Steam Show in Sycamore

A Club Photo Shoot - July 10, 2013

The replacement of muscle power with machine power characterized the Industrial Age. Key to that transition was the steam engine. Here in the Midwest farm equipment powered by steam facilitated widespread farming. In the 1950s farmers started replacing steam equipment with diesel powered equipment, diesel engines being easier to use and cleaner. The Sycamore Steam Show is a tribute to that past era of steam power.

Oversimplifying a bit, steam engines work like this: A fire in a “fire box” heats water. The water boils and produces steam which in turn pushes one or more pistons. The moving pistons cause geared wheels to turn which produce work.

The photo club had two photo challenges at this show: Black and White photos and Detail photos.

Steam Show This is my favorite steam tractor. It traveled around the show grounds belching smoke and steam, and generally making much noise.
Steam Show The show included a demonstration of a steam shovel in action. This is my Black and White contribution to the photo club challenge. The image looks somewhat like a picture that you might find on an old calendar devoted to farm equipment.
Steam Show The steam engines used charcoal for fuel. When first powering up the burning charcoal produced thick black smoke.
Steam Show A pair of steam driven threshers. A threshing machine separates grain from stalks and husks.
Steam Show
Steam Show One of my detail images, the side of a tractor.

Ken's Tractors

While at the show, I ran into an old classmate from high school. He was exhibiting two antique diesel tractors.

Steam Show
Steam Show Another detail image
Steam Show My third detail image - wheel bolts