This is an old wagon that is loaded with cotton straight from the field. The brown pipe is a vacuum that would suck the cotton up into the gin above to start being processed. Cotton grows in the HEAT of the Texas summer. It is a HARD way to make a living. Texas still is the biggest producer of cotton in the United States although this area of Texas no longer produces any (the land has become very valuable cattle farming land).
This was the BIG DRAW for my hubby. The Bessemer Engine that runs this whole operation. The Cotton Gin was a Co-Op Gin & everyone owned a share in the gin (no one could own any more than one share keeping it owned equally by all). When they bought this HUGE engine they used man & horse power to drag it into place (using huge pieces of wood to wedge & shim it into place). Now they only fire this beast up once a year... for The Festival.
The huge pulley that ran the power to the shaft above. HUGE & POWERFUL! You had to be impressed when you stop & think of the time this was made.
Here the guys are letting the engine warm up. See the two pipes with fire shooting out to warm the metal before "firing" it up. Once they got that big beast going it pumped & whirled those belts & pulleys. She sang the most beautiful purring song. Much like the sound of an old treadle sewing machine(louder of course but, for the size it really was not as loud as I thought it would be). And the exhaust was pumped UNDERGROUND about 25 yards outside of the building & bellowed out of these two pipes with the funniest POP POP POP sound.
Below is a 1936 truck that was driven by The Gin manager. They just refinished this little jewel. It had been stored in an old shed for years waiting for the money & to find someone that COULD do the work. After thousands of dollars a 1938 engine was installed & it has been overhauled into wonderful condition. This truck would haul the seed that was recovered from the mill into the closest large town which happened to be Brenham, TX (home of Bluebell Ice Cream).
You can see two big bales of cotton put into the back of the old wooden bed of this truck.
Below you can see another shot of The Gin with a lot of folks sitting on the side of the gentle hill waiting for the Tractor PULL to begin. That was a first for me. Actually, it was pretty interesting for awhile and then, it was time for a Burton Sausage on a Stick & a COLD beer.
Here is a couple of shots of what was below the hill side... some cars (some new but decorated & some vintage) that had been in the parade down Main Street.
And some of the vintage tractors. In the far distance you can see the track where they had the TRACTOR PULL & some of the tractors (or some similar to those in the pull).
Now, I know this is not very girly... but, it was interesting. And you know sometimes we girls have to go with our guys to things that interest them (remember I leave next week for YET ANOTHER ART EVENT while he stays here to keep the home fires burning so, it was time for an event he wanted) But, have faith... I took some photos of things that I think some of you girls will like from this Cotton Theme. Stay tuned & come back soon to see what I found interesting from this era for us. Until then... HUGS!