20 Years Ago in GEM

Reminiscing Gas Engine Magazine


Bill Arnold of Petersburg, Ind., wrote an article detailing the restoration of his 1923 2 HP Jaeger hit-and-miss engine.

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November 1985

Editor's note - This is a new monthly department we think has a certain historical value you will enjoy. Let us know what you think via U.S. mail, e-mail (rbackus@ogdenpubs.com), or log on to www.GasEngine

Magazine.com, click on Forums, then Gas Engines and look for the "20 Years Ago - Comments?" subject heading.

As many of you attended Tri-State's 40th Anniversary of the Portland, Ind., show this year, of the November 1985 issue of Gas Engine Magazine included a recap of the 20th Anniversary of the show.

The article, written by Donald Siefker, begins by saying, "They came from 29 states and Canada and brought with them 2,495 gasoline engines, 372 tractors ... and seven steam engines." By comparison, this year's show saw over 3,000 engines - and that's with the sudden hike of gas prices, which caused many people to stay at home this year. The 1985 show also hosted the John Deere 2-Cylinder Club rally, of which 102 John Deere tractors made an appearance.

Page 12, titled "8th LeSueur County Swap Meet" has a listing of some of the items sold at the meet. For example, a running 1936 Case CC tractor on steel wheels sold for $450, a 15-30 International engine sold for $100, and a restored 1 HP Ideal sold for $650! Oh, how times have changed!

C.H. Wendel wrote in his "Reflections" department about the Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which I'm sure many of you also attended this year. He claimed there were "500+ engines on display" in '85. That's another show that has seen a lot of growth over the years. As a matter of fact, there were about 1,000 engines at this year's show.

Wendel also mentions his paint color guide, which appears in his now out-of-print Notebook. He says, "We continue to make progress on the paint color guide ... and with any luck, we'll have a listing ready sometime this winter."

One page does not allow us a full report on respective past issues, but it sure is fun looking back at the hobby and seeing how far we've come since 1985.