A Ladies' View of Engines

The wife of a gas engine enthusiast generously offers a ladies' view of the hobby.

6 HP. Fairmont Engine

Courtesy of A.C. Pump, Grant, Nebraska. A nice snapshot of my 6 HP Fairmont. I made it in 1902 at the age of 16.


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When Mr. Ritzman asked me for a few paragraphs to provide a ladies' view for the new Gas Engine Magazine, I had a few bad moments. And I still do for that matter. It will be an entirely new experience for me, and I hope a successful one.

My contacts with steam and gas engines have come since my marriages, as I grew up in a family not much interested in mechanical things, although it was on a farm. My husband, Paul, is very mechanical, as you undoubtedly will hear more about. Through him I have become interested, first in the New York Steam Engine Association, Inc., and then in the Pioneer Gas Engine Association, Inc. I have found that a woman has one of two choices: either she stays home alone, or goes along and joins in the activity. I find it much more interesting to go along. It is a lot of fun to be able to operate a big oil pull tractor, or steer a steam engine. I can't throttle one, although I know several ladies who do.

I have met some very wonderful people through these organizations. They are plain down-to-earth people. The men live somewhat in the past, telling tales of their threshing and sawmill days. Their wives are very friendly and can reminisce over the days when the threshing crew came to stay and they cooked and baked from sunup to sundown. The younger people are also interested in these olden days and the machinery of that era, and are working to preserve these antiques for their children.

When you read this the holiday season will be over, but as I am writing, it is just starting. It is a very busy time, especially when one works. There is just not enough time to do all one would like to do. I remember my grandmother making mincemeat for the Christmas pies. Her fruitcake was always made way ahead of time and the older it was the better it tasted.

Oranges in our Christmas stocking were a big treat, and the few toys we received were much more appreciated than the big handouts that the children of today take as a matter of course. Let us all take time out to count our blessings, and to remember "that it is more blessed to give than to receive."

May you all have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. You ladies make a resolution to remember that the old piles of junk laying out back are really "valuable antiques" and should command your proper respect.

We also want to wish the new Gas Engine Magazine much success. Until next time, may you all keep well and happy.