Dion Auman brought a tractor to the Nittany Antique Machinery Show on Friday that most people have never seen before.
His 1926 Fordson is still in working condition. It’s a piece of machinery that Auman has owned for more than 10 years and part of a larger tractor collection he owns.
It was built with the Ford Model T design in mind, Auman said.
Auman, of Spring Mills, rode the tractor to the middle of about 1,000 other antique tractors at the Penn’s Cave grounds, and held a plowing demonstration for about a dozen people.
He hitched vintage plow tools to the tractor and explained that its purpose was to cultivate soil.
But his interest is sparking a potentially new competition at the event for next year. Auman brainstormed with the Nittany Antique Machinery Association an idea to hold a “friendly” plow competition.
“There’s a judging contest in the works,” Auman said. “Participants would be judged on the best plowing.”
With it, however, the winner would only walk away with bragging rights.
“It would be a friendly competition so there’s no animosity,” Auman said. “We want to keep people coming back.”
In its 40th year, the Nittany Antique Machinery Show hosted a tractor show and tractor pull competition, a flea market with about 1,000 vendors, rides, live entertainment and other machinery exhibitors who held demonstrations.
Around the corner from the entrance wafted the strong smell of apples.
Brad Bingaman and Todd Willow piled apples onto a cider press, where about 600 apples were squeezed for their juice in one sitting.
Most of the apples were supplied by a farmer from the Middleburg area, said Josh Martin, who was in charge of gathering the apples to make apple butter and apple syrup.
“We’ve been doing this for a while to help out at the fair,” Martin said.
Martin worked hand in hand with Francis Rumberger, of Altoona, who was called “the boss.”
For nine years, Rumberger has made a hobby of making apple sauces, spreads, jams and more from a hand-built steam machine. The machine helps run up to three barrels that heat, squeeze and dehydrate the apples — depending on the recipe.
“It’s good,” he said. “You can use this (syrup) on anything just like regular syrup.”
The process of making apple butter and apple syrup takes all day, Rumberger said.
“It’s fairly easy, but takes a long time,” Rumberger said. “The wait is well worth it after people get their hands on the product.”
A crowd favorite was the cider.
“It reminds me of fall,” said patron Jennifer Portlidge, of Spring Mills. “It’s hot and humid today, but it kind of gets you in the mood for cooler weather.”
Bob Corman, association secretary, said the four-day event will attract about 30,000 people.
“It’s our biggest show,” he said.
The Nittany Antique Machinery Association hosts a similar event in the spring.
Proceeds will go back into the association’s budget for new projects, which include building a gristmill.
Corman said that two years ago, the association purchased about $4,000 worth of stone to build the mill.
He said he hoped it would have been completed for the antique tractor show this week, but the project was delayed.
“We’re working hard … we have a good work crew,” he said.
About eight members of the association are responsible for construction of the 30-foot by 30-foot gristmill, Corman said.
It should be completed next summer.
The show will continue from dawn to dusk Saturday. On Sunday, it will kick off around 7 a.m. with a 9 a.m. church service and 11 a.m. parade.