PORTERSVILLE (KDKA) — More than a dozen antique steam engines and hundreds of vintage gasoline powered tractors rumble through the past at the 50th annual Portersville Steam Show.
This weekend, the Steam Show grounds on Route 19 will be packed with tractors, and people who like to look at tractors. They estimate that as many as 10,000 visitors will come out.
The versatile steam engines of the early 20th century weren’t limited to plowing. Fombell native Joe Blizzman feeds the flames that make the steam to move the belt that turns the saw on a saw mill built in 1923.
“A lot of people don’t really realize what people had to do back in the twenties,” he says, “when all the modern machinery and stuff came up. Steam was everything they had, and it made a big difference for everyone.”
“This is an old log cabin in Marion Township close to home, and we decided to tear it down and re-erect it as a trading post,” says Wayne Cooper, as he steps inside. “We got just numerous everything. We try to keep the older stuff.”
Cooper has collected a lot of “older stuff,” in his 40 years with the steam show.
Blacksmith John Pollins is another who shows up, year after year, to demonstrate a time honored craft.
“Ever since there was metal at all, it was worked the same way,” he says. “You take an anvil and a hammer and you get it hot and you work it. And the techniques with the hammer never changed, and never will change.”
When steam engines break down, the blacksmith makes new parts to get them running again.
The Portersville Steam Show continues through midday on Sunday.