Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steam Thresher Reunion Festival

Several weekends ago, we went to the Stumptown Steam Thresher Reunion in New Athens, Ohio. It was fascinating to see the steam powered machinery, including a complete sawmill. I took a bunch of pictures and some video.

Even though it wasn't steam powered, the display I found the most interesting belonged to a washing machine collector. He had a bunch of old gas or hand powered washing machines set up. The most gorgeous one was this hand powered one. The gear action was incredible. Inside the barrel was a wooden arm with spokes that spun and moved the clothes through the water.

The owner said that all of the metal parts on this washing machine were cast, not machined. The craftsman is completely unknown.

Some of the "newer" washing machines came with butter churn or meat grinder attachments, so that the motor could be used for multiple tasks. Most also had a place to attach a belt, so that anything with a drive shaft could be run off of the same motor.

I also took video of the sawmill operating, but uncompressed it is around 200 MB so I'll need to compress it a bit before uploading.

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