Archive for June, 2014

Hey What Happened to that Poster?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

You may remember in October, the Erie County Fair sent a poster from 1883 to be restored (if you don’t remember, click here to read the story and get caught up). Well, it is back and has quite the story to tell of its journey!

Here was the poster before the work began (in case you didn’t want to read the first story): OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Laura Schell of Lockport took to the task right away and for those who don’t know much about what it takes to restore a poster from 1883, here is exactly what she has been doing all those months:

First, the poster was glued to brown paper with spray adhesive and then glued again to foam core. It was done quite unevenly, we may add and proved to be quite the challenge to remove.


After Schell saw what she was up against, she gave the poster a little massage. Using soft grated gum eraser crumbs and her fingers she was able to clean up the surface dirt off of much of the poster.  Many parts of the poster were to fragile for this step.

Then came the un-doing of the gluing! Using a metal spatula Schell carefully scrapped away first the foam core and then the brown paper. This left our poor old poster in three distinct pieces.


The sections bid each other farewell as they were soaked separately in an aqueous (water based) bath for about 40 minutes and then left out to air dry.



Once dry, the three sections were humidified and and placed on its new liner, mulberry paper. Instead of spray adhesive, Schell opted for a safer option of wheat starch paste.

After taking part of the journey on their own, the three sections were reunified again as they have been since 1883 by being lined up and pasted with wheat starch paste.

The now unified poster was headed for a makeover now! Large holes and missing pieces were filled with Japanese tissue and colored with acrylics. Small holes were filled with paper pulp that was dyed in a similar tone.

After all of the light handiwork Schell did, it was time for some heavy lifting. This came when the poster had to be flattened. The poster was first humidified and taped lightly to the table to begin the flattening process. Then it was humidified again, placed between sheets of fabric and  weighed down.


Finally, the pulp fills were colored in with colored pencils.

…..drum roll for the big reveal…..


And that’s it. Sounds simple right? At the end of these months the poster looks incredible and has been cared for in a way that will no doubt add decades to its life, if not centuries! 

The fully restored poster is now headed for framing. It will then be on display at the Visit Buffalo Niagara Gallery at the Market Arcade building on Main Street downtown.

People have already been asking where they can get a replica of this poster and the Fair is happy to announce our friends at the Buffalo News will be giving a replica copy to each of their new subscribers at the Erie County Fair! Look for the Buffalo News on the back side of Hamburg Gaming, sign up for a newspaper subscription and ta-da you have your very own 1883 Erie County Fair poster.


This blog is dedicated to the memory of poster pieces that could not be salvaged. 



Start Your Engines for Fuel Filled Excitement!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

If you like loud engines, tough trucks, and hard hitting cars- the Erie County Fair has something for you! The 175th Erie County Fair will play host to five exciting motor events over four days and guests will be in for a treat, as events have stepped up their game in honor of this special anniversary year.


Tickets for these events go on sale Saturday, June 7th at 10:00am. Tickets can  be purchased online thorough, in person at the Event Center Box Office on the Fairgrounds, or by phone at 1-888-223-6000.

The 2014 Motor Event lineup is as follows:

August 14.7:00pm  Ultimate Night of Destruction. This show will offer the most bang for your buck- in more ways than one! The show will feature a double figure-8 race as well as demo derbies for buses, SUVs, and compact cars. Monster trucks Avenger and Brutus will make a special appearance to add 1,800 horsepower and 66 inch wheels of destruction to the twisted metal and car-nage! Avenger was name a 2 time Monster Jam Freestyle World Champion. Tickets for the show are just $16 and Kids 12 and under are FREE with a paid adult.

Click Here for Tickets

tractor pull

August 15 & 16. 6:00pm Lucas Oil Truck and Tractor Pull. The initial shock of the sheer size of the tractors and trucks that take to the pull strip can be enough excitement for some, but its when the pullers fire up the engines and dig into the dirt the crowd explodes! The truck and tractor pull has been a long time tradition at the Fair, so long in fact that the Fair’s pull is the fifth oldest in the country. Both shows will feature six classes of pullers coming from more than 10 states and Canada. WNY Pro Pullers will also compete in this event, representing the best the area has to offer in professional tractor pulling.  Tickets for the show are $20 for Pit Passes, $16 for Infield, $12 for Grandstand. Kids 12 and under are FREE to this event as well.

Click Here for Friday Night Tickets

Click Here for Friday Night Tickets

after math

August 17. 1:00pm & 6:00pm World’s Largest Demolition Derby. What would the end of the Fair be without the demolition derby? More then 100 cars will get painted up and prepared for a competition that challenges competitors to outlast the others. The afternoon show sees a lot of returning drivers who will attempt to fix their cars in time to compete in the evening derby! The evening derby is usually a packed house. Fans cheer each hit, crash, and heat winner with the same enthusiasm as the last.

The demolition derbies will also feature reality TV stars Kings of Crash. These professional drivers will bring five teams to the track to compete in a separate team style derby. The afternoon event will have all five teams and the best three will move on to compete in the evening show. Guests can meet the Kings of Crash from 11:30am-1:00pm in the infield. Guests must bring a canned food donation of $5 to benefit the Food Bank of WNY for the meet and greet opportunity.

Click Here for Afternoon Tickets  

Click Here for Evening Tickets  

Don’t forget, when you  purchase your motor event ticket before the show, your ticket gets you FREE admission to the Fair on the day of the event!