Letters and Miscellanies

Questioning dates

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You know that old iron has the same unsubstantiated statements that we all waded through starting back on the playground.

Minor bone to pick on the Hot Rod in the February/March 2008 issue, page 5; John Hamilton certainly did a nice job and I like the way he retained the "enhancements" of time. On dating the engine though, I would doubt the 1899, though certainly early 1900s would be believable.

C.H. Wendel shows that basic vertical style as beginning in 1900. Wendel does show a separate picture of the T lighting engine but does not give a beginning date. Perhaps there are other references giving earlier dates that Hamilton does not mention. Provenance of the early owners seems weak in support of the 1899. I doubt that the T was offered the first year of that style production.

I have a 5-spoke Woodpecker that Wendel shows as available in 1903. Is my engine a 1903 or what? I now feel comfortable saying it is 100 years old and perhaps as early as 1903 when discussing. Look under Middletown Machine, page 304, lower left, to see illustration. Mine has a reproduction hopper though and not tank cooling. I enjoy your magazine.

Bob Payne