The Gas-Up Show in Fairview and Tall Tales of Gas Engines

The author tells the latest on the Gas-Up Show in Fairview and shares tall tales about gas engines and a visit with Gas Engine Magazine and Iron Men Album editors.


Boyden, Iowa: A picture of my Baldwin-Gleaner, 6ft., at a rond-up. I've combined since.


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Learn about the Gas-Up Show in Fairview and tall tales about gas engines. 

The Gas-Up Show in Fairville on May first was a huge success. The sun shown all day, although it was cold and windy. Lots better than having it rain. Paul counted approximately thirty-five gas engines in operation, eight tractors, one steamer and the baker fan. Wish I knew how many people were there. It was a goodly number. I believe everyone had a good time. It is my suggestion, and I have heard it expressed by others, that it would be a good idea to have a few more get-togethers in other parts of the state so other members could show off their collections. What do you think?

There were about fifty-five present at the April third meeting. It was voted to purchase red engineering caps to have for sale. It was reported that the tractors of the late Harry Schoff have about all been sold. We voted to donate $3.00 for each antique car which shows up on Sunday from the Livingston Antique Car Club. The money is to go to the club treasury. Richard Shaw and his son of Newfane showed some very interesting movies and slides of their last summer's trip to Alaska. Too bad the light in the hall is not conducive to showing pictures. Maybe something could be done about it. Any suggestions?

On May first there was a short meeting of the Board of Directors. The Treas. reported a balance in the bank as of May 1st. of $810.32. The following chairmen of committees were appointed: Gas: George Knab and Franklin Orbaker; Shingle mill: George Knab and Milton Skinner; Models: Clarence Stilson; Parking: Franklin Orbaker; Electricity Dick Wood; Garbage Franklin Orbaker; Insurance Don Luteyn; Wheat Franklin Orbaker; Threshing David Shearns; Logs for sawmill Paul Luckman; Tents: Don Luteyn. Milt Skinner will build two ticket booths measuring 4 feet by 4 feet. Our property which is still at Honeoye Falls will be picked up on May fifteenth. There will be other work days needed before the Reunion to get things in shape, so please help if you are called on. The secretary was instructed to mail out a letter to all of the 1964-65 members who did not rejoin, to inform them of the change in location of the meetings and the reunion.

"Well ennyvays this dirt fanner ask I should shoe his ox, so I get ther he aint home, the farmer I mean, so hees wife says go oudt to the barn you find him, so I go an get in the barn yard an see a head coming round the straw stuck an he cum for me, dis vas the bull not the ox. No place to run only round the stuck. I run round bout two time and jump in the barn over the haff door, am litenin on a limb. Did dat bull go, last time I saw him he vas going like a vind spliter."

—Gotleib "The Blocksmith" 

Me and Dave

A picture of my Baldwin-Gleaner, 6 foot., at a round-up. I've combined since.

The other Saturday me and Dave was sittin' in the shop office have in' coffee. We had just finished a carbon valve job on Doc Wilcox' old straight eight Buick. The boys had all knocked off for the weekend and we was just sittin' there drinking coffee and restin' when Myron Van Schaaick drove up in his old Chewy pickup.

Now Myron ain't a bad guy if you understand him. He is just a stingy old Dutchman and is stubborner than ten regular folks put togeather. The cow farm he has up back of Krack's Corners is the nicest and neatest in these parts. His two boys, young Myron and Herm, worked with him 'till they got sick of his tightwad ways and went away to go it by themselves, and left him and his missus to run the outfit alone. Myron, he don't go for modern conveniences like electricity, telephone or running water, so Me and Dave was kinda surprised when he come stompin' in an dsays, "Kin you poys helb me oudt? My new milker macheen vont vork and I candt milk on account my bust arm."

Sure 'nuff, his right arm had a board on it and was all wrapped up in a bandage.

Dave says, "Myron, what you bin doin' to get all stove up like that?" and Myron started to swear and jump around somethin' fierce. After he quieted down some, he told us that he had just got a gas engine milker and hooked it up this morning and when he tried to start it the "dummed thing" kicked and broke his arm. He drove all the way down into town with one hand and Doc set it and put a splint on it, and he allowed as how it didn't hurt much anymore, but he was in a heluva shape upon the farm. His milker wouldn't work and he couldn't hand milk with only one arm and it was pretty near time for his four spigot ladies to get some attention.

So Me and Dave, we threw the tool box in the back of the combinder pickup and Dave climbed into Myron's old Chewy and we drove up to the farm.

Myron took us out into the barn and showed us his new milker. He had a two horse Taylor Vacuum engine piped up to a hotwater tank with a pail type milker on the end of a rubber hose. I hadn't seen a setup like that since back in the twenties when I was sellin' bean shellers.

Dave, he just bugged out his eyes like a couple china doorknobs and says to Myron, "Where in tarnation did you dig up this rig? Don't you know that the inspector will snatch you bald headed for havin' a gas engine in the barn?"

Myron, he dummed the inspectors up and down and jumped around some more, but he quieted down after a bit and asked us if we could make it work. All his ladies in the bam was making mournful noises so we got right at it.

This old engine had jump spark ignition with an interrupted ground.

Here is a picture of our power. 30 Cat. "as was" — $125.00, D. John Deere "like new" — $275.00, Clitrac Model A Motor — $257.00, Model A, 1938, Dodge, 1928, 2 speed rear end. Jerry Lee is on the little put-put, age 2.

Built strictly for promotion purposes by Ransom E. Olds, this spidery speedster was supposed to add a little bit of luster to the name Oldsmobile in 1903. With Dan Wurgis driving, the "Pirate," in its debut, set a new 5-mile competitive record of 5:49 on Sept. 12 at the mile-long Syracuse, N.Y., track. The Pirate weighed only 825 lb. and was powered by a 2-cyl., 10-bhp opposed-cylinder engine. Ignition was by dry batteries and the water pump operated from gears on the crankshaft. The rocket-shaped exterior cylinders were for fuel and water.

At the Ormond Beach, Fla., Auto and Motorcycle Speed Tournament of 1903, a race was arranged between Alexander Winton and H. T. Thomas, on the Pirate. The Winton was given a 50-yard head start. As they flashed over the finish line of the 1-mile course, Winton was declared the winner by a scant 1/5 sec. Later Thomas set a world's mile mark for machines of 1000 lb. or under (1:06.25) and a Daytona Beach straightaway record of 5 miles in 6:05. Whether or not the publicity was successful for the Oldsmobile company, the Pirate certainly was.

Sent by Rowland Williams, Lt. Col, U.S.A.F., Ret., 3717 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, California.

Compare this 1903 R.E. Olds "Spindly Speedster" with Stanleys "Howling Betsy."

There was a flat bronze spring on a pad sort of thing, and a big head bolt on the cam gear that brushed the spring every time it came around.

Dave took the plug out and laid it on the water jacket and I give her a spin and the coil buzzed and the plug sparked so we knowed we had fire. So we screwed the plug back in and Dave give the crank a lift. She fired about halfway up the compression stroke and Dave went tail over tip into a stack of milk pails. Myron damn near had a fit.

We got to looking the old popper over and found out that this pad type thing was held onto the inside end of the cam gear shaft with a setscrew. You were supposed to set the timer by moving this pad around the shaft. It had been bumped or something and was way too far forward and the spark was so advanced that she kicked like a steer. That's how Myron got his arm broke. We pulled the plug wire off and set the timing back where we figured it should be and I spun her this time. The old gal took off like a scart cat on the first pull. She shook and bounced around the barn like my old hound dog the time he set down on the mud wasp nest. We chased the thing for a spell and finally got it shut off. Then we found that it had a fixed set throttle which was wide open and no governor. After we fooled with this gimmick a while, we cut it back to a fast idle and spun her over again. This time she ticked over like a two doller watch. The vacuum pump part grunted and groaned some but it worked pretty good. We shut down and greased and oiled around and started her up again and told Myron to go ahead and milk. He tried to get the tit cups on a cow, who didn't like it very much, but his bum arm hampered him considerable so I done it for him. Pretty quick milk started to squirt into the pail and Myron, he grinned all over and went and got another milker. We hooked it up to the hot water tank and in about a minute another of his ladies was somewhat happier. The old Taylor slowed some, but Dave, he cracked the throttle a littel more and she run both milkers read good.

2 H.P. Famous Engine about 1915 or older at the 1965 Pontiac Reunion.

Myron, he went out in the barnyard and banged on a wagon tire he had hanging off a tree limb and his wife hollerd what he wanted from the house. He told her to bring down that other pail and stuff and be quick about it. She come down to the barn with another milker. We hooked it up and that old Taylor chugged right along, working three cows in good style.

Myron's wife, she was kinda scart of the rig-up but he told her it was alright and what nice fellers we was to make it work for him.

She said we should stay for supper so we all helped Myron milk and pour the milk into cans and put them in the springhouse, shut the old Taylor down, washed up and went up to the house. She had about a dozen slices of sower-bratten you could cut with a feather and the best tater cakes Me and Dave ever et. After we had some pie and coffee, Myron, he gives us five dollers for our help and we clum into the cornbinder and drove back to town.

After we got the truck put up and was havin' a cold beer up to Sam's place, Dave says, 'I wonder how cum he got a milker and where in tarnation he found that old relic?' We found out after that his Missus finally told the old skinflint off and just plain refused to help hand milk anymore so Myron, he bought the Taylor offen Harry Kershaw, the milk truck driver, for five bucks. Harry says it near broke his heart to part with the money but I guess he didn't have much choice, what with Mrs. Myron tell in him off like that.

We found out too, that Mrs. Myron had to learn how to run the old thing because Myron couldn't Start it with only one hand. I guess she got real handy at it too.


Here is a picture of a Hold Combine, 22 x 45 Hart-Parr Tractor at Welby, Sask., about 1909.

Here is a picture of a Hold Combine, 22 x 45 Hart-Parr Tractor at Welby, Sask., about 1909.

Paul and I recently spent a few days in Pennsylvania. One of our stops was to visit Warren Walck, R.D. 1, Easton, Pa. Among his quite large collection is a very nicely restored 1905 Mogul tractor, a Messenger 22 foot threshing machine with straw carrier, a Wilson corn and oyster shell cracker, a Pennsylvania 6 HP engine and an Olds 12 H.P. engine. These are a few of the unusual pieces of equipment which he has. He has started a one man show called the East Penn Tractor Engine Show. The dates for this will be September twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth. To reach his place, turn off Route 611, seven miles north of Easton; then follow dirt road two miles. Signs will be posted.

We then spent a delightful afternoon visiting with Rev. and Mrs. Ritzman, the Editors of THE IRON MEN ALBUM and THE GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE. They live in Enola, Pa. We enjoyed browzing through "Elmer's Korn Krib." He has a very large collection of old pictures, magazines, brochures, modes and other interesting historia, besides the two steam traction engines. Would like to be there on a warmer day and really take the time to look around. Visitors are welcome to see his collection. He is one man who certainly has an interesting hobby.

Of course we were interested in the two magazines and how they are put together. Mr. Ritzman does all of the assembling of the final magazines himself, after the printers are through. He has quite a set up in his basement. At the time we were there, Anna Mae Branyan, his business manager was seriously ill. Now, we hear that she is better and able to do part time work.