who attend the Will County Threshermen's Association Show can expect to
be transported back to yesteryear. Steam engines, antique gasoline
tractors, gas engines, antique automobiles, and other machines provide
a working testimonial to the genius of previous generations.
typical day on the show grounds begins with the clank of scoops. Like
their historic counterparts, today's engineers are building coal fires
in the fireboxes of their steam engines. Soon, smoke is trailing
skyward from a dozen smokestacks. One by one, engineers turn on their
blowers, and the hiss of steam assists the draft. Before long, iron
flywheels revolve, and the first engine chuffs forward from its berth
in the overnight line-up. Its great driver wheels carry the steamer
softly across the turf.
the engine is going toward the water wagon or the coal pile, but it may
be ready to belt to the fan that tests the engine's power or to the
sawmill. In the vicinity of the parade route are antique automobiles
glistening in the early sunshine. Their owners have ensured that not so
much as a fingerprint mars the waxed surfaces of their vehicles.
Further on stand the concessions with the aroma of coffee drifting on
the morning breeze. In the shade of venerable oaks rest gasoline
engines of every size, color, and description. Within the hour,several
of them will contribute their snappy exhausts to the symphony of sound.
vendors in the flea market are carefully lifting the plastic sheets
that have covered and protected their wares overnight. They greet
passersby with friendly conversation. Along the sloping hills stand row
on row of antique tractors. Most are gasoline fired, but a few burn
kerosene. The tractors comprise an open-air museum of working machines.
In a few hours, many of them will take part in the tractor pull. Many
also will demonstrate plowing in a field close by.
an Avery Yellow Fellow thresher and at least one other separator stand
by, ready for their crews to arrive. When a proud steam engine is
belted to the Yellow Fellow, thus powering it, the pitchers toss
bundles of wheat into the thresher's mouth, the straw rains down from
the windstacker, and the clean grain pours into a wagon. Spectators are
treated to a memorable scene.
The nearby corn
sheller portrays another important facet of America's agricultural
past. By the time the steam engines blow their whistles to announce
that it is the noon hour, the showgrounds are alive with motion. Horses
pull wagons loaded with families. In the shade of the oaks, people
gather to eat lunch (available on the grounds) while all around them
are the sights and sounds of another era--an epoch that nostalgic
writers term "the good ol' days."
parading, the threshing, the corn shelling, the saw milling, the
tractor pulling, and the plowing, the day settles gently into evening.
Possibly a steam engine will conclude the festivities by burning
sawdust while working on the fan, thereby providing a spark display at
The Will County Threshermen's Association is
pleased to present four full days of such entertainment with lasting
educational value for all. The show is small enough to offer a
friendly, stress-free atmosphere while large enough to provide a
comprehensive view of America's rural legacy.