Northwest Ohio Antique Machinery Association's 26th Annual Show

Just half of the tractors

Just half of the tractors on display at the 1997 show.

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452 County Road 33 Bluff ton, Ohio 45817

Once more the sounds of days gone by echoed through the Old Mill Stream Fairgrounds in Findlay, Ohio for four days, July 31 though August 3.

The sounds of sawmilling, tractor pulls, threshing, and hit and miss engines were everywhere. We had the type of weather for the week that could only have been special-ordered.

There were ten steamers on display, with each taking their turn at the sawmill, thresher, and Baker fan. The smell and sounds of the steamers hinted at the memories of work and power and a by gone way of life that it's a shame we cannot all experience. The wail of the whistles were a reminder that we shouldn't underestimate their abilities to work, if they were to once more be called upon to pull the load, or work the fields, and retake their place as the king of power in the fields of America.

There were 360 gas tractors of a wide variety of brands (with an emphasis on Ohio built equipment), putting on a fine show while working under the load of the pulling sled and the shingle and sawmill. The parade of equipment on Saturday gave all the tractors and steamers the chance to show off their colors.

Some folks and their tractors entertained spectators with a tractor square dance. It's called just like any square dance, only the tractors were the focus of attention. What a sight, seeing the tractors moving in unison to the direction of the caller. It's also a testimonial to the folks who are behind the wheel and their abilities to maneuver the machines in such a manner.

The engine area was just bulging at the seams with over 545 engines on display shelling and grinding corn, pumping water, crushing pop cans. This year's feature engine was Briggs & Stratton, with many rare and unusual models on display. One trailer alone held 35 engines. With new quartz halogen lights, the engine area was lit up like day and spectators stayed to visit and admire the iron art of the past, long after dark had settled on other areas of the show. There were many neat and unusual items to be found for sale in the exhibit area. It's encouraging to bring along a little something to sell from your display area, or take to the Trading Post and consign.

And the ladies were not forgotten either, with one large building dedicated to the display, demonstration, and sales of all kinds of crafts. Classes were even going on for those who wanted to try their hand at making anything that caught their interest. There was a quilt and other items raffled off, too. And then, outside there were the largest number of flea markets in the Hancock County area. Everything from tools and jewelry to music and antiques were being offered for sale. You could spend a day on just the markets.

The Van Buren FFA put on a toy show and sale with every kind of toy tractor and piece of equipment available offered for sale or viewing. The toys make a wonderful item, to use in the house or shop, to bring color into and liven up your life. Thanks for the wonderful addition to our show, guys!

And talk about food! There was so much to sample it wasn't possible to try it all in the four days of the show. Everything from cotton candy to lemonade, and homemade ice cream made in the old style churns driven by old gas engines. Full breakfasts and meals were also being served. All the fair-type foods were available, as well.

All four days of the show there was a variety of musical entertainment pro vided for everyone to enjoy. Kiddie pulls and kiddie trains kept the youngsters out of trouble. And, if you didn't want to walk all the way from one side of the park to the other, the shuttles were on the go being pulled by antique tractors and teams of horses.

Next year's show feature will be Massey-Harris tractors and engines and all related equipment. Mark your Steam and Gas Show Directory, plan to attend and enjoy the week. The 1998 show date is July 30-31 and August 1-2.

All those involved in organizing and operating the show wish to thank everyone who makes the continued existence of this event possible. Without everyone's cooperation, hard work and dedication to the hobby, we couldn't have the fun we all enjoy.