Lake Parsippany, New Jersey and Doug Tilton 1 Village Rd.
Morganville, New Jersey 07751
The Delaware Valley Old Time Power and Equipment Association
Inc., held its thirteenth annual ‘Days of the Past’ show on
September 16 & 17, 1990 in Titusville, N.J.
Since the last show report appeared in GEM, several years ago,
many changes have taken place.
In the beginning the Delaware Valley organization was allowed to
use a small tract of land belonging to the Washington Crossing
State Park. After several years we successfully outgrew this site
and attempted to locate larger grounds to house our needs.
At that point, having learned of our needs, the parks system
offered us a 15 acre tract of land with a building. For the past
four years we have been operating on this new site, and as each
year passes the club has been finding better ways to present to the
public an interesting and fun show that will hopefully encourage
both exhibitors and spectators to return for future shows.
Currently the Delaware Valley Old Time Power and Equipment
Association has a membership list of over 200 members. Prior to our
relocation, our membership list was roughly half of what it is
This may not seem to many to be an astonishing number of
members, but in our case most memberships are processed at
showtime. However, since our club moved its show four years ago, we
have had rain interfere with each and every show causing a major
decrease in exhibitor and spectator participation.
On the first morning of our 1990 show a thunderstorm passed
through and knocked out the electricity. When the kitchen opened at
7 a.m. for breakfast we could only offer instant decaffeinated
coffee and tea to exhibitors who showed up on Friday and stayed
over on the grounds.
In spite of the storm, our kitchen crew still managed to do a
fantastic job of offering a hearty bacon and egg breakfast,
including fresh baked blueberry muffins, but by 9:00 a.m. with the
storm now behind us, we were up and running with two nice days
ahead of us. Finally!!
The exhibits that were on hand for the 1990 show were as unique
and diverse as ones found at the larger and longer running shows in
other regions of the country. There was a little bit of almost
The steam display was represented by a 1913 8 x 10 Frick
traction engine owned by Mr. Coles Roberts of Vincentown, New
Jersey. Mr. Roberts is curator for the New Jersey Agriculture
The second offering was a beautiful custom built half scale, 65
HP Case traction engine that was built and operated by Mr. Cliff
Foster of Sagaponack, New York.
Both of these units were kept busy powering different machines
in our woodworking displays. Coles Roberts’ Frick was used to
power an 1890’s, 54′ Lane saw mill. This was the first show
the mill was in operation.
Cliff Foster’s ? scale Case provided power to the club’s
shingle mill, and later powered a buck saw to cut up the slab wood
from the saw mill.
The gas tractor display last year had over 52 participating
units, the largest one being a 1921 25-50 Avery tractor purchased
two years ago by the club from Mr. Leroy Walker of Glen Rock,
The other makes on display were different IH models, both
Farmall and McCornick Deering, styled and unstyled John Deeres,
Allis Chalmers (both wheel and track type), Oliver, Cockshutt,
Caterpillar, Ford, Silver King and Avery Rotrack and a cross motor
The club’s threshing display was slightly hampered by the
wheat getting damp from the Saturday morning storm (and a revised
belt on the McCormick thresher) but in spite of these problems, the
25-50 Avery belted to the thresher did make for an impressive
The gas engines on display were also diverse, ranging from hand
built models to a Bovaird and Seyfang oil field engine, displayed
by the Huber family of Titusville, New Jersey.
It has only been in the past few years, since the move, that the
club has been able to provide space to the different flea market
dealers and engine related vendors that traditionally associate
themselves with engine shows. Should the weather continue to
cooperate, we soon expect to have a nice complement of these
dealers on hand.
The number of dealers last year was limited, but those who did
set up in the flea market presented a nice mix of antiques,
memorabilia, engine and tractor parts, farm toys and older
agricultural related literature, including owner manuals for
different makes and types of farm equipment.
Antique cars and trucks made a nice turnout, adding variety to
the different exhibits this year. One vehicle in particular reigned
supreme as being a total eye catcher-a 1939 BX Mack truck, owned
and restored by Tom Spencer of Warren, New Jersey. The truck
featured a Riggers body, vertical head winch, and a complete
display of restored house and equipment jacks, ropes, pulley blocks
and hand tools that were associated with the heavy hauling and
rigging industry. To complement this unit Tom exhibits his 1915 6
HP Domestic side shaft engine complete with a Stroudsburg winch,
skid mounted on the truck body.
On Sundays for the past six years, the show has had garden
tractor pulls. These have been quite popular; even though the pulls
were for fun, you just can’t help wanting to join in and
compete for the trophy in the different classes that were set up by
the garden tractor committee.
One of the newer items of interest has been the museum display.
This was something that a few members started two years ago in the
main building. It was an instant success, so much that it
practically doubled in size this past year. Based on comments from
the spectators, we are expecting the exhibit to continue to grow
from year to year.
The display is truly by Webster’s definition a
‘potpourri’ of antique housewares, industrial and
agricultural hand tools, and memorabilia of rural America. The
display spanned a time period from the 1880’s to the
1950’s, and is truly a must see item. Many of us feel it is one
of the club’s proudest accomplishments.
At the end of each day the club would have its daily parade and
as the parade would pass the headquarters building and the
announcer would call out to the audience what was passing by, an
interesting observation was made: there were several unique and one
of a kind items being displayed this year.
The first one was a 1938 Planet Jr. tractor. The tractor
currently is owned by the New Jersey Agricultural Museum, but was
originally built in the Delaware Valley area about 30 miles south
of the show grounds in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the S.L. Allen
Company. The tractor is believed to have been an experimental
There was a fire truck at the show that was custom built in 1930
by the city of Trenton’s fire department. The truck was the
first of three identical units built and the last one known to be
operational. When Trenton Fire Department started to build the
truck, they began work with a Mack chassis. Having Tom
Spencer’s BX Mack and this pumper on exhibit, they stood as
silent representatives of the Mack Truck Company.
It is interesting to note that aside from Titusville being a
rural community, neighboring the city of Trenton, the Mack Truck
Company had historical roots going back to 1912 in New Jersey in
the towns of Plainfield, Newark and New Brunswick.
The club for the last three years has had on display a
Butterworth thresher. This unit was said to be a unique piece of
equipment do to the fact the Butter-worth had the ability to bundle
the straw after it was threshed and tie it into sheaves. This unit
was also built in Trenton by the New Jersey Agricultural Works.
The Frick Company, which built Coles Roberts’ traction
engine, in the early 1900’s, had a dealership in the city of
One of the tractors that appeared in the daily parade was a
Cockshutt 50. Although the unit was manufactured in Canada, it was
originally sold in New Jersey by the only Cockshutt dealer in the
state, Roy S. Tilton &. Sons, Marlboro, New Jersey.
When the 1990 Delaware Valley Show came to an end on Sunday
evening, it could have been reflected on as a milepost in the
club’s history, as this year more than ever the show did more
to rely on the heritage of New Jersey and the Delaware Valley to
provide several historically oriented items for the public’s
interest in an extremely historical location.
Please plan to attend the 1991 show on September 21 and 22. Help
us make a little history of our own by putting together another
historical show in the heart of an historical area-Titusville, New
Jersey, the Garden State..