The steady rise in the number of antique engine shows in the past ten years is reflected in answers to a questionnaire aimed at helping exhibitors. The questionnaire was sent out by Robert L. Lutz of Arlington, Virginia; and Donald W. Land of Levels, West Virginia. The two gathered the data for a proposed directory which would be slated for collectors and exhibitors and made figures available to this magazine.
Their quest followed an article by Preston Foster in GEM's issue of September-October, 1978. Foster, in an 'Open Letter to the Editor', aired a number of complaints in an effort to persuade those who hold the shows and similar events to give a better break to those who take part.
Lutz and Land asked a lot of questions in letters to over 300 show officials. They received 107 responses. They felt they needed 250 answers to make it worth issuing the kind of directory they envisioned. They have dropped it for 1979, but may try again for 1980. Meanwhile, here are some of the answers among the 107 responses:
The number of shows rose dramatically in the past decade-Of the 98 listing age, as far back as 31 years, 52 were founded within the past 10 years. We would say that this is indicative of the way the interest is mounting, giving more opportunity to collectors to exhibit.
Here are some of the answers of special interest to those who collect and wish to exhibit:
Exhibitor permitted to tailgate equipment and related items-Yes, 57; No, 12; no response, 26; of the 57 permitting, 14 required being in flea market.
Security-Yes, 75; No, 2.
Available to exhibitors on grounds-Gas, 68; kerosene, 22; wood, 75; coal, 45; steam for engines/models, 32; power for belt drive equipment, 68; tractor loading dock, 70; help for loading/unloading, 76; water, all.
Exhibiting and/or rules for exhibitors-31 indicated some form of written rules, supplied at time of registration.
Non-local exhibitors-desired, 84; excluded, 2; should contact before coming, 48.
Shade-available, 56; bring your own, 51; not allowed, 0; natural, 44.
Fees-Parking, 23; camping, 12; association dues, 14; exhibiting, 5; flea market, most; admission for spectators, most; those requiring dues attributed this to costs such as insurance.
Accommodations-hotel/motel nearby, 61; camping on grounds, 71 yes, 2 no, 22 no response, nearby, 67.
Sanitary facilities, all; about 50 'primitive'; 15 'modern'; rest, no description.
It should be noted this quiz was made before the gas crunch of spring-summer 1979.
While the response does not include all shows, it should provide food for thought among the organizations, as to whether they are doing the top job possible. It is a matter for self-examination.
Preston Foster's letter was written on behalf of 'the exhibiting collector,' and made a number of points that should not be disregarded. Stemgas Publishing would be happy to hear from all on this, pro, con or otherwise.
Lutz and Land have sent copies of their findings to all the groups that responded and appreciate comments. They may try again if they still feel there is a need for a listing of the kind they considered.