Does History Repeat Itself? You Bet It Does!

1915 Economy.

1915 Economy.

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Rt 2, Box 371-13 Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201

Awhile back I submitted an article about collecting old iron in the '60s in the Midwest, starting with air cooleds. Now, here I am, doing it all over again!

Is this an expensive hobby? It can be. It's how you go about it. I'm on a limited budget, so I can't plunk down half-a-grand for an engine. I live mostly by barter. That's trading, to the uninitiated. I usually pick up the 'don't want 'ems,' the incomplete, the broken and the rusted. I usually have a lot more time and sweat equity tied up than initial outlay. To me, that's the fun of it! The scrounging, the cleaning and making of unobtainable (or too expensive for my budget) parts.

In the photos are my two 1 HP Herculean cousins; a 1 HP Hercules of 1918 and a 1915 1 HP Economy, both E series. (Finally found out what the 'E' meant. It doesn't mean Economy, it means 'E' series.)

I have people who visit every other week or two just to look through my junk piles. Not interested in buying, they just like to look. They say I have the most interesting and classiest junk in the county. They are always welcome, the newcomers and old timers alike. There's always time for 'iron talk.' There's also the chance to work up a trade now and then.

I have a couple of pieces nearly done and only lack a few small parts. They may not be 100% true restos, so the purists out there please forgive me, okay? I just like to pretty 'em up as well as make 'em run. I have several engines in 'as-found' condition. As can be noted in the photos accompanying this article, they certainly ain't cherry! Given time, they one day will be standing tall and running. Also, I have a very nice Elto twin of the mid-'20's. It will be an easy resto.

I also included a couple of shots of my 'conglomeration engine' that I made out of old junk four years ago to win a bet.

Here are two views of  T. J. Shipman's collections, 'Bug Chasing Conglomeration Engine,' which burns kerosene. 'So durn ugly it's almost purty' is what they say about it.

I started with a skunked out B&S block; used a piston from an old air compressor; the flywheel came from a water pump. A modified Briggs carb delivers the fuel (kero-oil cut with 10% regular gas) and a Crosley coil and six-volt emergency light battery fires it. Sure has an interesting sound! Sounds like a cross between a Maytag single and a John Deere idling on one cylinder. It runs very well at between about 200 and 600 rpm. Chases all the bugs away. I push dirt and snow and do all kinds of tugging and nudging with it. It has run faithfully for four years now.

An expensive hobby? Nah! It doesn't have to be. Heck, even poor ol' junk-pickers like me can have a ball with it. A fun hobby? You bet! All you young folks out there, don't be afraid to get your feet wet! Take it from the ol' junk-man, you'll not regret it!

To all who helped, no matter how much or how little, a great big 'much obliged!' The Good Lord sure has been kind to me. Again, thanks!