Looking at Tom Winkler’s beautiful 1904 6 HP C.P. & J. Lauson engine, it’s hard to believe that just a year before its unveiling at the 2008 Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, Wis., it was rotting away in southern Missouri.
“I bought it July 2007 from a guy in Missouri who pulled it out of the Ozarks,” says Tom. “He had a couple of engines but this was too big a project for him to restore so he put an ad in Gas Engine Magazine and I bought it.”
The photo with the ad showed an engine that needed a lot of work. It wasn’t until Tom picked it up with his dad that he saw how much. “My dad gave me a bit of encouragement and said it was the most expensive piece of scrap iron on the road,” Tom recalls.
Starting from scratch
Tom started the restoration as soon as he got the engine back to Wisconsin. “It was in very rough shape,” says Tom. “Every piece had to be gone through. The cylinder had to be rebored and new babbitt had to be poured. Other than that, the engine was all there and it was in need of what any 100-year-old engine would need.” Tom was also able to restore the cart, which is original to the engine. The many nights working in the shop definitely paid off, though, as the end result is a strikingly beautiful display.
As far as the history of the engine’s service, the previous owner told Tom that it ran a community sawmill in a settlement in the Ozarks. And despite its many years exposed to the elements, it has survived and is one of only three known of its kind. “There’s one in Pennsylvania, my brother Bill has one and this one,” says Tom.
Contact Tom Winkler at N. 265 County A, New Holstein, WI 53061 • (920) 894-3106