‘All Aboard’ for Spring Startup

Engine No. 5 gave guests a ride through the CAMA grounds.

Lans Christensen

‘All Aboard’ for Spring Startup

KENT — Connecticut Antique Machinery Association (CAMA) opened its 2024 season April 27 and 28 with the Spring Startup.

Steam engine No. 5 offered happy riders a trip through the CAMA grounds situated on Route 7. The open-air museum was filled with displays of engineering antiquities for a weekend of educational enjoyment.

Exhibitors brought a wide and fascinating assortment of engines. Both steam and gas powered, the familiar huffing and chugging sounds of the “one-lunger” motors echoed all day long.

Industrial Hall had favorites like the enormous T.M. Eagle and C.H. Brown engines, running smoothly alongside a large, new arrangement of antique gas engines.

The collection stretched into the “engine shed,” where CAMA’s Jack Hayward was busy overseeing and explaining the various machines. He said CAMA’s “enlargement and improvement is huge this year” and that “the focus is making it more accessible, educational, and enjoyable for kids.”

Hayward said this year, there will be a push to further educate how “power” was made and how it was used in the past with an emphasis on the ties between industrial power and agricultural evolution.

Toward that end, a huge antique steam powered cider press engine is eagerly awaited and expected to arrive shortly.

The Spring Startup tag sale was a hit, with vendors showcasing rare hand tools. Every shopper seemed to find something they were looking for.

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