The ringmaker with leg vise, mandrel, hammer and a box'o'nails:
Tiny tractor, with about 100 psi of steam up. It's even smaller than it looks, the steering wheel not quite a foot across:
Huge tractor -- internal combustion, transverse-mounted engine (there's nae sae much new under the sun!). Rear wheels are about six feet high!:
Better idea of scale:Notice the belts? They were doin' Actual Work; while my ring was being hammered round, a medium-sized traction engine was running a small sawmill, the fully-exposed blade over 3' in diameter and a powered "carriage" to run the tree being turned into planks through the blade! Not quite as dangerous as it sounds: take three men to run it, a "engineer" to shift gears and two to load the timber, and the operating positions keep you well away from the most dangerous parts. An inattentive fellow could still get himself luridly injured, so it's a good thing the crew was experienced.
Below, less than half of the field'o'tractors. Tam and I were quite taken with "Junior," at the center:
People talk about the need for public transportation in Indy. If they'd relegate the buses to long-haul and run these in a series of criss-crossing straight-line routes downtown, they'd be handy as can be. ...I suppose it's not slick enough for the complainers. Okay, it's no monorail, but by golly, it's distinctive. Cable cars, the El, a subway? Pfui! Our system would run...like a Deere! I don't know how they do it at your state fair but at ours, we've got the trolleys that share space with pedestrians. They run two slightly differing clockwise routes through the fairgrounds, sometimes inches away from people and booths, and without accidents. I'm pretty sure most of the guys driving them are farmers, possibly retired. Seventy-five cents gets you a seat and if you're silly enough to ride all the way around a few times, that's your lookout.
More photos later, including a few I'll reserve for Retrotechnologist!
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago