Box 108 Sicklerville, New Jersey 08081
A few years ago my husband, Edward T. Bernhardt, pulled into the driveway with this rusty, old piece of junk engine in the back of his truck. The flywheels wouldn't even turn. The smile on his face made me realize that he had found the I McCormick Deering he had been looking for. I couldn't believe my eyes, for this engine did not look like the model we have sitting on top of our TV. At the time, like many other people, I had never thought about these, powerful little engines that were part of the backbone of our country in the oil fields, coal mines and most important, on farms.
The next few weeks were an experience to, me as I watched Ed take every piece of this engine apart. He sand-blasted, patched, mended, oiled and finally painted it. After weeks of running around collecting missing pieces, he was able to put it back together, and then came the reward. When he turned the flywheels and that piece of junk, now a beauty, spit, choked and coughed smoke and started to run, WOW! It was a piece of history that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. Just think, this engine gave its life to some farmer for a few years, and then spent about 40 years lying in some field waiting for my husband to lovingly bring it back to life. I'm sure this engine was as proud as my husband was to see it running.
As soon as this project was completed, Ed was off to get another engine. This time it was a hit and miss 1 Economy. Here we go again, all that rust, missing parts, painting, but most of all, determination. The second engine, now a shiny red, runs as good as it did some 70 years ago.
We have enclosed pictures of our Pride and Joy Engine No. 3. A 1925 5 HP Hercules with, of course, the same standards that come with most engines RUST. My husband picked up an EK magneto which had no return spring, so he had to tie it on with a spongy cord. As it did not add to the appearance of this beautiful engine, he then bought the proper PR mag. After days of sand blasting (my yard looks like a beach), he filled it with fiberglass body filler on all parts, sanded it, then two coats of primer, sanding in between each coat, and then painted the engine with acrylic-enamel auto paint.
Then Ed went to the junk dealer and bought four rusty wheels that needed to be sanded and painted. He used oak 1 x 4s and glued them together to make it 4 x 4 (which laminates and strengthens the wood) and made the cart that our Pride and Joy Engine No. 3 sits on.
Just wait 'til you see Engine No. 4. It is with great pride that I am sending you pictures of my husband's 5 HP Hercules.
It was something he had wanted to do for many years, but never had the time. As soon as he retired, he was able to fulfill his love for these engines.
Written by Helen, who is very proud of her husband's achievement in bringing three old-time engines to life and working on the fourth.