Dateline: 7 August 2013
Marlene and I went to the 53rd annual Pageant of Steam in Canandaigua, New York, today. It's about 90 minutes from our home so it makes for a nice little day trip. We have been there in years past and I've written about it here before. This post will be a collection of pictures with comments.
Though the show is much the same from year to year, we always enjoy ourselves. The people who attend the show are, for the most part, salt-of-the-earth folks. I didn't see any carnival-type weirdos, or dirty bikers. I saw one guy covered with tattoos, but he was the exception to the rule (tattoos bug me).
Marlene and I hopped on a slow-moving wagon that was being pulled by a steam tractor like the one in the picture above. They are monster machines.
|That's an old Planet Jr. walk-behind tractor, with a Planet Jr. edging tool leaning against it. The name of my home business, Planet Whizbang, is derived from the Planet Jr. name, and my logo is derived from the Planet Jr. logo. Planet Jr. was once the most well-known agricultural implement company in America. I don't have a personal interest in those old walk-behind tractors, but it's neat to see them when they show up.|
|Lookee there, in the back. It's an old Clipper bean sorter—a wonderful treadle-powered tool. I looked for one of those for a long time before finding one at an antique store a few years ago. It's currently stored in my mother-in-law's garage.|
|This guy had a hit-and-miss engine (In the background) hooked up to a corn grinder, and it was grinding away.|
|That's a drag saw. Cut your tree down, position the drag saw up next to it, fire up the engine, and watch it cut chunks of firewood for you. Drag saws were very popular tools in the forested regions of America in the early 1900s.|
|Marlene pointed this mini New Idea manure spreader out to me. 12A, the homestead tractor wagon I now use was made from an old New Idea spreader just like that (but full size). It did not, however, look like that when my son pulled it out of the weeds. Click Here to see some pictures from last year when I was working to restore the wagon.|
I found some great finds at the flea market. The man I bought the hand-forged tool above from told me that it is a cheese curd cutter. I'm pretty sure he is incorrect about that, but I didn't dispute his claim. I did some internet research when I got home and it is a pumpkin chopper, circa 1800-1850. I posted a picture of a much larger chopper like this a few years ago from the steam show (Click Here to see it).
You're probably wondering why I would buy a pumpkin chopper. Well, I love old, hand-forged agrarian tools. The price tag said $18. I asked the man if he would take $15 and he said yes. I couldn't resist. Who knows, someday I may need a pumpkin chopper to chop up pumpkins into small pieces before feeding them to my cattle. If the pieces are too big, the critters could choke.
Besides that, I have been thinking a lot more about building a Planet Whizbang workshop-warehouse-shipping facility-store. It would be a place where I could get my home business better organized and where people could come to see the different products I sell. The store would be a little like an agrarian museum, with old agricultural implements... like pumpkin choppers. I'm a long way from seeing that idea come to fruition, but it sure would be nice.
|I paid two bucks for this old, four-sided, wood-and-leather strop. I've never seen one like it and I love the shape of the handle. I will replace the leather on the sides and this will be a handy tool to have around.|
|My final buy of the day was these 21 issues of Blair & Ketcham's Country Journal magazine from the 1980s, and one Farmstead magazine. Country Journal was a great magazine back then. That there is a lot of information and inspiration for six dollars.|