Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show

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Dale Nickerson's Olin.
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Dale Nickerson's 6 HP Ripley Rumsey.
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Bruce Lawson's circa 1900 12 HP Bessemer half-breed will be at the 1989 Chautauqua show.
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30 HP Bovaird & Seyfang, owned by Jack Stacey.
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Bessemer 30 HP and owner George Johnson.
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1907 International auto buggy being prepared for show.

R. D. #4, Box 463, Jamestown, New York 14701

The idea for the Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show was
born one morning in 1975 over a cup of coffee. The instigators were
two partners in a countertop installation business and their
insurance agent. The evening of the same day, these men were on the
phone and on the road organizing the first show. That show
consisted of six or seven tractors, 25 or 30 engines, a tremendous
downpour of rain, and sparse attendance.

The second year was far more successful.

Our 15th show, August 19 and 20, will be our third at the
present location, Dart Airport, Hartfield, New York. Here we have a
backdrop of small planes taking off and landing. Bob Dart also has
a museum of aircraft engines, radios, propellers- some locally
made-and many other items including the largest engine in terms of
horse power many of us have ever seen, a 2,500 HP double
radial!

Another feature setting our show apart is the antique radio
display. These are old battery sets, really old, averaging nearly
70 years, some experimental, some early commercial, and all in
beautiful shape. Some of the cabinets were made by local furniture
firms.

In recent years our show has been strong in antique cars. Part
of Sunday of last year’s show we had more than twice as many
cars as we had tractors. We usually have one, sometimes two,
International Auto Buggies on the grounds for pictures and
rides.

Our part of the country, near the historic Pennsylvania oil
fields, is fortunate to have a supply of oil field engines both two
and four stroke, many with hot tube ignitions and cross head
design.

We draw exhibitors from as far as Ohio and Ontario and we
usually have about 100 engines (ranging up to 40 HP) and one to two
dozen tractors. We had two steam traction engines at early shows
and in recent years we have a small stationary engine and boiler
mounted on a cart.

Some of our unusual engines have included a 1905 Neverstop, and
an 1898 Dixie drag saw in our early years. In more recent years our
current president, Dale Nickerson, has restored and displayed a
Rumsey, manufactured around 1905 in Ripley, Chautauqua County, New
York. Last year he restored a five horse power DuBois. The DuBois,
manufactured in the northwestern Pennsylvania city of the same
name, is the only known example of that size and the second known
example of that make.

Another feature of last year’s show was Ward Smith’s
display of the Anderson milker. He had two models of pump along
with a milker unit and pail from this defunct local manufacturer.
He had consulted a former engineer from the firm and assembled an
interesting history.

Although our contingent of tractors is not large, it has
variety. We always have well conducted and narrated parades and
some special displays such as slow races or the riderless circling
of Richard Wise’s Titan.

Other past and present features of our show include a sawmill,
shingle mill, scale model display by our sister club the Chautauqua
/Cattaraugus Model Engine Club, log hewing, and elaborate model
railroad display, and the ‘magic faucet’ that hangs on a
thread and runs a full stream of water all day. We have had
threshing, stone milling, and a one horse treadmill. Last year we
had a veneer mill. A young woman made cheese boxes from the veneer
employing machinery salvaged from a local factory.

In the past we have included vendors, but now we are set up
tight against a flea market larger than our own show grounds. Parts
dealers can join the general flea market and family members who
tire of engines can wander and spend the whole two days hunting
treasure.

Our show is on a highway not far from the New York Thruway in a
major tourist area. We are only a mile from Chautauqua Lake which
has both a paddle wheel steamboat and a meticulously authentic 16th
century merchant sailing ship. Our area also has world famous
Chautauqua Institution, numerous historical and railroad museums,
six wineries, and many quaint bed and breakfast places and craft
outlets.

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