Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Than Just Tractors, Part 2....

In yesterday's post I couldn't get everything in from the Southeastern Old Thresher's Reunion, so I am continuing it today.

As I said before, the Thresher's Reunion not only has tractors, but many working demonstrations and exhibits where visitors can watch how different things were done in the 19th and early 20th Century.

The neatest thing to watch is the Threshing and Bailing machines.  Before Silas McCormick invented the threshing machines, cutting fields of wheat and separating the wheat seed from the chaff was a time consuming process, all being done by hand.  With the threshing machine, a man could just about triple the amount of wheat he could cut in a day and thresh even faster allowing for less man power and larger field planted in wheat.

It is amazing to watch these machines working!  There are about 5 to 7 men working in an organized symphony on two different machines--one threshing and one bailing.  Today's farmers can do all the threshing with just one or two men while one to two other men come behind bailing.  It's amazing to think about!!  As my Granddaddy use to say, "Why do we call it the 'Good old Days'?  I had to work too hard back then!  I like today better!"

Over in the woods where we camp, are a collection of wood working machines.

The sawmill is a 1920 Fricks Model operated by Larry Taylor.  He is the son of Jessie Taylor whom the sawmill is in memory of.  This mill is able to saw logs into 8,000 to 10,000 board feet a day!

The saw mill is run by a steam engine.  The engine is a 1924 Fricks engine that is brought to the saw mill and runs the mill with pulleys attached at the flywheel.

Most of the wood milled during the show is often used at the farm park to build and maintain the countless out buildings on the property.

Just over from the saw mill is the shingle mill.  Most houses used wood shingles up until the mid-20th century.  This shingle mill was made by the Chase Turbine Company in 1916.  It can saw up to 48 shingles in a minute!

This shingle mill is run by another portable steam engine.  Lots of folks pick up the shingles and use them in their closets because they mill the shingles from cedar wood.  It smells sooooo good, too!

Next to the shingle mill is the Veneer Lathe.  The veneer lathe is a machine that will cut a variably thin and hopefully continuous slice of wood from a log as much as 52 inches long.

The picture above shows where the log is positioned on the machine.  While the picture below shows the veneer coming out on the other side.

The veneer lathe is powered by an 80-horse power 1940s Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine.  There are two cylinders in this engine that house pistons that weigh about 500 pounds!  This baby is a big HOSS!

Our friend Norman Durham was running the big Fairbanks-Morse engine this year.  Notice the man in the bottom right of the above picture.  He is standing in front of the belt that turns the veneer lathe.

Stay turned...I'll have some more pictures from the Southeastern Old Thresher's Reunion to share tomorrow too!

1 comment:

  1. I would love to see those working! Looks like hard work, though.


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