In the heart of the oil country in central southeastern Illinois you will find the beautiful village of Oblong: the only Oblong in the world!
In the Oblong area there are several collectors of antique tractors and engines, many of whom have attended antique tractor and engine shows 'ever since they were knee-high to a grasshopper'. Six years ago there began talk of having an antique tractor and engine show in Oblong. After informal discussion, some desire for organization emerged. Two different fall Saturdays, the Shields brothers invited other collectors to 'bring your toys to our house and play'. From those 'playdays' came the organizational meeting on December 15, 1986. We had close to 100 charter members. Phil Boyd was elected president and has lead us through four growing years.
The second weekend in August was selected as the show date because there was no other show nearby on that date. Our local Chamber of Commerce was very helpful by loaning us some money to pay advance advertisement and etc. The First National Bank had cardboard signs printed up so we could label our tractors and engines. The Crawford County Fair Board and the city lets us use the fairgrounds and the city park, adjacent to the Oilfield Museum. Our county radio station helped us a lot with advertising. At our fall fellowship sup-per, all of these received appreciation plaques. In a small town (1850) we all have to pull together!
Our very first show had over 100 engines and over 100 tractors! The toy show on Sunday drew a large crowd. The second year saw these numbers improve as they have every year since. We have purposely steered away from any judging and/or competition. It is strictly 'bring stuff and enjoy sharing it with the public and other collectors'.
The third year, the ladies 'got into the act' with a display of items from the home. The fourth year blacksmith Bob Smith joined us and was a fine addition to the show, as was his wife, Sandy, who made brooms. Our flea market is growing, but we still need more vendors and customers! Last year we had exhibitors from nine states. Association members are very appreciative of persons from other clubs who visit and exhibit their collectibles with us. The 1991 show, being our fifth show, is expanding to three days: August 9th, 10th and 11th. There will be musical entertainment (pickin' style!) on both Friday and Saturday night with church services Sunday morning.
Equipment you can expect to see exhibited includes: steam powered threshing, straw baling, rock crusher, shingle mill, cane mills, concrete mixer and block mold, ice crusher, corn grinder, burr mill, corn shelter, sawmill, a break, military pieces, antique firetrucks, brass radiator Model T Fords and a 100 HP Fairbanks-Morse engine!
One of the tractors regularly exhibited at the Oblong Show is the oldest John Deere in the state of Illinois (according to the Criswell list). It is a 1924, 26 inch, spoke flywheel and belongs to one of our members. Also present at last year's show was the oldest known (again according to Criswell's list) Waterloo Boy tractor along with the last Waterloo Boy known before the production of the 'D' John Deere began. For you 'green and yellow' fans, this did not happen even at Expo II in 1990!
Where can you see all these rare tractors at one show and enjoy good food, fun and fellowship? At the only Oblong!