July 19,2016

21 Jul

For the next couple of days we are in Lincoln, Nebraska which in addition to being the state capital is also home to the University of Nebraska. Today we headed out on the bike path to pedal into Lincoln to go see a few sites of interest. Marsha went to The International Quilt Museum. Their goals are to have quilts from around the world as well as across the centuries. They also have a commitment to analysing quilts which are brought to them. They have a large storage facility for the quilts they own and thus can change their displays often. The 2 displays there now are one from Southwest China and one from the Mountain Mist Batting Company (who make the filler used in quilts). Both were terrific! 

Meanwhile,Manny was at the tractor test lab at the University of Nebraska just a few blocks from the Quilt Museum. 

The origins of the tractor test lab is rather interesting. In about 1915 when powered tractors where just coming on the market,  a Nebraska farmer named Wilmot Crozier purchased one of the new tractors to replace his horses. However the new tractor broke down before he ever reached his farm. Crozier actually purchased three tractors before he got one that actually worked. Apparently other farmers had similar problems. A few years later Crozier was elected to the state legislature where he introduced and passed a law that any tractor to be sold in the state of Nebraska must first be tested at the University of Nebraska to prove performance ratings published by the manufacturer. This law is still in effect today. As a result the work done at the University of Nebraska test lab has developed into an international standard for tractor testing. Since 1920 pretty much every tractor model ever built has been tested at the University of Nebraska. The tour of the test lab museum showed many of original tractors tested as well as video of tractors being tested on the dirt track outside the building. Some of the old tractors have been restored to working condition by students at the University. In the last 20 years a new test lab has been built with state of the art instrumentation. Also the old dirt track has been rebuilt with concrete equivalent to an airport runway. Testing is conducted by students in the agricultural engineering department. 

After these museum tours, we meet up again for lunch in a local pizza place and them a stop at the University dairy store for a sample of Nebraska ice cream.

Refreshed with the cold treat, we rode the 10 miles back to our hotel on the city bike paths. The bike paths in Lincoln are very nice with many parks and gardens along the way. 

Love M & M

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