Charlie Dickey's tractors are a familiar sight at the Portersville show. Foreground is an 1H 8-16 kerosene tractor, and in the rear is a model RC Case. Charlie is one of the club's directors and does most of the announcing.
R.D. 1,Box 149A Ellwood City, Pennsylvania 16117
Featuring steam powered threshing and sawmilling by the members and friends of the Northwest Pennsylvania Steam Engine and Old Equipment Association, the 29th annual exhibit was held at the club's show grounds at Portersville, Pa. Our feature brand this year was Case, and as usual, much of the work at the show was done by Case equipment.
Wendell Bintrim's 12-36 HP Case traction engine of 1911 ran the Case steel thresher owned by his son-in-law, Steve Brandon. The stationary baler, which makes those big 19 x 22 bales everyone loves to handle, is also Case, and belongs to Wendell's father-in-law, Harold Bupp. One of the oldest tractors in attendance was also Bupp's, an 18-32 Cross motor. It is one of the easiest starting and best running tractors we have seen. Bupp also had a new tractor in evidence this year, a DC industrial. It is a neat little close coupled machine which on close inspection appears to be nearly all motor and transmission. As usual, the club's Case model VAC, which mows our grass and acts as utility tractor, made many gallons of home made ice cream, which was sold by the Merle Bintrim family at that display. Several other newer model Case tractors added to the exhibit. We had hoped to round up a car or gas engine of Case manufacture, but were not successful at that. We did have 49 antique cars and trucks registered.
All features of the show ran well, including the sawmill and a new addition this year, in the form of a planer shown by Bill Krolopp of North Jackson, Ohio. The planer was spun by a returnee to the show-a 6-18 horse-power portable Russell steamer now owned by Bill Ferver of New Wilmington, Pa. The Russell was owned and displayed for many years by the late Marvin Mc George of Wampum, Pa., who was a founding member of the show group.
The 15 inch gauge railroad under the management of Chuck Burr and crew (mostly family) gave train rides to hundreds of children both young and old. The gas engine lot was packed with over 400 putting and banging engines of many makes, and the tractor lot was similarly loaded with some 135 registered entries. In fact, we are looking at some way to rearrange both of these areas to allow them more room.
And speaking of room, the flea market was expanded this year to 100 spaces, and they were all filled too. Due to weather and schedule problems, the clearing of the new property north of the parking lot was not done, but good use was made of the section that was available, and most of the rest has been cleared since the show.
I don't know if any other shows have the sort of dilemma that we do or not. Many of us thought we had hit our stride four or five years ago in terms of attendance and income, and yet each August when we count up after the show, we have set a new record. This happened again in '91. Our paid attendance was up about 800 souls, and since we had raised our gate price from $1.50 to $2.00 the income was up substantially. We got virtually no complaints from the public, since we are still one of the cheapest attractions around, especially compared to the county fairs. The main benefactors of the change though, were our gate handling committee and treasurer who were very happy not to have to handle all those thousands of quarters. So our dilemma is that we are still growing and prospering, but don't quite know why. As we continue to grow, some change is inevitable and we hope we don't discontinue what we are 'doing right'.
The photos were taken by our good friend, Fred Black of New Castle, Pa. He likes our show and indulges his photographic hobby there, which makes us very fortunate for two reasons. First, his work is of professional quality and second, most of us are too busy to shoot many photos at all.
We will all be back at Portersville, Pa. and will have our 30th show in 1992 featuring Rumely and Allis-Chalmers machinery. The dates will be July 30, 31 and August 1,2, 1992.