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33rd Annual Steam and Gas Show will feature Ferguson tractors

The LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds will be hosting the 33rd Annual Steam and Gas Show Thursday, Aug. 7, through Sunday, Aug. 10. The featured tractors will be Fergusons.

Each day the show will open at 9 a.m. and there will be steam engines, antique tractors, gas engines, antique farm machinery, sawmills, arts and crafts, and a large flea market. There is an admission fee for ages 13 and older. Exhibitors and kids ages 12 and under will get in for free.

There will be special activities all throughout the show. Friday and Saturday will include a 125-hp Erie Steam Engine operating a sawmill, wheat threshing, plowing with steam engines, and a parade of tractors and engines, a church service at 8 a.m. on Sunday, ladies’ programs on Saturday, and an antique tractor pull will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

On Friday night the “Backwoods Ramblers” will be performing at 7 p.m. in the pavilion, and on Saturday night at 7 p.m. “Wickle Creek” will be performing in the pavilion.

This year will be the 10th annual year for the Amigo Garden Tractor Reunion at the steam and gas show. The Amigo tractor was built in Dowagiac, Mich.

There will also be an annual farm toy show featuring a variety of farm toy exhibits.

Be sure to check out the Ferguson tractor and implement display area for the featured tractors this year.

The Ferguson tractor was first invented over quite a few farming years by the Irish inventor and farmer Harry Ferguson. He experimented with mounted plows and lightweight tractors to help ease the toll that farming took on people.

Ferguson first mounted his plow on a Fordson Model F tractor. The first mounted plows ran by springs and levers but Ferguson had created a hydraulic lift system for the tractors.  The idea that Ferguson was using was to take the weight of the plow and transfer it to the rear wheels of the tractor for increased traction, increasing the work that the little tractor could do.

In 1938 Ferguson decided to show his tractor to Henry Ford and they entered a handshake agreement where Ford designed and produced the Ford 9N in 1939. Shortly after World War II, Henry Ford II introduced the 8N and pulled out of the handshake agreement with Ferguson. Ferguson was not being paid royalties and he decided to file a lawsuit, resulting in Ford having to pay the largest settlement in its history at that time.

Ferguson then started producing Ferguson tractors in England to help the farmers who had been impacted by the war. The TE-20 Ferguson tractor used a Continental Z-120 engine that was built in the United States until the Standard Motors Company of England designed an engine to work.

The TO-20 Ferguson tractor was started up in Detroit, Mich., with the Continental engine in 1948. It evolved into the Z-120, Z-129, and TO-30. In the early 1950s the Ferguson tractor company merged with Massey Harris of Canada to become Massey-Ferguson.