A Brief Word

| July/August 2001

Fowler Line-Drive Tractor

Our long planned trip to Australia and New Zealand is now a memory, but a very pleasant one! Back on February 20th, our group of 36 assembled at LAX for that long flight (14 hours) to Sydney. The seats are squeezed up pretty tight in those big 747s, and one can't help but make the comparison to a load of cattle crowded into a semitrailer. All that aside, we had good flights and reasonably good service while in the air.

Our group consisted of folks from Alaska to Florida and Pennsylvania to California.

Starting the Big 4 tractor (Built by Emerson-Brantingham) at Pioneer Park Museum. After a couple of tries the huge engine took off, and idled very nicely. We know of at least one other Big 4 in Australia, and there might be more.

This Fowler Line-Drive tractor from England is very rare. The folks at Pioneer Park Museum started it and put on a demonstration. We'd guess though, that driving one of these tractors all day in the field would have been pretty tiring.

An unscheduled highlight of our tour was the Lake Goldsmith Machinery Society, with hundreds of engines and tractors in many different buildings. Olive Landefeld of Pittsburgh, collects oil cans. One of the guys gave her a very nice Australian-made oil can. Olive cared for this treasure like a piece of fine jewelry.

At Sovereign Hill there is a fair sized little town with restaurants, shops, and of course a pub. Ye olde Reflector is on the left, with Tom Ewald of Wisconsin on the right. After this photo in the pub we adjourned next door to a wonderful restaurant for lunch.