Jacksonville Show

BIGGER AND BETTER


| January/February 1991



608 East Broadway, P.O. Box 291, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.

Last September I attended the Jacksonville, Illinois Steam and Gas Engine Show. I had not attended this show for the past four or five years and found it to be bigger and better than ever.

Two new buildings have been added and now the 150 HP Primm is inside and has another old Primm to keep it company, however it is much smaller but older. The 1924 Primm has a weight of about 22 tons, has a bore and stroke of 22 x 24 inches. The 150 HP is said to be the only one of its kind still with us today; all the others have made their way to the scrap yard. Near the two Primms is a 50 HP F-M that is restored and running. This one is started a few times a day during the show and runs like a top. In another corner of the building is a Corliss and generator that with some TLC will make a fine exhibit someday. Near one of the big doors is an old Kewanee boiler waiting to someday furnish steam and life to the Corliss and a steam compressor near it.

The old sawmill now has a roof over it and was turning logs into lumber during the show. This year a 22 HP Rumely was providing the power for the mill. The two head block mill has no refinements of a modern mill. The logs are rolled by hand and the slabs are carried to the slab pile by a strong back and two good feet. The most relaxed people at the mill are people like me that sit on the bench and watch the mill and the crew work, as well as listen to the engine bark as the saw passes through the logs.

A short distance from the sawmill, the model American Crown locomotive and its two cars were making trips around the track taking people on rides. On the area inside the tracks a threshing machine was doing its job, powered by an Aultman-Taylor tractor dating back to a little after World War I. Nearby was a stationary baler binding up the straw. The baler was built in Bellevue, Illinois years ago. I do not know its date in time but, for sure, it was many years ago. I had never seen one like it. Most of the stationary balers around here are Dain, built in Ottumwa, Iowa. The Dain was the forerunner of the John Deere hay equipment division there. The Dain baler came with an R and V engine on it.

My next stop was the gas engine area, where I did a good bit of looking and visiting. At the gas engine area is a new building that will house small antiques in the future.