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What makes a good Steam Show?


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  #1  
Old 03-30-2012, 09:43:49 AM
GreyRoots GreyRoots is offline
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Default What makes a good Steam Show?

What is everyone interested in seeing when you attend a Steam Show?

What makes a good show?
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2012, 10:29:38 AM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Concidering my choice for a User ID name, obviously I enjoy sawmills, but beyond that, basically anything and everything old & mechanical including but not limited to:

Steam engines in all makes and models & sizes, Huge Early Prairie Tractors, smaller & medium sized steel wheel tractors, the EARLY rubber tired tractors and some of the later but still pre 1950 tractors of most makes & models (not much interested in looking at the 'late model' stuff. I have a 1957 IH 300 Industrial loader tractor, but even though it's a few years older than I am, I still concider it to be a Modern tractor and will never take it to a show), Hit & Miss and Throttle Governed flywheel engines and some of the early Briggs & Strattons and others with exposed overhead valves, Oil Field Engines, Flour Mills & grinders, Early Hay Press (balers), Line Shaft equipment, horse powered equipment, Blacksmith shops, Sawmills (already mentioned but worth repeating), shingle mills, barrel stave mills, veneer mills, cider presses, threshing machines, model engines (gas & steam), vintage house-hold displays, vintage store displays, antique cars trucks fire-engines and motorcycles, steam trains, and vintage airplanes and steam boats, etc., etc., etc...

Any of the above or all of the above, big shows and little shows, somtimes meeting up with different people, but at the same time I can go to a show and not talk to a single person other than when ordering a hamburger and have just as good a day as if I spent the whole day talking to people.

There are "Steam People" and "Engine People" and "Tractor People" and "Horse People" and to some extent "Sawmill People" though there are probably fewer people that own their own sawmills and mearly operate the club owned one like I do than there are Steam, Horse, Tractor, or Engine people. Some of them maybe stick with one thing, whichever part of the Hobby they are in, but personally, I Like Them All and feel it takes a wide variety of all groups to make a truely great show, Big or Small. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy Engine Shows, or Horse Shows, or Tractor Shows on their own, but I do enjoy the wide variety that much more.

Of course I also enjoy Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars and Jet Powered cars & trucks, and Monster Trucks, and Hot Rods, Street Rods, & Rat Rods, and 2 wheel drive Hot Rod Pulling Trucks, and Hot Rod Tractor Pulls, but they are a little 'off topic' for this thread
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:47:04 AM
HBurk HBurk is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Gas engines.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:13:12 PM
joneg joneg is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

a total ban on lawn tractors
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:25:16 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

If I'm a spectator:
Good working displays and friendly operators/engineers who'll be glad to talk old iron with kindred spirits (such as me!) and a good flea market to look for junk to buy or at least look thru.

If I'm an exhibitor:
Plenty of room to move an engine around and stuff to play with it on (machinery to operate); good volunteers that make me feel welcome (feeding me always is appreciated!!!!) and help me out with what it takes to keep a steam engine operating (water, fuel, etc!), and plenty of friendly steam folks (and spectators) to visit with. And a good flea market full of rusty iron helps here, too, if I can get someone to look after my engine and break away.

What I don't like:
No room to move an engine around, no machinery to belt up to, grumpy engineers that aren't fun to visit with, spectators that complain about engines being stinky or getting dirty around a steam engine (why on earth did you wear that white dress to a steam show anyway????) or couldn't care less you were there, grumpy gate staff that make you think it's like trying to break into Fort Knox to get into their showgrounds, no fuel (or poor fuel) to burn, no water for your engine, no rusty flea market stuff, etc. etc.

Just a few of my thoughts!

Mike M
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:30:34 PM
casertractor casertractor is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joneg View Post
a total ban on lawn tractors
i agree unless they are restored they should not be at the shows.John
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:58:42 PM
20minnie 20minnie is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Variety and action. Make something happen and it holds people.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:53:06 PM
Corey Robinson Corey Robinson is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

The ones that said about lawn tractors ..... What do you collect? What ever it is let's ban that..... Sorry but I think you both are totally ignorant in saying that. What if that's all they can afford? And if that's a way to get someone started in the hobby then that's all that matters. Sorry there is no offence intended!
P.S I have a bit of everything from hit and miss engines to a Rumely to lawn tractors and it's everything along those lines that make a great show especially the people..... And home made ice cream helps a bit as well!
Corey Robinson
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:26:34 AM
casertractor casertractor is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Robinson View Post
The ones that said about lawn tractors ..... What do you collect? What ever it is let's ban that..... Sorry but I think you both are totally ignorant in saying that. What if that's all they can afford? And if that's a way to get someone started in the hobby then that's all that matters. Sorry there is no offence intended!
P.S I have a bit of everything from hit and miss engines to a Rumely to lawn tractors and it's everything along those lines that make a great show especially the people..... And home made ice cream helps a bit as well!
Corey Robinson

Cory i personally dont have anything against garden tractors myself on the collecting end but the way they are driven at shows is not the greatest.if you have driven a steam engine you would know what i mean it is hard enough to see big stuff. but garden tractors are worse especially when they are being driven faster then a car can go what i am getting at is anything modified shouldent be at a show even if it is not still they are being operated incorrectly for what other equiptment is around them that also goes for butt buggys, golf carts and what ever else you can think of that is brought to shows for the purpose of getting around.i would hate to see how you guys get around when your in your later years when you cant walk very good like you can now in your youth pretty sad.John
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:53:18 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

While I only have 2 garden tractors myself, neither of which is "show worthy" and stay home in the shed, I also have a dozen or so hit & miss engines, a few early briggs, a couple tractors, antique truck, a road roller, a Sandwich Hay Press, and a few other odds & ends, plus running the sawmill at our show.

I kind of view the garden tractors from both aspects. A relative of mine probably has a couple hundred or more garden tractors, and that's not exactly a cheap hobby to get into. He has some mighty unusual ones that I would be proud to have and/or see at any engine show, but at the same time I can't help but agree with the comments about how some of the yahoos run around on them. Some of them are hopped up for the garden tractor races and don't really belong at antique shows, especially when they go running up and down the driveways at 40+MPH and the general public that's walking around looking at stationary displays and slow moving tractors & steam engines isn't always looking when they step out in front of something moving faster than it should be. Home made butt buggies used to be interesting to look at, but it's gotten to where at some shows they have become a public nuisance as well.

I wouldn't go so far as to say an outright ban is in order, but they do need to be regulated and if they can't abide by the show ground rules then deal with them on an individual basis which of course is easier said than done. As with most things, it only takes a couple 'bad apples' to spoil it for everyone, but I can't see punishing everyone because of those few bad ones. Golf carts are another subject altogether.... I can see the need for them for some of the 'official business' and for some of the handycap people, but keep the kids off of them. Let a kid operate a tractor if he's allowed to at home and knows what he (or she) is doing, but if they don't have a drivers licence don't let them drive a golf cart or anything else that goes fast enough for them to go 'joy riding' with and endanger the public.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:03:56 PM
casertractor casertractor is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

sorry OTTO -SAWYER i forgot to add the part of golf carts should be only alowed for the handicapped and elderly or for poeple who cannot get around. but you know something? i see so many people using them young and old and pass some one who i would think could use a lift somewear on the grounds. they drive right past them with out stopping and saying would you like a ride?and yet they are more able to get around then that person is.John

Last edited by casertractor; 03-31-2012 at 10:53:57 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:17:09 PM
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

What makes a good steam show.

Lots of displays and stuff running.

And the Exhibitors ! Good Exhibitors that are willing to stop and chat, or who give you a wave when you go past. The shows are all made around the people who Exhibit at them. Yes it's nice to just go to a show to take pictures but I much rather see piles of stuff to take pictures of
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:53:10 PM
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Well, I totally agree on banning lawn mowers and full size farm tractor before 1930's,but...... I usually take my 1967 cub cadet and little red trailer for a butt buggy and to fetch water for my engines,retrieve flea market "stuff" and to run the family down to the showers in the morning. Like I said I do take my lawn mower but I put it in the back of my display; sort of hidden,in the back.
When I take my junk to a show, I try to take 2 hit n miss engines belted to something, 2 Pre 30's garden tractors and 2 pre 30's mowers and maybe a pre 30's lightplant powering lights or something. What gets me is sometimes people come up and ask to cross my ropes to look at my lawn mower!? Heck they even ask to come in to look at my air condition! ( 40's briggs belted to a squirrel cage fan. Anyway, I do believe a steam show should only have steam engines! BUT, a steam,gas what ever show should have pre 30's engines,tractors,mowers ect.....but this is what I like, not what all the spectators like. Oh, yeah, speaking of good show, the best show that I have ever been to was in Md. They didnt have fancy ribbons or fancy plaques or pins, but they did have free beer!!!!!!! Thanks again Russel! unfortunately , that show didnt last.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:41:08 PM
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Toesmack Toesmack is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

A good show? A swap meet full of rusty ol' junk, with a side order of greasy spare parts. Noisy, unique old gas engines and the aroma of smoke from as many steam engines that can be assembled in one spot. Friendly old timers anxious to share their priceless, long aquired knowledge with the more ignorant of us that are truly interested to know.

Onsite camping, hit & miss ice cream, and great Bar B Q. Pancake breakfast sounds good too.

Oh, and of course, at least one really special treasure that just seems to JUMP into the back of your truck.

That would make it a GREAT show! Even without free beer.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:05:46 PM
Bill Riddle Bill Riddle is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

my greatest experiances at a show are to get the belts moving on whatever is needed to run, have a tractor that performs well,& sometimes get to learn the younger ones how to run a tractor they've never ever seen before. what a thrill for them! of course I'm there to supervise. It makes a great show when, even older people ask about the way this or that makes it tick. I also show gas engines,same thing always get to vist & answer many different questions, this is as good as it gets! As to the kids on those garden tractors , They need to be eliminated & made to walk as the exercise would do much more for them!Just my thoughts on that topic. Bill R
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:17:06 PM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

A laid back atmosphere! Especially for the exhibitors. If I am already argueing with the guy at the gate, the show is going to SUCK. Weather it really was bad or not, I remember the bad more than the good. The local "big" show has a "strict" feeling for exhibitors. While a show we drive hours for feels laid back all the way. Make people feel welcome, and appriciated, and you will have a happy (repeat) crowd.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:15:34 PM
FarmallBob FarmallBob is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

A few random observations from 30+ years of visiting shows, and more recently photographing shows and displaying my 3 old tractors:

Diversity of equipment. The best shows have a wide variety of stuff: steam and gas traction engines, stationary steam engines, all manner of stationary gas and diesel engines, farm tractors, doodlebug (home built) tractors, vintage earth-moving equipment, saw and shingle mills, farm windmill, well drilling equipment, oil well pumping machinery, a cane press, etc. They often even have a farm animal or two wandering the grounds with its owner.

Operating equipment. Static displays are OK. But the best shows will have lots of stuff going on. I like seeing/hearing/smelling old stuff at work. Plowing/fitting, threshing, hay press, sawmill, etc demonstrations are always good. A Baker Fan or two is a lot of fun for loading up steamers (and farm tractors) to make 'em bark. A PTO dyno for the tractor guys is always interesting too. One show had a 2 horse team-powered hay press in operation - way cool.

Unrestored equipment. I find beat up but running tractors more fascinating than the meticulously restored “trailer queens” . When displayed all together at a show my Minnie Mo “U” in her working clothes always draws more attention and comments than do my 2 restored Farmall Supers parked next to it.

Unusual/unique displays. The Western NY Gas & Steam show has had and exhibitor show up and fire his pneumatic pumpkin cannon the last several years. There's also a hit 'n miss powered central power outfit, all set up and “pumping” several simulated oil wells. Cool stuff you're not likely to see very often.

Equipment parades. Gives exhibitors a chance to fire up and show off their stuff a couple times a day.

Friendly competitions. I find antique farm stock tractor pulls, steam tractor pulls, team pulls, slow races, etc. quite entertaining. Keep the rules simple (you are entertaining the crowd in the bleachers, not competing for a national championship!). Pedal tractor pulls for the kids always draw big crowds. The WNYG&SEA runs a “sneaker pull” (kids vs a steam traction engine in a tug-o-war format) at the midpoint of each evenings’ tractor pull has become immensely popular.

Food. I look forward to chicken/pork BBQ, fish fries, steamed corn, salt potatoes, etc. Pancake breakfasts are nice too.

Flea markets. I can spend hours looking at “stuff” in the flea markets. Also, a decent flea market is guaranteed to keep my wife occupied for several hours which frees me up to wander.

Musical entertainment. Most shows have a live local C&W band or two. Or have the local firemens’ band in to perform. It's not a requirement but having music seems to bring in people who might otherwise not attend. And it seems to encourage people to stay around longer.

Friendly show staff. Virtually every show I’ve ever attended has had friendly, helpful show staff. Good staff always adds a positive to the overall experience.

----

Now a few things I can do without:

Golf carts, modern garden tractors, etc. used a personal transportation. I have no quarrel with truly handicapped individuals’ use of carts – rather I encourage it. Also carts for show staff to get around efficiently. But healthy adults and kids have no business using carts, etc. on show grounds! It annoys me intensely to have to continually dodge these things. (Observation: Seems it’s those who’d most benefit from walking that tend to most use carts!).

Correct police. These annoying clowns should stay home! My tractors are MINE and I restore them how I like, and how I can afford.

Overdressed women. They show up in expensive sportswear and shoes, then b*tch to anyone within earshot because they got soot on their $200 pair of white capri pants. Come on ladies – either dress for the event or stay back at the mall!

“One brand” shows. The bi-annual NY John Deere Expo is an excellent show. But for me having ONLY John Deere equipment to see gets old pretty fast. (How many JD A’s can one look at?!!). I much prefer the wonderful diversity of the Pageant of Steam on the same show grounds a few weeks later.

...FB
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:04:05 PM
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Hi, Tim - wondering why ban full size farm tractors made before 1930's? They are something i really enjoy looking at - especially if they run, and spectators are kept at a safe distance (myself included).

Well, I totally agree on banning lawn mowers and full size farm tractor before 1930's
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:54:25 PM
oldproff oldproff is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

Do yall mean farm tractors after 1930? Bill K
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:12:46 AM
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Default Re: What makes a good Steam Show?

I am hoping that is what Tim meant!
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