DAYS OF YESTERYEAR DEPICTED AT ROCHESTER


| July/August 1996



Tractor

Tractor and binder used to cut oats during the show.

2004 48th St. N.E. Rochester, Minnesota 55906

If I had a scrub board and homemade soap, I would do all our laundry,' Andrew told his mother. Then he added, 'Except when it's below zero.' Nine year-old Andrew had just finished with his turn washing clothes. Nearby, four year old Ben and ten-year-old Colleen took turns as they turned the handle on a glass churn. It took them only ten minutes to turn heavy whipping cream into butter. This wasn't a new type of school. It was the Mechanical History and Threshing Show at Rochester, Minnesota, where there's plenty for everyone to see and do. Other hands-on experiences included shelling corn with a small hand shelter, and then grinding corn into meal. When the children had finished their 'chores,' there was time for old-fashioned games.

The saw mill was a favorite attraction for the spectators watching huge logs become usable lumber. Saw milling was hard work for those who ran the mills in the early 1900s. However, for this two day show, all the workers did it cheerfully. Modern-day gloves and hearing protection certainly added to their comfort.

Gas engine buffs brought their prized engines. Some were being used to depict how they were used on labor saving jobs in the early part of the century. There were gas engines on washing machines, corn shelters, and grinders. Of course, the rock crusher, water pump, paddle elevator, and drag saw were also powered by gas engines.

The blacksmith had one of the hottest jobs. It was also one of the hottest attractions. He fashioned horseshoes from raw material.

A Parade of Power was held each day. The announcer told about each tractor, truck, or car as it was driven past the reviewing stand. The crowd was impressed with the restoration jobs some had done. The parade included an antique road roller, as well as some unusual homemade tractors.