Hi all my inky friends! This past week my family (dh, the boys and their fiances) and I were on vacation in Rantoul, Illinois. You might be wondering what we would all find so attractive about a small town in the middle of Illinois farm country - well that would be The Half Century of Progress.
It's a giant gathering of vintage farm equipment owners and operators where the machinery is actually put to work doing what they did when they were new. That is what makes this show so special. Most antique tractor shows the tractors and other items on display are static which it's nice to look at them but when they are working it's even better! This show is only held every 2 years so it's been a long and much anticipated wait.
It is held at an old air base in Rantoul and has grown each year we've attended. NOTE - this photo was taken from the HCP web-site and it must be from one of the very early shows. The displays and attendance has probably gone up 10 fold. This show is so large in fact you need to rent a golf cart if you want to see it all.
I took several hundred photos over the 3 days we were there and I will be sharing a few with you here and there as many people have asked more photos of the farm and farm life. I figure this is a great way to share some vintage farming with you.
This is actually the largest flag that is flown on a flag pole in the United States. It's HUMONGOUS - 125' x 65' - each stripe is 5' tall and it weighs over 200 lbs. It's home is in NC, and they say when the flag is on the pole it can be seen 30 miles away! Since this was being flown 90' up in the air at the show they said you could see it from 5 miles away.
It was quite windy all 4 days but Thursday (the first day the show was open) was especially windy. The flag would flap around and sometimes one section would flip over the top...it would eventually slide off and right it's self. I was lucky enough to catch this photo of the flag when it looked like it was tied up in a bow before the center section slid off. It was so pretty!
line up of a few Farmall / International tractors.
This is one of the hangers on the grounds. It like the flag was huge...I think I read on the plaque that when all of the doors are open on one side it was 240' across.
This is a view looking across just one of the fields where they were doing demonstrations. You can see the flag and hanger in the background.
Each day they were holding multiple demonstrations at a time in various fields over the entire airport. This was just one of the many we watched over the 3 days. It was hard to get good photos because there were sooooo many people there and they all wanted to be right up next to the tractors. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to get this photo of 6-7 tractors plowing in the field at once.
I hope you've enjoyed this initial glimpse of vintage farm life!
Now I have to get back to the post-vacation mountain of laundry...ugh!