Power of the Past continues to grow in size

| February 2008

When it began in 1995, the Power of the Past Antique Tractor and Engine Show in Ottawa, Kan., was small, to say the least. The number of tractors and gas engines at the show in those early days was barely enough to fill a baseball diamond.

But considering Ottawa's place in gas engine history as the home of Warner Mfg. Co. until the 1950s, it was only a matter of time before old iron enthusiasts started recognizing Power of the Past as a show worth attending.

"The tractors bring the people but we've been trying to show people that this is a good show for gas, too," says Alan Stark, who's been attending the show for several years. "It's really grown the last five years."

Now, the gas engines have outgrown the baseball diamond in Forest Park and are now situated in a spacious grove of trees next to the tractors. "It's a beautiful park," says Alan. "We love it here - they treat us very well."

And while the show is getting bigger year to year, it has still managed to maintain the intimate appeal that collectors like Alan appreciate. "We're a close knit family here," says Alan of his fellow exhibitors. "You get to know people and become good friends even though you might only see them once or twice a year. Sometimes at the bigger shows, you lose that."

The 14th Annual Power of the Past Antique Tractor and Engine Show takes place Sept. 12-14 at Forest Park in Ottawa, Kan. The features this year are Allis-Chalmers tractors and Maytag engines. Visit for more information.