GREENVILLE – “It was a family thing,” said Dale Merkle, State President of International Harvester Collectors. “I have a love for the old IH products… thinking back, he said “at that time there was no real competition. Yes, there was John Deere, but we had to have red.”
As of about noon July 7, the 2015 Farm Power of the Past had 274 tractors on the Darke County Fairgrounds. This year featured “red”… International Harvester. There were 104 IHC tractors, 170 other brands. Many of the other brands were “green”… John Deere. Rows upon rows of green. Rows upon rows of red.
Increasing their presence each year were lawn and garden tractors; up to 150 in the 2015 show.
Show announcer Rick Brewer said a group of dedicated individuals put the show on each year and “do a great job.” Some of the events included antique and kiddie tractor pulls, threshing, draft horse pulls, a car show and (new) a pony pull. He noted a Friday night tractor pull wasn’t over until 2:05 a.m. Saturday.
“At four o’clock we’re going to take a hundred dollars in coins and throw them into a straw pile,” Brewer said, grinning. “Then we’re going to let the kids dig through it to find them.
“There’s going to be straw a‘flyin,” he added.
“The biggest draws,” he noted, “are the sawmill operation, threshing and the chainsaw woodcarver (Doyle Lewis).” He said another big draw was the section for oil field engines, both gas and diesel.
According to Tim Farmer, Oil Field Engine Society, the oil field engines on display are from the 1930’s and 40’s. The newer ones in use today use electric motors. “Some of these old ones are still in use in some areas, though,” he said.
In addition to the larger machines and tractors there were two hand operated corn shellers. Anissa and Addison Bashore had set up a 1931 “New Idea” corn sheller for demonstration. The corn (on the cob) is fed from a tray; the corn kernels drop to a container below and the cob is kicked out on the other end. The operation is done by hand. The sheller is owned by Warner Seeds of Bradford.
Not far away, two youngsters are working their own corn sheller. Maggie and Cameron were shelling their corn ears so they could feed the birds. Cameron pointed to a small scattering of kernels…
“We had a big pile over there earlier,” he said.
PHOTO CAPTION: Anissa and Addison Bashore, Bradford, demonstrate an early hand-operated corn sheller. Named the “New Idea,” this one was built in 1931. (Bob Robinson photo)