P.O. Box 78, Laura, Ohio 45337
Having retired almost four years ago, I was in need of another hobby besides fishing for Wall eye at Lake Erie.
Over many years of attending the Darke County Steam Thresher's Reunion in Greenville, Ohio, I had admired all the 'old iron' on display and the many friendly people I met from all over the U.S. That's when the idea struck me to perhaps find an old gasoline engine; one to restore and make 'like new' again.
While enjoying coffee with friends at our only town restaurant one day, talk of an old engine came up. One of the friends knew where an old engine had been dumped and was half buried in an old 'graveyard' in a nearby woods. I soon acquired the engine, after some digging to remove it and struggling to get it home.
Tearing it down and restoring it was a real challenge, as every minute piece had to be soaked, sanded, ground, cleaned, buffed; also, new parts had to be made and then it had to be assembled again. Much polishing and painting were done to complete my project. Finally, I was the PROUD owner of my first restored gas engine, an LA 1 HP.
This is great, I thought, and knew the bug had bitten! Since that first discovery, I now have restored several engines which are shown at many engine shows we've attended. Up until now, I was content with my collection, but I was hearing much talk of another name in engines that guys had said were uncommon to find and difficult to obtain. This was one I was determined to search for by complete surprise, I found it sooner than I anticipated.
Last spring found me on a trail of an elderly gentleman about 75 miles from my home. During my long conversation with him I learned where he had found this rather scarce engine and the history behind it. Indeed, it was a Foos and he had treasured it for many years.
I was interested in the possibility of becoming the owner of this engine, but knew it would be difficult for him to part with such a prized possession.
After a long discussion, this new-found friend asked if I was really interested in restoring it. Finally, most reluctantly due to failing health, he agreed to give it up. Not only did I become a proud owner of a Foos engine, but also the matching Mast Foos pump!
Following this winter's restoration this year's plans are to display all my engines in upcoming shows, especially my latest find: A Foos Jr., 1 HP, serial number 50756, and related Mast Foos pump!