Jr. 508 N. Range Street, Oblong, Illinois 62449
This is a story as told to me by retired minister Mr. M. S. Cook, 508 North Range Street, Oblong, Illinois 62449. Mr. Cook is in his 80s and is still very active and shows engines at the Oblong Engine and Tractor Show held the second weekend in August.
'As I passed the Keech farm, I noticed this big 6 HP International gas engine out by the machine shed. I could see by the rust it had been there some time. Being interested in engines, I stopped and inquired if it might be for sale. They all looked at each other and laughed! Not seeing the joke I said, 'What is so funny?' Being honest folk they said that the engine 'won't pull.' 'Won't pull,' I asked? 'No, it won't pull, but it does run, but won't pull. It was a new engine when it was set off of a new baler Dad bought and it won't pull. It will run idle, but when you put hay in the baler it stopped.'
Hearing that, that made me want it more! I asked, 'Is it stuck?' 'What difference would that make, it won't pull! The factory sent a man out and he could not see why, but it won't pull.' Then I asked the price. They said, 'We saw some nice sow pigs in your hog lot, what about a swap? But one thing we want you to know it won't pull.'
'Being addicted to junk, I said, 'Thank you for the truth. I will deliver the pig. Will you help me load the engine?' 'Well, if you want junk we will.' 'I do,' I answered. So we swapped and they helped me load it on a wagon I had fixed to mount it on permanently, as I planned to make a buzz saw, for I burned wood at the time. Well, I could not sleep that night, I was so anxious to find out why that engine would not pull.
'Having worked in a garage where we worked on mags, I supposed it had to be the mag. As soon as I finished my chores and breakfast, out the door I went like a boy with a new toy. I pulled the mag off and began to check and found it was like new. But as I laid all the parts out, I noticed both ends of the shaft were the same, only the key slit was in a different place in relation to the armature coil. Yes, that is it! The armature was in backwards. I reversed it and checked to see if it was over the poles. It was! I assembled the mag and put gas in the tank, oil in the oiler. Then I choked it and rolled it over and she fired!
'It ran and it pulled. I used it to buzz wood and grind feed until I left the farm.'