine against gravity on the newly constructed tractor 'teeter-totter'. The 'T-T', designed and built by club members, is an 8' x 18' platform, set atop an oak beam providing an 8' fulcrum. Each contestant endeavored to balance his tractor on the platform in the minimum amount of time. And that was harder than it looked, especially for tractors with long iron lugs. Club President Jim Boice, Sr. had an additional handicap in balancing his Titan 10-20; every time he approached equilibrium, the water in the cooling tank would 'slosh' and upset the balance. Grand winner was Jake Bates of Hudson, New York on his restored Cletrac who balanced that rig in an incredible 8 seconds! If you readers think you can beat that, consider the challenge issued for next spring's show. We intend to discover the well-balanced individuals in our area!

And while challenges are being issued, if you think your tractor runs real slow, and I mean real S-L-O-W, then our tractor slow race may be your 'cup of tea'.

As the tractor boys did their 'thing', George Brower and son, Jeff, served their 'umpteenth' box of popcorn from their Cretors popcorn wagon. And down the line, Milt Stickles earned up his drag saw with Asa Beckwith's 4 HP Myrick Eclipse hot tube engine. (How many hot tube engines did you see in operation at shows during the last year?)

Meanwhile, down in the 'lower forty', Lee W. Pedersen's Petters putted resonantly while Lee displayed his engine wares. And in a quieter corner of the field, Sue Trotta demonstrated the art of spinning, while here and there, little conclaves of engine enthusiasts spun yarns of a different sort. However, the most hot air was produced by the father and son teams of Jim Boice, Sr. and Jr. and Archie and John Campbell; lest I get in too much trouble with these four gentlemen, I should explain that their 5' and 8' Rider-Ericcson hot air engines were the source of their hot air.

The Empire Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Association again conducted their annual meet in conjunction with the exposition, and their displays certainly provided a unique dimension not found at many shows. Similarly, the Poughkeepsie Chapter of the Antique Auto Club of America graced our showgrounds with a number of gleaming old time chariots.

Space limitations prevent more than a passing mention of vintage lawnmowers, working steam, gas and hot air models, wooden casting patterns, old time power tools in action and dozens of engines chugging in joyous cacophony. Each exhibitor made a vital contribution to the success of the show even though their exhibit may not have been mentioned in this report. We hope to see them all again next May 16-17.

And a final word to you collectors who have never attended our show. Our show grounds are just a 'hop, skip and a jump' from many points in New England, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. -Hope to see you next May!