Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gearhead Heaven and a Thank You

This weekend was the annual Tobacco Valley Flywheelers show, an event we get to most years. (Connecticut has grown cigar-wrapping tobacco leaves for many many years, thus the name.)  Most folks come to see stuff like this:

and this:

Antique tractors galore!  There are loads of flywheel engines, steam engines and the like.  The sound can be very loud, and the smell (not entirely unpleasant) of oil permeates the air.

One of the best ways to show the power of an engine is to use a recirculating pump to send water through the system. It's even more fun when you add bubbles!

There are antique autos too.  If you think your dashboard is too crowded with gizmos, remember that at one time there were nearly none.  Note that this one has two keys; one is to accommodate a new(er) battery. 

There are collections and vendors too.  This fellow has the most beautiful display of antique lanterns.  Did you know that some lanterns have two glass lenses, one clear one in the front to act as a headlight when hung from your buggy and another red one in back of the lantern to act as a taillight?

Lots of flea-market style booths with stuff like this for sale.  I can't identify most of these; I know a distributor cap and a belt when I see them but most of this stuff is out of my realm.  I couldn't help thinking that a bit of paint would turn them into adorable garden mushrooms!

But the real reason I go to this show is to see Katie Sue.  She shows up most years and is a genuine delight, something a lot of people in my generation have never seen in action.  Yup, it's a real, live calliope!

Here's her posterior (apologies, Katie Sue!):

See the bellows that beats the drum?

Front and center:

And of course the xylophone:

I must extend hearty thanks to Amanda of the Quilted Fish!  She gave away several FQ bundles of fabulous Riley Blake's Summer Song fabrics and I was a lucky recipient.  Aren't they wonderful?  Lots of scheming already, they're so bright and happy.

I hope your weekend was full of cool rusty things, bright happy things, and delightful music!


  1. What a fantastic post!
    Sally, I felt I was walking the grounds with you!
    How wonderful!
    have a lovely afternoon.
    And those fabrics are seriously yummy!

  2. Fun stuff.
    Our county fair has steam engines and I love to see the different ways farming was done.