Another Rare One

Economy Engine

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23941 Strange Creek Dr. Diamond Bar, California 91765.

The first part of June I headed out for a little town north east of Winner, South Dakota to an auction. I didn't find any rare engines. I also went to look at the padlocks on the sale bill. Another gentleman wanted the locks more than I did, but it's another one of my hobbies.

When I got back home I had a week to get ready to head out, with the wife this time, for Iowa. Had to get there for the wife's sister and brother-in-law's 50th. After the big day I headed out for some auctions, shows, and swap meets in Missouri.

The swap meet was mud, the show was mud, so I headed for the auction at Chillicothe, Missouri Friday and Saturday. They were having a lot of rain. I had no real reason to pick these places, only the dates were right for me.

The auction was a museum selling out. They had a huge tent where they held the auction. I went outside between rains. Over by the three smoking steam traction engines I spotted two flywheels sticking up from the soggy grass.

As I got closer it looked like it had been under cover most of its life. It was a faded red and free, and it was on the original trucks, so it seemed. The auction tag said it was an Associated. I checked the brass plate and saw it was an Economy with a brass tag and it was old. The tag reads: Economy Gas Engine, 'Improved Model' No. 16441, 2 HP. Seemed like a large engine for a 2 HP. That also told me it was old.

I looked on the bid sheet and it wouldn't be auctioned off until Saturday. I headed for the motel as I wasn't interested in the other things.

The next day I got the high bid on my engine. I paid my bill and got it loaded in my truck and headed for Mendon, Missouri to see two friends. Richard said they were celebrating their 100th year that weekend. When I saw that old steam traction engine in his driveway I had to stay. Looking at the front plate I noticed it was a Geyser steam engine, like the one my father had in Arkansas in the rice fields. My mother saved a sale bill from 1930 and only got $30.00 for it at the sale. I hauled that engine around Iowa, Illinois and Missouri until August 7, when we headed home after the Date Nail show at O'-Fallen, Missouri.

My load consisted of my engine, six pumps, a pump jack, sheep shearing outfit, framing mill, large corn sheller and wheels and pulleys.

I unloaded the engine at my friend Ken Byers' home. We checked the timing and found it way off. I noticed it had a homemade trip on the igniter. We shimmed up the tripper and it fired perfectly. We oiled all the vital parts and hooked up the battery and coil. I cleaned the Lunkenheimer carburetor, and the tank held the gas. Second pull she came to life. What a sweet puff!

I checked the American Gasoline Engines book and it states this model appeared in the Sears Roebuck catalogue in 1912 and disappeared in 1915. This engine is battery ignition and has the Holms flyball governor.

The book even gave the DuPont Red color number, but I haven't painted this engine yet. It sure gets a lot of attention at different showings.

Let me hear from anyone about this engine, please!