A Blending of the Ages at Rosebud

By Staff
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4063 Hwy. C Gerald, Missouri 63037

Farm machines of yesteryear
And the niche they carved in America,
Displayed and demonstrated
By the men who so dearly love them,
From elephantine, stalwart, sibilant,
Almost-alive steam engines
To the generations of farm tractors
And down to the tiny
Wash machine gasoline engine,
Are fascinating.

Children and many middle-age people of today have never seen
farm life as many of us who are 65 and over have experienced. Back
then, the tractor was just starting to obtain a decent toehold in
replacing the faithful horse and mule. Some may argue that the
replacement effort was never one hundred percent satisfied. There
are jobs on small farms and forests where the horse or mule still
excel especially in the hearts of those who have an incurable love
affair with their animals.

As mentioned above, a smoulderingfired steam traction engine
almost seems to be alive; its wispily smoking stack and
‘breathing’ of steam are there, even when the pulley and
wheels are at rest. I believe that this is why they too, as the
animals, are so lovingly respected and nursed by their owners and
admired by, nearly all of us. You can’t ignore them; they need
tender, loving care.

The early internal combustion tractors made life easier on the
farm, due to their maneuverability and almost instant starting
capability at least, some of the time. The tractors we oldsters saw
as kids were a far cry from those of today. In a chronological
line-up as displayed at the Owensville Threshers Association 1994
show at nearby Rosebud, Missouri, held July 15-17, 1994, we see not
just a collection of venerable machines, but, in reality,
mechanical pages of a rural American history book. A chat with
their owners or knowledgeable enthusiasts fills those pages with a
grand historical text, progressing through the decades of
yesteryear. Shows such as this enable oldsters, experts and parents
to blend these mechanical pages into the store of knowledge and
appreciation already developing in the minds of thoughtful
middle-agers and youngsters. While the youngsters are gleefully
watching and listening to those fascinating ‘hit and miss’
gas engines’ unhurried ‘putt. . . ch-ch-ch … putt,’
an oldster comes up to the pavilion -and begins to reminisce about
the days of his youth when, instead of merely being an idling
curiosity, those great old engines were the main source of
reliable, economical power for sawing wood, grinding teed, baling
hay and for other jobs that now are being done by tractors and/or
electric motors. Right there, you have another page for that
mechanical history book; the same could be said for those who
curiously watch and those who reminiscently explain the action of
wheat threshing, lumber sawing and competitive tractor pulls. This
friendly interaction has a two-fold benefit; it provides knowledge
to inquisitive youngsters and middle-agers, while giving oldsters
an outlet to relate memories of yesteryear. Yes, shows like the 32
nd anniversary of Owensville Threshers Association truly provide
great opportunity for a blending of the ages.

For an account of the history and objectives of the Association,
see the accompanying message by its President, Jesse Smith of
Leslie, Missouri. Thank you. God Bless.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines