A reader makes a hobby of collecting New Holland engines.
An assignment to purchase a number of old-time products, manufactured many years ago by the New Holland Machine Company, has brought Benjamin H. Weber, Foreman of the Janitorial Services Section at the New Plant, a new hobby to add to that of gun, rifle and pistol collecting which had been his main hobby for many years.
While most of the gas engines of this type in existence today are forty or more years old, they can still be found in many sections of this and adjoining counties, and in most instances continue to do the tasks they were originally designed for on the farms of the section.
They came in a number of sizes, and were used in a wide variety of ways from operating deep-well pumps, corn-shellers, washing machines, and some stationary balers. A number of industries also used them for powering machinery. Ice cream and butter makers found them tops in their business . . . in fact for many years the New Holland Machine Company was given credit for making things just a bit easier on the farm, in the home, and in industry as there was a size for almost every task.
Mr. Weber's first desire to perpetuate these machines came when he was given the assignment by the Advertising Department and a number of top executives of the company to gather a few of the machines if possible.
He found that while they are becoming a bit scarcer due to the fact that newer and less cumbersome engines are supplanting them, and also because few if any parts are available, there were still enough of the machines left to more than supply the demand at that time.
After fulfilling his assignment, he found to his delight that there was one or more for himself, and his collection has since grown. He makes an effort to buy only those that are still in top running order, then cleans them up, makes minor repairs and refinishes them. End result is that they look almost as new and colorful as the day they left the plant years before.
One of his prize pieces is a half-horse job in perfect condition. In addition there is a 1-1/2 horsepower engine with single flywheel, one of only a few of that model to be manufactured, and Ben also has them up to 5 horsepower in size.
Mr. Weber's love for collecting old guns began many years ago when he quite often attended old-time rifle shoots at Shartlesville, Pennsylvania with George Landis, one of the founders of the Landis Valley Museum, now being managed and operated by the State.
Some of the rifles he still owns were used at these matches, and Mr. Weber was on many occasions able to record scores of 96 points out of a possible 100 with them.