Fans of antique construction equipment came from all over the United States and several foreign countries to take part in the Historical Construction Equipment Association’s (HCEA) 23rd National Convention held recently in Brownsville, Pa., in conjunction with the annual National Pike Steam Gas and Horse Association’s summer show. The expansive collection of old machinery and good weather attracted record crowds throughout the event, which took place Aug. 8 to 10.
Bob Kelly of McDonald, Pa., owns the Type 0 steam shovel that was this year’s featured machine. It was built by the Lorain Company in Lorain, Ohio in 1913. The well-used steam shovel was discovered in Ontario, Canada, by Kelly and returned to the United States in 1999, where it was restored it to its original glory.
Many other renovated shovels, including a 1927 Erie B steam shovel, were in operation. Also moving the earth were gasoline and diesel shovels, draglines, backhoes, bulldozers, scrapers, graders and other iron from a bygone era.
On display were a multitude of beautifully restored machines, including Caterpillar Sixty’s, Thirty’s, Fifteen’s and many others. A newly refurbished Unit shovel and a Mack built locomotive were shown on their lowboy trailers. There also was a large display of antique trucks and cars.
A large sand pile equipped with an operating screening plant and plenty of toy dump trucks kept the kids busy loading and dumping the trucks and coming back for more.
Friday featured a memorable bus trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob for those who were interested in seeing more of the area’s attractions.
The weekend was devoted to operating and watching equipment, checking out the many vendors and visiting with old friends from far and near. Saturday was topped off with a banquet featuring plenty of delicious homemade food, an auction and a short business meeting.
The event was a great success. Everyone who attended is looking forward to next year’s shows. The HCEA will meet Sept. 18 to 20, 2009, in Bowling Green, Ohio. National Pike shows will be held at Brownsville May 16 to 17 in conjunction with National Pike Days. The main show is August 7 to 9, 2009.
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