306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060
Take a small friendly town with a nice shady park, mix in around 100 old gas engines and a lot of enthused gas engine owners, and you have the formula used at Murray, Iowa, for four years to produce a successful annual 'gas-up.' I learned there were three commanding officers behind this gas-up that made it a success; Leland and Wilbur Ries and Jerry Kleinbeck, all of Murray. I also learned that they were not only the officers, but were also the privates of this army, as they are the ones who do the work getting things set for this gas-up get-to-gether.
The gas-up this year was June 10-11. I was not on hand on Saturday but I learned there were a number of engines that could be there only for the one day. Sunday I found a lot of engines on hand and a few late comers trickling in.
One of the first engine men I talked to was Pearl Myers of Winterset, Iowa. Pearl had a nice restored 9 HP Hercules engine on trucks. He left this engine in his pickup truck and I thought, as I watched this engine bang away, what a neat way for some pickup company to test shock absorbers!
Ted Brookover of Kansas City, Missouri, brought two rare engines, one a Industrial Works of Clinton, Missouri. There are only 4 of these engines known to exist. The other rare engine he brought was a National made in Sagino, Michigan. Ted does some nice cartoons for the Central Hawkeye Club newsletter 'The Gasser.' The editor, pressman, and general flunky of 'The Gasser' Duane Parsons, of near Kansas City, said that he and others had been traveling around in Kansas City photographing old buildings that were once factories of gas engines, tractors, etc., John Deere, Fairbanks-Morse and Monitor engines, for example. Duane said most of the buildings but they still had the large painted signs visible.
Roger Yeager of State Corner, Iowa, had a Gade engine belted to Kelly Mill no. 50 and was grinding meal. He had a nicely painted sign which said, 'When this little mill was made OSHA was not yet born. The FDA was sampling another use for corn. This mill won't suit OSHA, not safe in other words. FDA won't approve the meal. It's strictly for the birds.' Roger also had another engine belted to a Rube Goldberg attachment, which in turn cranked an ice cream freezer. He made a batch of ice cream and handed out ice cream cones to a long line of people.
Years ago lots of people went to California in search of gold. Dave Campbell of Lamoni, Iowa, parted with a bunch of gold in California for a Scott Brothers gas engine. Marvin Natrie of Des Moines, Iowa made the trip there and back with the engine for Dave. At this time, there are only 12 of these engines known.
Wilbur Ries brought his steam engine and miniature merry-go-round and also brought an air-cooled Chore Boy engine which was belted to an old furnace fan. This blew air onto a whirlagig which Wilbur had made which was a man cranking a gas engine.
Merlin and Mary Schrier of Cumberland, Iowa, brought a rare engine, a York Flinchbough made in York, Pennsylvania.
For anyone who came to this show and was struck with enginitis, George Webler of Deep River, Iowa, had a truck load of old engines for sale.
There was a good lunch stand on the grounds and good fiddle music in the afternoon, and lots of flea markets. There was a button for this show and pictured on it was an oil well engine made by the National Transit Company, owned by Jerry Kleinbeck of Murray.
This was another good show and we will be looking toward next year and coming back again to Murray.