100+ Years of Progress Show
The invention of the tractor meant a giant leap forward for farmers. Steam-powered tractors and their more evolved descendants eventually birthed large-scale farming, lowering costs and boosting productivity.
Built to get the job done, not for comfort, the early machines had steel seats (ouch!) and stubborn steering. The hardy folks who operated them had to be mechanically inclined, maybe even part railroad engineer, if they wanted their engines to keep a 'going.
You can enjoy some of these rare, steam-powered tractors at the 100+ Years of Progress show, a family-oriented event in Carthage, Moore County, held annually the first weekend in November. Hosted by collectors Ken and Patti Eder, it showcases more than 1,000 machines.
Visitors see one-of-a-kind tractors as well as machines made by International Harvesters (think Moguls and Titans), John Deere, McCormick Deering, General Electric, Rumleys and much more in the Eders' barns and buildings. Crews operate restored tractors, as well as a steam-powered sawmill, so folks can appreciate how powerful these old machines were.
The Eders have created an old-timey village, including replicas of a general store, log cabin and saloon, nicknamed "Ederville." Visitors (about 10,000 in recent years) can purchase root beer floats, cotton candy, and fried chicken and homemade goods from crafters. A small steam train called "Smokey Pokey" takes passengers around the grounds, there'll be live bluegrass music, and the popular "Money in the Hay" event.
According to Patti Eder, the Eders have the largest collection of its kind in the world and some of the machines can't be seen elsewhere. (Ederville is not open generally, but the Eders do show their machine collection to large groups by appointment.)
New this year
The Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club will be at the event with the 2013 ACMOC National Show, exhibiting and operating vintage tractors. Auman Auctions will also hold a consignment vintage motors and tractor auction on Friday, Nov. 1, in the pulling field.