Tag Archives: international

Pre-1940 IHC and Farmall Tractors with a Titan 10-20 Engine Start

Teardrop Trail Log: June 16, 2017

Marilyn had completed her obligations at Octane Press for the day, and we decided to look at other exhibits around the ‘Roundup. The next stop was the Pavilion, a very large covered arena where the Pre-1940 International, IHC and Farmall tractors were gathered. As we climbed the bleachers to get a better look, a late-teens Titan model 10-20 was starting in the arena. A few minutes later we were standing next to the now-running tractor, marveling at the meticulous restoration and intricate, visible workings of the engine. I was able to capture some video of it in the parade the next day. Magnificent!

Other restorers were holding forth next to their antique machines, to knots of interested, young farmers. It seems the passion for old machinery is wide-spread with enthusiasm that spans generations.

Red Power Roundup – 2017 Hit-or-Miss Corn Sheller

Teardrop Trail Log: June 16, 2017

I always look forward to seeing the “latest” in really old technology at the ‘Roundup, and this year encountered a great display of International Harvester model LA “hit-or-miss” engines shelling and grinding corn, as well as pumping water. I’ve mentioned them on the blog before, but this was unique. Over a half-dozen beautifully restored engines, all running, and many connected to applications with canvas belts like a McCormick/Deering Corn Sheller, a small grain mill, cob mill and a well-pump.

In order to show the entire workflow, small, functional elevators lifted the corn kernels from application to application. Best of all, a supply of dried corn — complete with cob and husk — was provided so observers could try it out. Passing children at the ‘Roundup were fascinated as they fed shucked corn into the sheller via a pipe and could watch the result. Several club members were running the exhibit; keeping the machines serviced with water and fuel and answering questions.

These small engines were common back in the day, and provided vital extra power before rural electrification. They could pump water, grind corn and lift grain into bins and cribs — saving farm families from much difficult work. I still remember the well pump on my grandparents farm, electrified by the time I came along, but no doubt once powered by one of these versatile engines.

photo of Downtown Des Moines

The Octane Press Party

graphic of Court Avenue Brewing Co. Logo

Court Avenue Brewing Co. Logo

Teardrop Trail Log: June15, 2017

Lee Klancher, of Octane Press had hosted a meet-and-greet in conjunction with Red Power Roundup in Racine the previous year. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the other authors and many of the people I had worked with to publish Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding. This year, the gathering was in downtown Des Moines at the Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company. It is located in the historic Saddlery Building, built in 1881by J. Rubelman of Muscatine, Iowa who decided that Des Moines with its two rivers and 13 railways would be a good setting for his saddlery company. The building had housed many different businesses but after the flood of 1993, the building was filled with 19 feet of water and was vacant until 1996 when the Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company began to move its brewing equipment in. The décor and beer labels celebrate the history of the building and brewing in Iowa. The walls are adorned with pictures, posters, signs and bottles from old-time Iowa breweries.

The room was buzzing with energy. The food was delicious and the beer memorable. It was a great opportunity to see old friends like Sally Jacobs from the McCormick International Harvester Collection and meet new friends.

photo of presenter and Irma Harding

Femineering, My Irma Harding Presentation

Teardrop Trail Log: June 15, 2017

graphic of Irma Harding with "They're Femineered"

They’re Femineered

I can still remember meeting Lee Klancher from Octane Press and discussing food and cookbooks. Sometimes the universe can create amazing opportunities. I was delighted when Lee introduced me to Irma Harding and invited me to write Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding. It was a great project that has put me in touch with so many wonderful people. Octane Press has hosted book signings and my presentations at each of the Red Power Round Ups. I always love to meet Irma’s fans and enjoy hearing people share their personal family stories about relatives who canned as well as how they started preserving food.

It has been fun being “Irma’s ghost writer” and telling her stories as well as the stories of the home economists who took Irma’s message to the women of the Mid-West farm county and taught them how to freeze food. This year’s topic was Femineering, a term developed by International Harvester to highlight and honor the unique contributions of the women who helped develop the refrigerators and freezers. One of the old newsletters describes how the “feminine eye continued watching, spot-checking the production lines and testing performance under laboratory conditions.”

It was nice to see several friends from previous presentations. I had met Marsha Corbin, the Executive Director at the Old Trails Region in West Central Missouri at a past Red Power Roundup. She had invited me to share one of my Irma Harding presentations for the Missouri Cattle Women. After the presentation ended, Travis Loschen and his wife Meghan stopped to say hi. They had seen several of the Irma presentations at the last few Red Power Roundups. They have an incredible Irma Harding Collection in the garage of their home in Royal, Illinois. Check out the video. Irma’s fans are a dedicated group!

photo of presenter and Irma Harding

Femineering in action

Red Power Roundup 2017 Walkabout

Teardrop Trail Log: June 15, 2017

This was my fourth experience with the Red Power Roundup. Huron, Sedalia and Union Grove had been memorable, but the Iowa State Fair was the largest layout I had ever seen. Previous attendance had been between 15,000 and 25,000, but the estimate for this gathering was 50,000. This was going to be special!

Marilyn safely ensconced with her adoring public at the Octane Press booth, I set out for a quick tour of the nearby environs. The vendors, including Octane, were mostly located in the “Varied Industries Building.” I spent about and hour in its air-conditioned interior and headed outside.

I was immediately introduced to the “Machinery Grounds,” and beautiful red tractors were visible in every direction. Not surprisingly, much of the grounds were large concrete lots. But a pleasant wooded park was also nearby and crowded with the fascinating machines. In one curious display, 15 progressively-sized tractors — both toy and real — were connected together end-to-end. I couldn’t help wondering what the point of that was, but I would find out while watching the parade a couple of days later.

I enjoy looking at old machinery, in part because my grandparents were farmers and I had free reign of their place on summer visits as a child. There was plenty of old machinery there to look at and play with, and the fascination was born. As mentioned in an earlier post, my morning walkabout ended by meeting a new friend, Ron. The young man with the pedal tractor Marilyn and I had encountered earlier in the day (and would see again later on) made a cameo appearance also.

Photo of the Iowa State Fair Varied Industries Building interior

A Day at the Red Power Roundup

Teardrop Trail Log: June 15, 2017

photo of vendor with IH Curios

IH Curios

Marilyn had duties in the Octane Press booth, so I decided to see how much of the fair I could survey before lunch and her afternoon Irma Harding presentation.

photo of negotiation at Red Power

Driving a Hard Bargain

The vendors were mostly located in the “Varied Industries Building.” and it took about an hour to look over the displays. You tend to see the same folks year after year. It’s always interesting though, and fun to catch up with the folks you know from previous ‘Roundups.

photo of a Red Power Clown

A new friend

After the vendor displays, it was time to venture out. The Fairgrounds are huge, and there were tractors everywhere. I started on the “Machinery Grounds” and spent the rest of the morning looking over the assembled equipment. As I was shooting a tractor, a fellow struck up a conversation. We had both noticed a youngster peddling a toy tractor down the sidewalk, and I mentioned that I had seen this hard-working lad earlier. As we talked, Ron told me about his years of farming, love of cows, work with animal breeding and avocational clowning. Quite an interesting fellow. We exchanged business cards and said we’d keep in touch. You just never know who you’re going to meet at a Red Power Roundup.

photo of Lunch at Red Power

Lunch at Red Power

 

It was time to prepare for Marilyn’s presentation. We found her hall along one side to the Varied Industries Building and with the help of Lee’s staff, got the projector set up. Hungry with plenty of time for lunch, I wandered over the the food concession. Hamburgers and fries were the delicacy of the day, and we chowed down.


Marilyn’s presentation went perfectly (see separate post), and the afternoon was ours to explore. I took her around Machinery Grounds for a little while before we decided some air-conditioning would be nice. The “4H Building” was relatively close, so we headed there. Inside, we discovered ranks of Cub Cadet garden tractors and IHC Autowagons.

In one corner of the building, they were setting up the annual auction and I noticed an enormous chest freezer. It was immaculate, and the owner was supervising the load-in. Inside, there were packages of mock food all wrapped in authentic Irma Harding freezer paper. We chatted with him for a few minutes before he had to go out for another load. We both wondered: did he realize that the Irma Harding paper he had used was more valuable than the freezer itself?

On the way out of the building, we spotted the toy tractor operator. It looked like he was done for the day.

photo of boy with toy tractor resting on a bench

That’s enough for one day

photo of One of the consessions and the Sky Glider in the distance

Checking in at Red Power Round Up

Teardrop Trail Log: June 15, 2017

On the first morning in the campground, we decided that it would be best to head down to the main part of the fairgrounds and get breakfast rather than cook in camp. We had been able to explore a bit as we drove in, but the sheer size of the fairgrounds was challenging. We ventured down the campground’s rolling hills taking in the sights. It’s always fun to see the trailers, tents and other rigs and how people set up camp.

photo of Breakfast at Red Power

Breakfast at Red Power

As we walked though the fairgrounds, I began imagining what it would be like when the Fair was in full swing. Over a million people from around the world attend the fair during its 11-day run. We went by the various buildings, exhibition halls, the Sky Glider, Giant Slide, rides, and other popular attractions. Over 70 types of food on-a-stick are available during the Fair, I was imagining all the tastes and smells but sadly those concessions were shuttered.

Tractors began to appear from all directions, heading for the start of daily parade. We found the Varied Industries Building where many of the events and exhibitions were being held. The booth for Octane Press, the publisher of my cookbook, Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding was in that building. We checked in with everyone and then went off in search of breakfast. At Barksdale, next to the famous chocolate chip cookies, we found an amazing breakfast croissant, with bacon and egg. For a few seconds, I thought about cookies for breakfast. Yum! A great way to start the day.

photo of the Octane Press at Red Power 2017

Octane Press at Red Power 2017

International Auto Buggy Rides

Teardrop Trail Log: June 17, 2016

After breakfast, Marilyn went to her first book signing event, and I was free to explore Red Power. I see new things each time, and this year was no different. Walking into a shed at the far end of the fairgrounds, I was transported back to yesteryear — A line of International Auto Buggys from the turn of the 20th century. We had seen Auto Wagons — the farm truck version from the same time period — at the Sedalia Red Power, but here was a line of several motorized carriages that were more elegant and clearly intended for passengers. Best of all, they were in running condition and the owners were giving rides!

photo of the International Auto Buggy

International Auto Buggy

The Auto Buggy was a 2-cylinder, air-cooled motor car produced between 1907 and 1916. An immediate success, it marked International’s first foray into the world of motorized vehicles. Octane Press has an excellent article about the vehicle and a sales catalog is also available to scratch that curiosity itch.

Some started easier than others and I watched one owner struggle with the buggy, while his colleagues were driving away. Patience paid off though, and he was finally successful. It was such fun to see passengers load up — especially one gentleman who appeared old enough to have ridden in one of these wagons the first time around. It was clear he relished the opportunity.

graphic of International Logo

International Logo from early sales catalog

 

photo of Teardrop Pork Chops preparation

Tasty Trail Red Power Food

Teardrop Trail Log: June 17, 2016

The Tasty Trail has taken us to some amazing culinary adventures with a variety of great eats and fairground cuisine at each of the Red Power Round Up events. At the Racine County fairgrounds, many of the food concessions were operated by community organizations like the Kiwanis, Future Farmers of America and 4H bringing a local perspective to the menu.

photo of A fairground 4H breakfast

A fairground 4H breakfast

For breakfast, we selected the 4H concession. They were serving up biscuits with ham and cream gravy, like the gravy often found on Chicken Fried Steak. This comfort food has a long history, with a balance between flour and grease for the perfect consistency. As we waited for our food, we watched as the adults teaching youngsters to take orders, write tickets and place orders while preparing the iconic fairground breakfast. It was so tasty, we returned the next day.

Another day, we waited in line for mouth-watering brats for lunch at the stand run by members of the Kiwanis club. It seemed that everyone else had been lured in by the amazing smell of brats that wafted around the grassy area in the middle of the grounds.

photo of Proctor Silex 33116Y Slow Cooker

Proctor Silex Slow Cooker

For dinner –  we decided to add a small crockpot to our Teardrop kitchen. It was a perfect way to have a wonderful dinner at our campsite at the Racine County Fairgrounds. I loaded up the tiny cooker before going out for the book signing and my presentation on Irma Harding. Dinner was waiting when we returned. Here is our recipe.


Teardrop Pork Chops

2 boneless Pork chops (3/4″ thick)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 small onions
freshly ground pepper

Sear the pork chops. Dissolve bouillion in the hot water, add mustard and stir.
Cut off the ends, and peel the onions, then cut in half cross wise to make 4 thick “wheels”.
Place the onions on the bottom of the Crockpot in a single layer.
Once chops are seared, place them atop the onions.
Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, and slowly add the liquid over all.
Cook for 4.5 hours