Thursday, September 24, 2009

Power of the Past

I was looking through guidebooks, websites, etc., for something to do on a September Saturday that was not much of drive, yet a change of pace from my Kansas Journeys in recent months. The moment I saw the listing of an antique engine and tractor show in Ottawa, my research came to a halt. That will do nicely!

DISCLAIMER: First of all, I wish my faithful readers to understand that I don't have much knowledge on the subject of tractors, far less on engines, so I will try very hard to disguise my ignorance. I am a first generation "townie." Both of my parents were raised on farms, and I married into a farm family. And, I did work part-time on a farm one summer when none of the good workers were available. As a result I know a little bit about tractors, certainly enough to understand that a show like this could be interesting, and VERY colorful. Correct - on both counts, fun as well. But I don't know enough about tractors to give any in-depth information.

As expected, there were quite a number of old tractors on static display. Most of these were in remarkable condition, and I would learn later that not only are many of them in working condition, but some are still used on the farm.

It was surprising to see so many tractors from manufacturers I had never heard of such as the sleek-looking, Chrysler-powered Simpson (below top) , a 1935 Silver King (below middle), Co-Op, and the Ottawa, a locally made tractor (below bottom). About 250 of the Ottawa brand tractor were made from 1949 to 1951, making the unit shown here a rare find I would think. [click on images for larger view]

As stated earlier, I know even less about antique engines than tractors. Here is just one of the many that was chugging along. It was pumping water; I can only assume there was some kind of a return setup so it was repeatedly pumping the same water.

Threshing demonstrations were held three times a day, and drew quite a number of interested spectators. With all that dust flying around, probably not a good place for a hay fever victim with two very nice cameras.

I had fun watching the ladies skillet toss contest. Each lady had two throws with the small cast iron skillet - one for distance without going out of bounds, one for accuracy - closest to an orange traffic cone. In the top photo, I was getting razzed about being in a dangerous spot. The bottom shot was from a different angle, further away and with a long lens!

Also on the contest schedule was a shoe tossing event - probably thought up by the mother of a teenage boy!

This little boy was fascinated by an old-fashioned corn sheller. He and his big sister turned that crank longer than I cared stand around and watch.

A yearly tradition at the Power of the Past gathering is the Parade of Tractors, held each day in the early afternoon. It was reported that 150 to 160 units circled the park on parade. A short slide show, with music, is below.

Fun times, very interesting. Glad I found that listing for the Power of the Past antique engine and tractor show in Ottawa.

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