This summer I missed my favorite steam engine show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the Rough and Tumble museum. What was I doing? You got it, working on Jeeps! Last weekend my buddy Sean dropped in with his infant son and started talking about going to our local Steam and Gas engine show that morning. I had forgotten all about it! Why? Jeeps!!
So, this morning I managed to escape the shop for a bit and make it to another steam show nearby at Arcadia. I rarely make it to this one because I am usually at an event in Gettysburg. But I needed my ancient machinery fix. Mike picked me up this morning and we headed a few minutes down the road to meet Sean at ancient machinery Mecca.
This is not just an antique tractor show. Let’s look a bit closer at what is in the background.
Yes, I think I see steam engines back there!! I am truly happy when I get a chance to spend time with these ancient machines. The scent of the coal smoke is wonderful as it wafts through the air. I had the chance a couple times to drive these ancient behemoths. The steering is done through chains and you truly have to think ahead as you drive. To steer something that large as it chugs along is a memorable experience.
It takes real dedication to own and care for one of these machines. Boilers must be tested and cared for. You have to own a space large enough to keep them in, and have a method of transporting them. They are truly wonderful machines and most people find it amazing how quiet they are. Unfortunately I did not have alot of time so I wandered off to see what other mechanical artifacts had come out into the sun for the show. Below is a 1917 Best crawler. This comes from the Barnes collection. The Barnes house their extensive collection on their property next to our workshop in Gamber. Over the past few weeks I have heard the old engines being fired up and readied for the show.
I only had a couple of hours to gaze at the machines and explore the flea market but I am glad I took the time. I got at least a little of my ancient engine fix for the summer.