A Show in the Snow?

| July/August 1990

  • Antique Tractor

  • Allison Sheardy
    This photograph, taken in January 1989, shows then two-year-old Allison Sheardy of Hazleton, Pennsylvania sitting on a 1939 John Deere H tractor owned by her grandfather, Donald C. Upham of Northampton, Massachusetts.

  • Antique Tractor
  • Allison Sheardy

P.O. Box 82 Armstrong, Illinois 61812

Ever get tired of the summer heat, dust, and wind at the antique shows? Well, try having a show in the winter! For over 10 years now, the members of the I & I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club have been having winter shows in local shopping malls. These exhibits are getting more popular every year, with people traveling from over 100 miles away to see the exhibits as well as to shop.

We originally started with one show in the Village Mall Shopping Center in Danville, Illinois, and after several years expanded to a second show in the Market Place Shopping Center in Champaign, Illinois. Two exhibits allow us more exposure to the public, as well as allowing members from different parts of the area to participate without having to travel as far with their equipment.

These exhibits are also an excellent way to promote summer events, such as the Historic Farm Days show we are involved in at the Middlefork River Forest Preserve near Penfield, Illinois July 14-15, 1990 featuring International Harvester and McCormick-Deering products.

The centerpiece in our Market Place Show this year was the fine half-scale equipment of Russell Helms of Newman, Illinois. His Advance Rumely steam engine, Keck-Gonnerman thresher, and Ann Arbor baler were set up in the Center Court area of the mall making a nice threshing exhibit in a small area. We also had 47 tractors, 10 gas engines, one corn planter and an excellent display of antique wrenches and tools.

We have had excellent response from the management and merchants at both malls, and the management at Market Place told us that the weekend of our exhibit has the second largest crowd of the year (next to Christmas). It may seem like a lot of trouble to go out in the cold and haul the equipment around, but the resulting exposure and publicity far outweigh the difficulties.


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