An Island Engine Show

By Staff
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The club's logo appeared in the plaque that was given to exhibitors.
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7 HP Abenaque and 2 HP Titan belonging to Dan McClure. Early tall-base 6 HP Famous tank-cooled shown by Terry Spencer.
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15 HP Superior belonging to Robert Cagas was the largest engine displayed.

Box 1844 Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

How many engine shows have been held on an island? The island of
Martha’s Vineyard, 7 miles offshore from Cape Cod, was treated
to the first antique engine, vehicle and equipment show in its
history on October 15 and 16, 1988. Sponsored by the Martha’s
Vineyard Agricultural Society and organized by the Martha’s
Vineyard Antique Power Association, the show was held on the
society’s fairgrounds in the farming community of West
Tisbury.

Exhibitors coming from off-island took a 45-minute ferry ride
each way which required reservations in advance, but despite the
extra travel time, off-island exhibitors outnumbered islanders’
displays. Perfect fall weather guaranteed a fine time, but nobody
in our small group of Vine yard engine enthusiasts anticipated the
show’s success: 100 engines, 10 vehicles, 8 tractors, five
model engines, 3 motorbikes and several bicycles were exhibited,
and both days brought hundreds of curious spectators to the
show.

Leonard Athearn’s 2 HP Meitz & Weiss, which has been in
his family on the island since the turn of the century, was the
oldest engine; a 1 HP IHC Titan Jr. was the smallest, and a 15 HP
Superior trailered over to the island by Robert Cagas was the
largest engine on display. Harold Rogers, the island’s first
collector, showed several engines-all good runners in unrestored
condition-that he had found on the Vineyard over the years. His 6
HP disk-flywheel Economy originally earned its keep powering a
carpentry shop.

Other unusual engines displayed were: 7 HP Abenaque hopper
cooled, early tall-base 6 HP Famous, 6 HP Foos Type S hopper
cooled, 6 HP Robertsonville, 4? HP Olds Gas Power Co., 6 HP Fuller
& Johnson, 3 HP Galloway, 2? HP Titan, and several one
cylinder, 2 cycle marine engines including Albert Lindley’s 4
HP Acadia installed in an 18 foot fishing dory.

Stanley Clem brought a 36′ factory steam whistle which he
had never heard blow; thanks to Dale McClure’s portable
compressor, the whistle hooted for all the town to hear and
reminded us islanders of the whistles on the steam-powered ferries
of our youth.

Many spectators said that the show reminded them of a time when
life was simpler and slower-paced, and all agreed that those
reminders are good for us all.

The second annual Martha’s Vine yard Agricultural Society
show is planned for October 14 and 15, 1989. Mark your
calendars!

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