Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show

By Staff
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Dale Nickerson's 'Ripley Rumsey', ca. 1905.
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Emery Maskier (right, on machine) and his St. Joseph veneer mill.
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'Clark & Norton Mfg. Co.' 15 HP. Owner, Bruce Lawson.
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Tractor row at 1991 Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show.

934 Shadyside Road Jamestown, New York 14701

The 17th annual Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show was
held August 17 and 18, 1991 at Dart Airport, Hartfield, New York,
home of the show since 1987. The show included well over 100 gas
engines, from half horsepower washing machine engines to 16
horsepower oil field toilers. There were over two dozen tractors,
ranging from the 1918 Titan owned by Clint Meeder to Al
Decamp’s 1963 Allis-Chalmers.

The theme of the show this year was: ‘Proudly Made in New
York State’. Owners such as Bruce Swanson and Dale Nickerson
were particularly proud of two extremely rare engines made in
nearby Ripley, New York: a simple, small A. Huntington from the
second decade of this century, and an elegant industrial Rumsey
made a few years earlier on the same site. The Rumsey employs an
unusual, perhaps unique Geneva escapement. in the ignitor
linkage.

The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Model Engine Club, sister
organization to the sponsoring Chautauqua County Antique Equipment
Association, contributed most of the 30 or more models, toys, and
curiosities both in a special tent and scattered among the rows of
full sized equipment.  

Although it is not a New York made item, the Association
pictured a 1907 International Auto Buggy on its advertising button
and featured it in its advertising. This horseless carriage has
been a favorite at the show since 1982 and is well known in western
New York. It has even appeared in a major Hollywood film. Fifteen
or twenty, other antique cars also were on the grounds.

The show included a special section for large wood industry
equipment. This proved very popular. The equipment was
demonstrating almost continuously. There was a portable and
stationary drag saw display by Ernest Miller and Richard Wise
respectively. Emery Masiker peeled off great lengths of cherry
veneer with his early 1930s St. Joseph veneer mill, while his wife
Sandy made veneer baskets. Jerry Jahreis made hemlock shingles with
his 1898 Lyons shingle mill. Spectators could then take these to
Mitch Fitzgibbon’s blacksmith booth and have them branded as a
free show souvenir.

This was Fitzgibbon’s second year at the show demonstrating
the sometimes brute and sometimes delicate artistic skills of this
ancient trade. In addition to blacksmiching and basket making, the
craft line up included a log hewing demonstration by Norman
Carlson.  

The oldest piece of equipment on the grounds was an 1863 corn
sheller shown by Dale Henry of Stevensville, Ontario, followed
closely by a small steam engine, run here by compressed air, owned
by club president Daniel Minor.

A unique and now regular feature of the show is the antique
radio display provided by Chris Fandt. He had about 20 pieces of
equipment, mostly battery era receivers of the early and mid
’20s. Some of these had cases made by Chautauqua County
furniture firms. Fandt also showed a 1949 television receiver and a
giant transmitter tube.

There were numerous specialty displays. Ward Smith showed a
dairy theme built around the Anderson milker manufactured in
Randolph, New York. This year he had a locally made Fenner churn
and a Buffalo made Economy King cream separator, and the
sweethearts of the show, his papiermache life size cow and his
mannequin dairy maid. Richard Gasper displayed conventional and
novelty wind powered devices including a windmill on a tall
telescoping tower. Harold Carlson had a carefully prepared hand
tool display including Jamestown, New York tools. Craig Stoll had
four gigantic factory and ship steam whistles. Gary Taylor brought
several early ‘heavy devil’ chain saws. Displays of early
mechanically oriented toys, washing machines, and spark plugs were
among the other entries. Garden tractors, lawn mowers, and home
built vehicles from go carts to log skidders also appeared. A magic
faucet pouring water out of thin air added mystery and humor.
 

Rev. Bruce Swanson (United Methodist) conducted a worship
service Sunday morning. Smith and Taylor conducted tractor parades.
A local historical society provided snack foods and the Hartfield
Fire Department brought in barbecued chicken. Buffalo public
television station WNED/WNEQ produced an 11 minute documentary from
Sunday’s show.

The 1992 Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show is scheduled
for the same location, at the head of Chautauqua Lake in
southwestern New York, August 15 and 16. This year’s themes
will again be ‘Made in New York,’ plus ‘Silver King
Tractors.’

1992 officers include Barbara Wise, president (716) 988-3616,
Norman Carlson, Vice president &. Publicity (716) 483-0134, and
Ward Smith, Secretary (716) 267-3033.

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