Blacksmithing at the Threshermen’s Reunion Back to this year’s Threshermen’s Reunion. The Blacksmithing trade continues today even though it is not as common as it was a century ago. The blacksmiths at the reunion actually made various objects live each day. “Black” refers to black fire scale, a layer of oxides that forms on the metal being heated. Blacksmiths heat pieces of wrought iron or steel until the metal becomes soft enough to shape with hand tools. The metal is heated in a forge fueled by coal, charcoal, coke, etc. As iron heats, it first glows red, then orange, yellow, and finally white. The ideal heat, forging heat, is a bright yellow-orange color. It’s an amazing experience to watch the blacksmiths work at the reunion. They are very friendly, will answer questions, and explain what they are doing.
Scale Model Steam Engine @ 2017 Threshermen’s Reunion This scaled model steam engine was designed and built by the gentleman in the picture, a retired engineer. Calling it a scale model does not do it justice. It’s really a small, working steam engine. The video gives an additional perspective.
The 69th Annual Threshermen’s Reunion started today and will continue each day through Monday, September 4th. Held each year during Labor Day weekend in Pontiac IL, the Central States Threshermen’s Reunion is the 2nd oldest show in the USA. It suddenly occurred to me as I was walking over to a working threshing machine that 100 years ago, almost everyone knew what a threshing machine was. Now, very few people know; let alone know how to operate one. Of course, 100 years ago most people worked in farming or some form of the agriculture business. Now, only a very small percentage of Americans work in agriculture. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting several more images as well as video captured today at the reunion. Also, take a peek at threshermensreunion.org.
US Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 103 at Chicago Air & Water Show The Mobile Bay is a 140-foot Bay-class, state of the art, icebreaker currently stationed at Sturgeon Bay, WI. It uses a low-pressure-air hull lubrication system that forces air and water between the hull and ice which improves its icebreaking capabilities by reducing resistance against the hull.
Eclipse 2017 in Northern Illinois Sure, it’s not a superb image. Still, with all the rain and clouds in the area, it’s a lucky shot to remember this special day. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun. Totality, where the moon completely covers the sun, occurs in a narrow path across Earth’s surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over the surrounding area, hundreds of miles wide. Northern Illinois was not in the path of totality, but was in an area of 87% of totality. The next eclipse will not occur until 2024 and will be visible again in Illinois.
B-25 Miss Hap at 75th Doolittle Raid Anniversary Miss Hap was taking off from Grimes Field headed to the Air Force Museum Airfield to attend the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. Miss Hap is the oldest surviving B-25; the 4th off the North American production line in 1940. Visit the American AirPower Museum site to learn more about Miss Hap.
B-25 Champaign Gal at 75th Doolittle Raid Anniversary Champaign Gal was taking off from Grimes Field headed to the Air Force Museum Airfield to attend the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. Visit the Champaign Aviation Museum site to learn more about Champaign Gal.