- This event has passed.
Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Show 2019
July 11 - July 14
“Alexa, turn on the lights.” We hear this a lot these days; our lives are so entwined with conveniences that we often cannot imagine what it would be like without them. This is surprising considering just a couple of generations ago things were much different. Today, the impact of electricity can be seen in every aspect of our lives, from the lights in our houses to the hot water in the shower. For large areas of the Eastern Shore, electricity was not available prior to the 1940s. The implementation of electricity reduced task to the flip of a switch or the turning of a knob. Turning off the switch allowed a freedom to leave a project without safety concerns. Think of how this must have changed the structure of the day. Prior to electricity, cooking a meal involved lighting a fire and after finishing the meal you often stayed close to tend the fire in preparation of the next meal or for safety reasons. Electricity made the cooking process more instantaneous and this freed up time to pursue other jobs and activities such as volunteering or socializing with neighbors. In addition to changing the way people worked, the availability of electricity must also have revolutionized the community. However, this was not the first evolution of communities brought on by technological advances.
Every generation of humans has experienced some level of technological advancement that impacted their culture. Nomadic hunters and gatherers shifting to a more agrarian society was brought about by advances in growing food and domesticating animals. Many times, the steps forward were small, and their impact was not immediately noticed, as an anthropologist or archaeologist would make the connection decades or even centuries later. Some changes were large and so influential that the impact was noticed immediately. Electricity, computers and cell phones were just a few of the advances noticed immediately and the Industrial Revolution was another.
The Industrial Revolution changed the productivity of man and allowed his impact to be felt in different geographical areas in days or sometimes hours as opposed to years. Machines replaced men or animals as the source of power and factories centralized the production of items. The jobs available drew people to the areas surrounding the factories, and this led to the development of many towns. The use of machines allowed more items to be produced usually at a lower cost. This made more items available to the average person, changing their day-to-day life. The purchase of a small gas engine could modify the way everyday tasks were performed. It could be used to power a washing machine, churn butter, or saw firewood. This reduced the labor intensiveness of many jobs in rural areas. Amazingly, in a time when mechanical devises were equated with men, women were often the beneficiaries in the reduction of manual labor. This gave them more time to spend with their children and expand their influence in the community.
Our rural heritage has been shaped and influenced by advancements in technology since the beginning of time. Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association, Inc. was formed to preserve this rural heritage with a focus on the period from the Industrial Revolution to present day. Each year during the annual show, displays and demonstrations show the mechanical function of the machines that so greatly impacted our daily lives. But the stories are much deeper than how one task was made easier. It is also how using a thresher reduced the harvest time, allowing for more to be planted, thus expanding income. It was about wash day only taking a couple hours instead of all day, allowing the family to visit with others and share ideas. It is how mechanical changes shaped and reshaped our lives.
The Annual Show at Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association is just around the corner, on July 11 through 14. This event will have all the normal demonstrations and displays that have come to be favorites with our visitors. Many new displays will also be added this year. There will be bluegrass music Friday evening by Flat Land Drive. The Jones Boys will be providing country music Saturday evening. One of the most popular activities will be the horse pull Friday evening. This is a great event for the whole family including crafts, flea markets and lots of good food. To find out more about Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association, visit www.tuckahoesteam.org or follow them on Facebook.