2337 SR 45 S., Salem, Ohio 44460-9456
An annual event famous throughout eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, the Mahoning County Agricultural Exposition is better known as the Canfield Fair as it is held at the fairgrounds on the southern edge of Can-field, Ohio. The fair always runs through Labor Day, beginning the Thursday before, and 1992 marked the 146th edition of the popular event.
A major attraction of the fair is the Antique Farm Equipment Pageant which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1992. The pageant was conceived in 1962 at a meeting between Fair Board Director Homer Schaeffer, and two members of the Tri-State Historical Steam Engine Association from near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These men, Paul F. Crow and C. R. Fullerton proposed to sponsor an antique farm equipment exhibit at the fair.
At the first show in 1963, Glen Fullerton displayed two steam engines and a threshing machine. Paul Crow brought a steam engine and power hay press, M. D. Fullerton a steam engine, and Frank Gormley another separator. Mr. Lewton exhibited a steam engine, while Mr. Cowen and Mr. Cron had a horse powered hay press. Everett Hartley hauled water for the engines with a team of horses and Dean Redd helped out where needed.
Of the original exhibitors, three are still active. They are Glen Fullerton of Florence, Pennsylvania, Dean Redd of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, and Everett Hartley of North Lima, Ohio. John Sell of Salem, Ohio, was one of the original group and the Sell family still exhibits his Frick traction engine and Banting Greyhound separator. The Sells represent four generations of involvement with the Antique Farm Equipment Pageant.
Three separators were used at the 1992 Pageant. A wood Aultman-Taylor machine owned by the Mike Duran family of Bulger, Pennsylvania, sported the 'starving rooster' logo which claimed that the machine didn't waste enough grain to feed a rooster. The other large thresher was an all steel Banting Greyhound machine, built in Toledo, Ohio, and owned by the Sell family. These two threshing machines were powered by a variety of steam traction engines and gas tractors during the five day event.
The third threshing rig was a 150 year old Groundhog thresher, owned by Homer Althouse of Salem, Ohio, and powered by an 1880's treadmill owned by Everett Hartley, and kept running by two mules. The threshed grain from the Groundhog was cleaned in a fanning mill.
Three balers were used to handle the straw. One was an Ann Arbor power press, one a John Deere horse powered press, and the last was a new addition to the Pageanta hand powered hay press built by the John A. Salzer Seed Company of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, under a Halzer-Mead patent. Two large hand cranks turned by two men, operated the plunger that compressed the straw into a bale.
Five steam traction engines were in attendance, along with a Buffalo-Springfield 12 ton steam road roller, a 1926 Keystone #4 steam skimmer shovel, and a 1905 Keystone steam drilling rig.
Two popular attractions were the Frick sawmill and the extensive oil field display put together by Shawn Watson. This display featured the steam drilling rig mentioned earlier, and a large hit and miss engine that ran several different pump jacks through iron rods. A Model T Ford oil tanker truck was part of this display.
About seventy gas or kerosene tractors, including two Moline Universals, a 22-40 Hart-Parr, a 1915 Avery 12-25, a 1920 Titan 10-20, three Rumely Oil Pulls, one of which was a rare 1913 one-cylinder model 15-30, and a huge, 1922 Aultman-Taylor 30-60.
Over forty gas engines were on hand running everything from water pumps, to light plants, to bone grinders.
The Mahoning County Agricultural Exposition was dedicated in 1847 to 'mutual interchange of experience in agriculture and a comparison and exhibition of the respective production of the farms of Mahoning County.' 146 years later, even though the fairground boasts 16 paved midways and more than 600 concession stands, the agricultural aspect is still the major emphasis of the fair.
The Antique Farm Equipment Pageant is an integral and important part of the Canfield Fair, and gets better each year. If you're near eastern Ohio this coming Labor Day weekend, stop and see us.