3 Washington St. Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
Dublin is a lovely, picture-postcard New England town nestled in the hills of southern New Hampshire. It is also the site of the annual Granite State Gas and Steam Engine Association Show that is held each year, the first weekend after Labor Day. A quiet little show for this quiet little New England town? Heck, no! The 1986 show featured 14 acres of machinery with 402 exhibitors.
Originally held on Dublin's Common, the show did have modest beginnings 15 years ago. For all you non-New Englanders, the Common is the town's park, usually located in the heart of town. The first show sported a hefty ten exhibitors. It has obviously outgrown the Common and now meets in a huge field east of town.
For all its 15 years the Dublin show has been sponsored and hosted by the Dublin Fire Department. Jackie Corkins, editor of the Granite State Exhaust, gives much credit to the Dublin Fire Department. She says, 'When we first started using the field we use now, it was sandy and dusty. The fire department used money earned from the shows to improve the field, buying fertilizer and special grass. They built a foodstand, too. It's now a very pleasant show site.'
September 6 & 7, 1986 brought mostly good weather and lots of show-goers. If you passed by the east end of field, you might have heard Ernest Hallowell of Augusta, Maine bending the ears of an interested group of folks.
'Most of the people that come around to these shows and look at these machines don't know their real meaning. These first internal combustion engines came onto the scene about the turn of the century. Before that everything on the farm had been done by horses. These machines changed everything!'
As one rapt listener commented, 'If only they could talk...' Mr. Hallo-well's reply was, 'What a story they'd tell.'
Part of the story that these engines tell now is of the hard work and devoted care expended in turning piles of forgotten iron into beautiful, smooth-running machines like those pictured in these pages.
Another part of the story is of the hours spent in creating models. Mr. Hallowell is shown in a photo in this article with his ? scale model of an 1897 8 HP Callahan Sideshaft Engine.
He says, 'It took me more than 350 hours to build that model. You see how the sideshaft stops when it goes up on the governor? This was an experiment in engine-making. There are only three makes of engine that have that feature.'
The antique engine story today is also one of lively shows with friendly people, terrific food, the buying, selling and swapping of engines, and lots of fun.
Anyone with questions about the Dublin show or New Hampshire's other two shows at Dunstable and Lebanon, should contact Russell W. Hobby, 53 Summer Street, Laconia, New Hampshire 03246.