Last Call Car Show October 11th, Pre-Sales Now!

Last Call 2014Calling all classics, hot rods, rat-rods, low-rider, vintage fixer-uppers, and collectibles on wheels, the California Agriculture Museum, 1962 at Hays Lane in Woodland, is hosting their 2nd annual Last Call Car Show, October 11, 2015 from 10AM to 2PM.

This indoor show is an open invitation to all vehicles, motorcycles, tractors, cars and trucks,  from barn finds to pristine showpieces. Vehicle pre-registration is $30 and includes a commemorative dash plaque, day of registration is $35.

Don’t own a car? General admission to this family friendly event is $5, parking and children under 12 are free, and it include access to the museum collection.Last call Full page print ad

“This event is sure to be a great time,” explained Executive Director Lorili Ostman, “With great vehicles, DJ music, food, Bloody Mary bar, large raffle, and even a Volkswagen Bug-turned-photo booth,  everyone is sure to find something they love. Plus, museum admission is normally $10 per person, so this is a fantastic opportunity to check out the facility and consider joining as a member!”

Additional information and pre-sales are available at www.CaliforniaAgMuseum.org, by calling 530-666-9700, or emailing Marketing@AgHistory.org

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Fred C. Heidrick Jr., Aug. 5, 1938 — May 15, 2015

Fred C. Heidrick Jr., pictured here with his wife Sandra at the 2014 Last Call Car Show at the Heidrick Ag History Center.

Fred C. Heidrick Jr., pictured here with his wife Sandra at the 2014 Last Call Car Show at the Heidrick Ag History Center.

The California Agriculture Museum, home of the Heidrick tractor collection and event center, will welcome the public to celebrate the life of Fred Heidrick Jr. this Friday, May 29. Family, friends and community members are invited to join in remembering him at 11AM, at 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland.

As the son of the museum’s founder, Fred Jr. was an active supporter of the Heidrick Ag History Center and its recent evolution into the California Ag Museum. He will be fondly remembered for his bear hugs and the cheer he brought to the facility every time he would visit.

Fred Heidrick Jr. captured chatting with museum Executive Director, Loirli Ostman, at the YOLO Outdoor Expo museum fundraiser in March 2015.

Looking back, volunteers remember Freddy for his love and oversight of his family’s collection.

Fred was raised in Woodland; he worked full-time at the Heidrick family farm before and after his two years of military service in the Army. The museum proudly displays an Army history exhibit to represent this piece of his life.

Fred Clark Heidrick Jr. passed away after a brief bout of cancer on May 15, 2015, at the age of 76.

Fred and Gene

Fred poses with museum docent and volunteer Gene in 2014.

He was born on Aug. 5, 1938, in Woodland to Fred and Helen Heidrick.

Heidrick Ag History Center unveils 45,000 sq. ft. rental space

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Screenshot 2014-12-13 11.33.00

The Heidrick Ag History Museum and Event Center excitedly announces the addition of a fourth rental facility, the East Wing, now available for event rental and tours. With a temperature controlled floating space of up to 45,000 square feet, 16’ by 16’ roll-up doors, an onsite full-scale commercial kitchen, and 30-foot tall ceilings, the non-profit event and cultural destination facility can comfortably accommodate the most populous events. Provide your dignitaries a grand entrance into the event seated in a Model A, or maybe even a 1925 fire engine, through an edifice adorn by treasures of California’s rich artifacts. The venue is now available for trade shows, large-scale conferences, and personal special events, with customized accommodations to make every booking completely unique.

With four unique event spaces available including a large banquet hall, unique agricultural equipment museum, beautifully manicured garden courtyard, the Heidrick Ag History Center has been Yolo County’s premiere event venue for nearly 20 years, hosting a range of events from conferences and corporate parties, to weddings and quinceaneras and personal parties.

“Little do most folks know about the treasures that line our walls.” explained Executive Director Lorili Ostman, “Alongside our rare tractors, our collections include classic cars, a vintage airplane, army vehicles, and more, ranging from barn fresh to meticulously restored artifacts.”

Clients looking for a venue outside of the standard four-white walls can host their guests in a stress-free affair, with attention to detail and superior service, alongside an array of amenities available onsite.

“By hosting events here, our clients can incorporate our lovely collections into their theme, photos, and event atmosphere,” she added.

The Heidrick Ag History and Event Center is conveniently located just off of Interstate 5 in Woodland, only eight miles from the Sacramento International Airport. The addition of the East Wing has given Woodland the opportunity to become an event destination, with the facility already booked for a variety of events in 2015, including the Yolo Outdoor Expo in March, as well as the Last Call Car Show in October.

The Heidrick Ag History Museum has been working to cultivate an appreciation of the rich agricultural history, not only in Yolo and its surrounding counties, but throughout California, since founding in 1982, expanding the museum into a banquet facility in 1997. This expansion has worked to manifest a community relationship, as the home of the rarest collection of tractors in the nation.

The museum winter hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., with docent tours available. Call 530-666-9700 to make special arrangements for larger groups. Visit www.aghistory.org for more information, and search “Heidrick” on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Lindsey Hickman, Marketing Specialist

Phone: (530) 666-9700 x 101

 

World War I Exhibition, November 1-30, 2014

In commemoration of World War I, the Heidrick Ag History Center is proud to exhibit a rare collection of WWI vehicles vital to the evolution in military machinery, November 1st- 30th.  To memorialize the events and honor side -1918 USA ''Liberty'' Standard Type B Flatbed 3the servicemen and women of World War I, museum guests are invited to contribute non-returnable photos, documents, and items to be displayed in a temporary World War I Memorial installation hosted on-site.  Plan your visit to this special exhibition and learn about World War I advancements through technology.

World War I

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War was a global war centered in Europe that began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918.  More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died as a result of the war.  The casualty rate was exacerbated by the belligerents’ technological and industrial sophistication. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in transport and weaponry.

Holt 120 HP 1917 WWI

Holt 120 HP, 1917, 6-cylinder, 26,500 pounds, gas
It is said that the Holt 120 was the model that set the new world record for tractor pulling in 1914 (about the time of World War I) at Fremont, Nebraska.
By: F Hal Higgins “The California Farm Observer”

The home front of the United States in World War I saw a systematic mobilization of the entire population and the entire economy to produce the soldiers, food supplies, munitions and money needed to win the war.

The war came in the midst of the Progressive Era, when efficiency and expertise were highly valued. Therefore the federal government (and states as well) set up a multitude of temporary agencies to bring together the expertise necessary to redirect the economy and society into the production of munitions and food necessary for the war, as well as the production of ideas necessary to motivate the people.

Holt Fills War Orders

The Holt Manufacturing Company produced tractors used for every power need in 1917.

They were used in agriculture, mining, lumber, snow removal, road building, industrial and military. The Holt Manufacturing Company’s initial products focused on agricultural machinery and were distributed internationally. The traction machines were built at Holt’s plants in Stockton California, and Peoria Illinois.

Holt 120 HP 1917  6 cylinder  26,500 pounds Gas

Holt 120 HP detail 
1917
6 cylinder
26,500 pounds
Gas

During World War I, Holt tractors were used to replace horses to haul artillery and other supplies. The Quartermaster Corps also used them to haul long trains of freight wagons over the unimproved dirt tracks behind the front.

By 1916, about 1,000 of Holt’s 120 horsepower Caterpillar tractors were used by the British in World War I.  “We have been shipping two Caterpillars per day to the British government for the past eighteen months,” said Pliny E. Holt of Stockton.  “All of the motors are manufactured in Stockton.  We ship them to our Peoria plant, where the Caterpillars are assembled.  We have no direct knowledge of the purpose for which they are to be used. They are shipped as agricultural machinery.  Of course, we have representatives in England, but they are sworn to secrecy.  If the Caterpillars are armored, that is done after they reach England.  We have sent some to France and some to Russia.  So far as I know, the tractors were used only to tow big guns.”  (Stockton, San Joaquin County, Ca—Tuesday, September 19, 1916)

Until recently, these Caterpillars were designed for modern farming, but in WWI they were transformed into fighting machines.  The way they hurdled trenches, crawled over shell craters and through swamps and marshes surpassed the horse drawn age of the tractors predecessor.

The 1915 World War I relic was sent to the Fred Heidrick Ranch in Woodland where it was renovated for exhibition with other tractors.  It is currently displayed in the West Wing at the Heidrick Ag History Center.  Originally, the gasoline powered rig was shipped to France where it was expected to haul big cannons around the Western Front. (Daily Enterprise, Bill McKenna)  But for reasons unknown, the tractor never left the dock in France.  After the war, the tractor was returned to the United States and it was used on the Hedrick Ranch near Sunnymead from 1920 to 1932.  The tractor was a real workhorse.

10 Ton Artillery Tractor

10-Ton Artillery Tractor 45 HP 19,000 pounds Model of 1917 4 cylinder Built in Peoria Illinois

10-Ton Artillery Tractor
45 HP 19,000 pounds Model of 1917
4 cylinder
Built in Peoria Illinois

The 10-ton artillery tractor was developed for WWI because of the mortality rate of horses.  This vehicle is currently on view in the East Wing at the Heidrick Ag History Center.  These tractors solved transportation problems that were too stiff for animals or motor trucks.  “Since the British army adopted the Holt engine, the horseshoer’s have had a lot less to do.” (Caterpillar Times for March 1915, “Our Page of War News”).

The standard U.S. 10-ton artillery tractor was one of the most advanced and most efficient tractors in 1917.  It is a self-propelled track-laying road vehicle.  The advantage of this type of tractor for military purposes lies in its ability to negotiate soft or uneven surfaces.  The general design and construction of the 10-ton tractor use differs from that of the modern motor truck because the tractor is designed to pull ordinance equipment, not carry a load.

Holt tractors were also the inspiration for the development of the British and French tanks, which profoundly altered ground warfare tactics.

WWI Ambulance Hupp Motor Car Company U.S. Army Chassis No. 30128

WWI Ambulance
Hupp Motor Car Company
U.S. Army Chassis No. 30128
The Hupp Motor Car Company, was a Detroit, MI, known for the “Hupmobile,” first introduced in 1909.  Hupmobiles were used in WWI as staff cars, to visit front lines, and as ambulances.  Hupp continued production of newer models of the Hupmobile through 1940, ultimately producing a half million vehicles.

side - Holt and Swinton Stockton

Holt and Swinton, Stockton, CA

On April 22, 1918 British Army officer Colonel Ernest Dunlop Swinton visited Stockton while on a tour of the USA. Swinton publicly thanked Benjamin Holt and his workforce for their contribution to the war effort.  During 1914 and 1915, Swinton had advocated basing some sort of armored fighting vehicle on Holt’s caterpillar tractors, but without success. Although Britain did develop tanks, they came from a separate source and were not directly influenced by Holt machines. After the appearance of tanks on the battlefield, Holt built a prototype, the Gas-electric tank, but it did not enter production.

After the war ended, Holt focused less on agricultural machinery and more on producing road-building equipment.

From Gow Job to Hot Rod

When is a hot rod not a hot rod? When it was built in the 1920s and 1930s.  At that time, a hot rod was called a “hop-up,” “soup-up,” or  “gow job” (from “gowed up,” meaning intoxicated).1  The typical gow job started from a Ford 4-cylinder Model A (1928-32) or Model B (1932-34) that had been stripped down and performance enhanced for speed.  As one hot rod enthusiast notes, “Hot rods are built to burn rubber.”2

A Model A’s top speed was 55 to 60 mph.  To increase this top limit, a gow job mechanic would remove anything unnessary – fenders, bumpers, windows – to improve the power to weight ratio.  The roof could also be lowered or the windshield removed.

The real action was under the hood (if it still existed). The mechanic intent on speed could choose specialty parts from a variety of SoCal manufacturers.  Stripped down, souped up, a Model A or B could go 80-90 mph, with the fastest cars topping 100 mph.3

For HRBlog 1

Farmers with a talent for mechanical ingenuity took their souped up cars out on country roads to race.  Later, meets were held at dry lakes where the cars could really be opened up and safety was less of a concern.  One of the earliest timed dry lake meets was held at Muroc Lake, Kern County (now part of Edwards Air Force Base) in 1931.  By 1938, the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) was operating time trial meets, and over 300 racers participated at Muroc Lake.4

Hot rodding still attracts numerous car club enthusiasts throughout California, and the SCTA still holds land speed trials at Bonneville Flats, Utah, where some of the fastest vehicles in the world come to make their mark on history.

See a slice of Hot Rod history at the new exhibit

HOT RODS: Wheels in Fields

Sponsored by

so-cal sacramento logo

Visit our website: www.aghistory.org

1 Gow was derived from “yao-kao” – Cantonese for opium. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gow

2 Vincent, Peter, Hot Rod An American Original, 2001, MBI Publishing, St. Paul, MN.

3 Montgomery, Don, Hot Rods As they Were, 1989, AM Graphics, San Marcos, CA.

4 Vincent.

The Russell Steamer, a Feat of Restoration (2 of 3)

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The Russell Steamer on view at the Heidrick Ag History Center today was the result of years of painstaking restoration. Fred Heidrick acquired it in the 1960s, and he and Joe Heidrick took the faded hulk and turned it into a gem.  Their efforts combined careful research, fine craftsmanship, and a penchant for detail to create a fully operational, restored steam traction engine.

The steamer was mostly intact when purchased.  A photo taken around the time of the 1967 state fair shows Fred at the controls.  A photo of Celeste Burnham, State Fair Model, cheerfully perched atop the steamer, also gives a good sense of its condition prior to restoration.

Russell pre-restore w Celeste Barham 1967 comprRussell pre-restore w Fred Heidrick 1967 compr

Several important parts were missing, however, including a shade canopy and water and fuel bins on either side of the rear platform. The steamer also lacked the Russell trademark with its characteristic snorting bull. Documents in the Heidrick archives reveal the meticulous care that was lavished on restoration projects. A letter dated July 28, 1970 to Mr. Neil McClure of Colchester, Illinois, requests photos to identify “…the spacing of the rivets on the fuel storage bins and water tanks, the [tank] measurements and other pertinent details…” A hand-drawn diagram (shown below) details the replacement tanks that were to be fabricated. Russell Water Tank Design compr

Similar attention was given to replicating the original paint colors:  black for the body; red for the flywheel, nose, and parts of the engine; yellow for the wheels, and silver for the smokestack. The desired location of each color was carefully drawn on a diagram of the steamer before it was painted.  Gold and silver trim were added for a decorative flair. The finishing touch was the handpainted Russell trademark on the water tanks (the subject of Blog 3).

The steamer was restored to operational condition, but has not been fired up for many years.  Help us bring this remarkable piece of machinery back to life by making a donation for reconditioning.  Visit our website at http://www.aghistory.org/support-us/donate/ and select the Russell Steamer option in the drop-down menu.

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Monster Machinery arrives October 13th

The Best 110 HP Steam Engine

The Best Steam Engine was a machine ahead of its time. In 1906 Daniel Best’s steam traction engine design made mechanical improvements to farming equipment, which allowed for ease of operation and cost savings to owners. Best’s most significant improvement was the use of a piston-type or spool steam admission valve that alternated high-pressure steam in and exhaust steam out. By balancing the steam pressure, the steam engine tractor was able to move forward and backward more easily, depending on the orientation of the valve.

The Best steamer weighs 34,000 pounds and has wheels 8 feet in diameter in the front, and 5 feet in diameter in the back. The water tank holds up to 940 gallons of water and uses approximately 300 gallons of water per hour. The pressure inside the boiler is 160 pounds per square inch. The steam engine can be powered by different types of fuels such as wood, straw, coal and oil, with oil being the preferred fuel.

This monster machinery is not to be missed and will be on display at the museum for six months.

Join us as we place this piece, on temporary loan from Joe Heidrick, in the museum on October 13th at 11am as part of our Second Saturday Series. A discussion with Joe Heidrick, Tim Heidrick, Jess Gilbertson, and Ed Claessen will begin at noon. Come by and see this piece of agricultural history.