I have been around quite a few old belt driven shops. The Maine State Museum, the Maine Maritime Museum and a few others all have belt driven shops that are just endless in scale. I enjoy looking at the belting and gearing to no end, but generally the wife doesn't have the same affinity for the machinery and thus I get hurried along.
A few years ago my father-in-law, the owner of a lobster pound was telling me about the "old lobster boat shop." He talked about it without much respect so was I ever surprised when he handed me the key to the shop. It was a full-built boat building shop. Old wooden handplanes, compass planes, forge, foundry and all manner of woodworking tools, all belt driven. It was like they built their last boat, walked out in the 1950's and never returned. There was coal in the forge, gloves placed by the tongs, and wood halfway into a cut on the bandsaw.
I told him all that was probably worth some money. He shrugged his shoulders in indifference. "Yeah I don't think I know what I have sometimes."
I got pictures of the place somewhere. It was a long time ago now, and a divorce has taken place since then. Oh well, it was cool to see in any case.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"