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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Threshing Day

We went to a Wenger reunion near Ephrata today. It was very poorly attended and we had some other things on the schedule so we checked out about 1:30. Our next stop was at the J. Ivan Hoover farm, just up the road from the reunion. They were using various types of antique threshing machinery to demonstrate the development of threshing. The one below was a belt-driven stationary threshing machine powered by an Oliver. There was also a much larger threshing machine powered by a Frick steam engine. I took videos of that one running but for some reason it is dark and the color is terrible so I am not posting any of those.

This was not a commercial event. The only advertisement was a handmade sign "Thrashing Today" at the end of the lane and there was no admission fee. It was just a bunch of farm boys (of all ages) getting together to have a little old fashioned fun. I have a feeling most of them went away happy to have been able to reach back and touch the past but also glad they do not have to thresh their entire crop that way anymore. It's fun as long as it's play!

There are lots of these kinds of events going on all over the country this time of year. If you've never been to one, you owe it to yourself to find one and go. You can watch threshing on a video but you won't really get the feel of it unless you smell the black smoke that belches from the smokestack of the steam engine and get close enough to be showered with fine pieces of straw as it comes from the stacker pipe of the threshing machine.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Just catching up on reading your blog- will we ever get a chance to see you folks at Rough & Tumble? It seems like your Mister's cup of tea.