Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Photo Essay: The Rusty Ruin of Antique Machinery

There's just too much to do in San Diego for a day trip from LA. There's too much to do there for even a weekend.

And I discover something new every time.



This trip, I happened upon the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in North County, which had contributed the old fashioned tractors for visitors who didn't want to (or couldn't) walk The Flower Fields.



At first, it seemed like any car museum...



...except with big cars...



...lots of heavy machinery...



...kept in a shed outside...



...rather than polished up to look shiny and new...



...and displayed in some kind of showcase palace.



Instead, these big rigs were mud encrusted...



...greasy...



...used...



...and worn.



By comparison...



...these were protected...



...because next door...



...was the TRACTOR BONEYARD.



For those of us into ruin porn...



...and rusty relics...



...this is heaven.



Like in any boneyard...



...these orphans are left outside...



...exposed to the elements...



...fading under the hot sun...



...paint peeling...



...rust encroaching.



They once worked hard...



...pushing, pulling...



...hoisting, digging...



...but this is where they have been laid to rest...



...and decompose.



The other exhibits are kept in working order...



...for occasional events and demonstrations...



...but not these guys.





Pretty much everything here is somehow related to the American farm and rural communities...



...including some giant disembodied steam engines, like the 1910 Allis-Chalmers Corliss engine, once used in a beet sugar factory (and weighs over 80,000 pounds).



They even have a boiler once used in the Piru Oil Field...



...established around 1890, and closed 100 years later.



The orange color (which was added later for demonstration purposes) in the fire tubes represents the heat being transferred from burning coal in the fire box to the smoke box.



The blue represents the water that is brought to a boil by the heat, producing steam, similar in design and construction to boilers used in steam locomotives.

You could probably spend all day here, with the blacksmith lessons and weaving demonstrations and short-line train excursions.

Maybe one day I'll get to go back and drive one of those tractors.