John Pankratz with one of his cord wood splitters.
Show visitors seem to get a great deal of fun collecting souvenirs from the wood cutting exhibit and exhibitors delight in giving them out. Consequently, wood cutting is one of the most popular areas at the show.
At the Butterfield, Minnesota Show last year the big saw mill, powered by steam & gas, ripped its way through huge logs. Then show-goers saw this lumber turned into all sorts of things. A shingle mill cut shingles, a lath mill turned wood into laths, and an antique planer showed how ingenious the early craftsmen were.
Cord wood splitting was made easier in the early days by homemade devices which used auto and tractor parts. John Pankratz has a fine collection of early cord wood splitters and he was there demonstrating the gas engine's welcome alternative to the axe.
Courtest of Bill Paulson, Butterfield Advocate, Butterfield, Minnesota 56120