This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Retired Iron

One of the groups that has adopted the Jasper County Fair as its headquarters is the Jasper County Retired Iron Club. They have a building that they fill with old tractors during fair week.
Here is a 1931 John Deere. I have a fondness for John Deere because my grandfather and uncle used to sell them, About fifty years ago they owned the John Deere dealership in Little Falls, Minnesota.
There were two of these Ford tractors, dated 1951. Normally I would not notice them, but I found on YouTube an old Ford advertisement from 1956 advertising tractors much like this one and thought I might be able to use it to illustrate some economic concepts.
This is a Case tractor from 1929. I did not see any vehicles older than this in the barn, but there may have been some.
My uncle, the John Deere dealer, had a hobby of restoring old farm steam engines, a power source on the farm before tractors. It would be really neat to see one of them again. I recall going to farm events when they would fire up an old steam engines, usually one my uncle had restored, and use them not because they worked well, but just to recreate the old days, much like the Retired Iron Club does now.

Below is a Graham Bradley 1938 tractor. It is a make I had never heard of. Here is some information about the company--it seems that there were not a lot made.
Another weird brand represented at the fair was Cockshutt. You can see just the front of a 1952 model behind the Graham Bradley in the picture above.

The tractor below looks really old, but it is a 1947 model. With new paint and a lot of work, it could look like new again.
The guys of Retired Iron have programs and demonstrations during the week. Below is a picture from a race to see who can complete a course the fastest with the driver blindfolded, and an assistant given driving directions. (Kind of a backseat driver.)
The picture below is from the 2008 fair. There was a demonstration of old machine that took the kernels off the cob. Today that is done by the combine, but it was not always so.
There was a demonstration this year of a machine that knit shoelaces, and I will include a clip of it in a video I hope to post next week.

There are also a few non-tractor vehicles, such as this old fire truck from 1920 owned by the Rensselaer Fire Department. It was made by American LaFrance, a company that is still in existence making fire-fighting equipment.
The firetruck had a plaque on it, and since I have been collecting plaques on this blog, here it is.The most unusual vehicles on display was this two wheel car that I recall from parades twenty or thirty years ago.
Pete Schlatter, the guy who built it was trying to reproduce a car in the Smokey Stover cartoon strip.

He was ahead of Segway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You really enjoyed those old tractors. They are almost art pieces in their design. Nice, very nice photos.