6910 Argyle Road Caledonia, Illinois 61011
I have been a subscriber of GEM for several years, and enjoy it very much. My wife and I have a building 170 feet x 60 feet full of horse machinery, 40 old tractors including a model L Emerson Brantingham 12-20 HP, 380-plus cast iron seats, we enjoy collecting very much.
We have had several groups here to visit with us, we had 40 Australian farmers here last August and never had such an enjoyable day.
We have talked back and forth with one couple (Jim and Vic Hauser) several times. They sent us a letter and pictures of their collection. They asked to have them sent to the magazine. Excerpts from the letter follows:
'Hi, Warren and Helen!
'We realize that there aren't many English engines in America, because you had your own. As one guy told me, the English engines were too big, too heavy, too sophisticated, but we have English ties and Vic just loves the blowlamp start engine.
'Perhaps Americans would be interested to know about our private museum, too! It features a Marshall portable steam engine, 8 HP, that came from the outback of Australia. Once again, a trip in the Volvo semi plus, 40 foot loader, some sections of the road were so corrugated that we only average 25 m.p.h. It took Vic 18 months to restore and it runs on compressed air in the museum so that people can marvel at the wonder of steam.
'We love our 1928 'Flying Four' Dodge. It's such a pretty blue, we have been thousands of miles in her and people rave and talk to us when we fill up at a garagewe feel like 'royalty' waving to the public.
'We have motorbikes, AJS 1924, Velocette and side car 1939, BSA 500 cc 1940-45 still in its Army crate when Vic got it at 16 years. Of course we have a 'few' cast iron seats, a special addition came from 'Illinois' USA. The friendliest people in the world and we happily returned 'Aussies' seats. We have dolls, clothing, blacksmith tools, bottles, signs, machinery and about 50 stationary engines, EVEN American! Lots of memorabilia.
'Do come and visit us next time you are in Australia.'
'Hooray. At last I have a full collection of 'Blackstone' stationary oil engines. My ambition is fulfilled! I do believe this to be quite unique anywhere in the world and, I am the proud owner of a 2 HP, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20 and 26 HP.
'After 18 years of hunting and seeking, these wonderful engines are all housed in my workshop shed and what a magnificent site to see them all in line, painted to their former glory.
'To accumulate this collection, my wife Jill and I have traveled thousands of miles throughout Australia in our F100 utility and the farm Volvo semitrailer J 40 foot low loader. Must admit Jill missed a gear or two when she took her turn behind the wheel. We have been fortunate to meet so many friends. People who willingly helped load their rusting relics, most times taking hours longer that expected, but we always came home smiling.
'Our longest trip, 2,500 miles from Port Neill, South Australia, to Goondiwindi, Queensland. They saw us loading a 10 HP on the banks of the Macintyre River. It was quite evident that it had been under flood waters during its lifetime. We holiday yearly in this area, as our daughter and family live on a sheep, cattle and grain property in this vicinity. She also keeps her nose to the ground, hence we have collected a few steam and oil engines for our private museum.
'Back in 1986 we rescued several Blackstones from Arcoona Station, South Australia. This vast property of 1,000,000 acres is owned by the Kidman Company, formerly Sir Sidney Kidman, the notorious cattle king of Australia. The Woomera Rocket Range and Narrunga tracking Station are also situated here. The engines we were fortunate and grateful to be given are 4, 6, 12, and 26 HP from outlying pumping stations all originally working on bores that supplied water to the 25,000 sheep this property can run in good years. The average rainfall is only 6 inches and unfortunately only 2 had fallen. So we had kangaroos and emus bounding alongside our vehicles competing for the salt and blue bush vegetation. The 26 HP was used by the South Australian Railways to pump water from a large storage dam to fill the Ghan steam train on journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, starting up in 1917.
'Perhaps my most treasured Blackstone is the 2 HP. I have had enthusiasts throughout Australia on the lookout for a long time, only to have the elusive Two delivered to my backdoor by a big hearted, fellow engine enthusiast friend from Sydney. We placed this engine on a space that had been reserved for many years and naturally enough opened a bottle of champagne!
'As you can well guess, the old blowlamp start Blackstone is indeed my favorite engine!'