By Staff
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Some of the Allis Chalmers tractors in the special display at Rough & Tumble
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International Harvester 1-12 industrial tractor is shown in the parade at last summer's Rough & Tumble Reunion. Driver is A. Kissell and photo was taken by Helga Herglotz Kissell.

c/o Rough & Tumble, Box 9, Kinzers, PA 17535

The Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association at
Kinzers, Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, held their 37th Old
Threshermen’s Reunion this year from Wednesday, August 21
through Saturday, August 24. Traditionally the show ends on
Saturday so that Sunday can be a day of rest.

This show has been referred to, at one time or another, as
‘one of the oldest steam and gas engine shows’, as ‘one
of the largest steam and gas shows in the East’, and as
‘the most complete steam and gas show east of the
Mississippi’. The 1985 show could be described by all these

The show included a wide variety of items and something for the
old and the young, the men, women, and children, the rural and the
urban people, the local people, and people from foreign countries.
This year’s show included models (about 57 exhibitors displayed
a wide variety of models), antique and classic wheel tractors,
crawler tractors, garden tractors (with over 145 tractors), steam
traction engines, portable steam engines, steam roller, steam crane
(with over 25 steam type engines), portable gas engines (over 372
gas engines, up from 335 last year), stationary steam engines,
large and small, and large stationary gas engines. Other features
included a live steam railroad for children, shay type steam
railroad for passenger service, complete saw mill with steam or
tractor power, shingle mill, stone crusher, threshing machines,
horse drawn equipment, hand tool displays, household tools and
equipment display. Craftsmen demonstrated blacksmithing, weaving,
spinning and door mat making and shoppers patronized the flea
market. This is a partial list of the displays at this year’s
show, but there was much more going on.

Food was available around the grounds, served by R & T
Ladies’ Auxiliary, the local fire company, milk producers and
several other vendors. Twice each day different lectures on R &
T artifacts were given in the ‘Country Store’ tent where
there were displays of household items and artifacts. The
office/gift shop at the main gate was busy selling R & T
related gifts and memberships. Nearby the information building sold
books and magazines related to the show and served as the first-aid

Early each afternoon, at 1 p.m., a special demonstration called
‘The Pageant of Threshing’ showed small grain threshing
from the time of the flail to the end of the threshing machine era.
Several sources of power were used, including a treadmill, a
four-horse sweep, a steam traction engine, and a kerosene-burning
tractor (Rumely).

Later each afternoon, about 3:45 p.m., a parade called ‘The
Parade of Power’ was held on the old tractor pull track, with
filled bleachers and many people standing on each side. The parade
announcers told a little about each participant as they passed by.
It included everything from oxen to garden tractors and even a
‘kitchen band’ by the ladies.

This is the fourth year that a special display has been set up
featuring a certain major line of tractors and farm machinery. The
companies which now comprise the Allis Chalmers line were featured.
In previous years International Harvester (1982), John Deere
(1983), and Case (1984) were displayed. In 1986, the Oliver branch
of the White Farm Equipment will be featured. Another special
display is planned for 1986 which is a special gasoline engine
display featuring the New Holland engine. Several large panoramic
photos were taken showing all the gasoline-powered equipment and
showing all the steam powered equipment.

Each evening a program was held. There was a threshing
demonstration and fiddling performance on Wednesday, square dancing
on Thursday, steam engine and gas tractor games on Friday, and a
hymn sing-along on Saturday. After a little rain on Wednesday
morning, the next three days of the show were blessed with
beautiful weather. Approximately 14,000 paying visitors attended,
not including all the hard-working members and exhibitors who made
this show possible. A survey taken by use of a questionnaire showed
that 99.4% of the people would attend again.

Next year’s reunion is planned for the third full weekend in
August which makes it a little earlier than usual. Activities for
1986 start with Spring Picture Night on May 9, with Spring Steam-Up
May 9 & 10. The Annual Reunion will be August 13 through 16,
and Fall Picture Night and Show will be October 10, 11.

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