This is perhaps one of my favorite parts of the Steam Show, the chance to see from start to finish, how things were done 100 or so years ago. The owners of these giant and really quite beautiful farm implements come from all over the area for the chance to share a bit of their farming history and to see, in this case, their steam engine in action.
We followed this “iron horse” as it pulled up to fill with coal and then silently rolled over to be inspected before having a chance to thresh a wagon-full of wheat. The entire family was involved. Mom was a spotter making sure no one walked in front of this quietly rolling hulk of iron. Dad shoveled coal. And daughters rode along.
See that black horizontal stripe? That is an enormously long , thick canvas (?) belt that is attached to the smaller wheel on the side of the steam engine. You can see it in the photo above. When that wheel turns, the strap which is attached to the thresher (or corn shucking machine or wood saw) on the other end, gives it power. There is still a lot of man-power involved with all this technology. Someone had to cut the hay and bundle it and stack if on the wagon and then fork it onto the thresher.
Ancient and rusty gears and pulleys on the thresher.
Black coal smoke from the “iron horse” in action and freshly threshed chaff. The wheat is separated from the stalk in the thresher and collected in the red wagon.
The pile grows,
The wagon is empty. It took perhaps fifteen minutes.
I was just fascinated. Hope you enjoyed the process too.