Stationary gas engines and, gasoline tractors are among the many interesting items exhibited at the Louisiana State University Rural Life Museum, at Baton Rouge.
We visited the museum while on tour with a group from the Mississippi Queen steamboat, this past spring. The museum is located on the Burden Research Plantation, a 450-acre property owned by LSU.
Gas engine restorers should visit the museum, and volunteer to do some work on the engines which are in the collection. These include:
An I.H.C. Horizontal, 4 HP, 400 RPM, Serial No. R3551/D; a Fairbanks-Morse, 3 HP, 475 RPM, Serial No. 472816; Fuller & Johnson Mfg. Co., 2? HP, 500 RPM, Serial No. 91453, and a McCormick-Deering by International Harvester, 1? HP, 500 RPM, Serial No. A4737.
The tractors are a Case, 4 cylinders, Size CC, No. C336314, from the early 1920s, and a Samson 4 cylinders, Model M, No. 18039, from the late 1910s.
There is also a scale model of 'The General,' a famous Civil War locomotive. This is a steam-powered working engine built by John Fleitas of Madisonville, La., in the late 1960s. It is on loan from John Q. Kissner.
Also in the museum is a steam-powered tractor model, 4 feet long, 1 foot 8 inches high, in working condition, on loan from John Q. Kissner.
This is an impressive outdoor-indoor museum, set up to tell the story of oldtime farm life in Louisiana. It has three main divisions.
The Barn contains all sorts of mementos of rural life, from prehistoric times into the 20th Century; The Working Plantation includes buildings which are authentically furnished to tell of all life activities in an 18th or 19th Century working plantation- comissaiy, overseer's house, kitchen, slave cabins, sick house, schoolhouse, blacksmith's shop and sugar-house, and the Folk Architecture exhibit, shown through four buildings-a country church, a pioneer's cabin and corncrib, and a Acadian house.
An oldtime cemetery is also open to visitors.
The idea for the museum came from Steele Burden and Miss lone Burden, longtime Louisiana State University employes, and Dr. Cecil G. Taylor, former LSU Chancellor. Development started in 1970, and many persons have aided since.
Oscar Richard, administrator, had the photographs taken for GEM, and we thank him.
Stationary gas engines (left to right) IHC Horizontal, 4 HP; Fairbanks-Morse, 3 HP; Fuller & Johnson, 2? HP; McCormick-Deering engine by International Harvester, 1? HP.