Long before I was born my grandfather, George Jacob Sr., ran the family farm. When my father, George Jr., was old enough he started a scrap yard and late model car business. That was also when he started buying old engines.
Farmers weren't using them anymore, and they brought them to my father for scrap. He would pay from $25 to $50 for some of them, and he never scrapped an engine, even if it was only good for parts. At local auctions he was known as the 'engine man.'
Now a retired dairy farmer, my father has collected around 200 engines, including about any kind of 1-1/2 HP to 25 HP engine you can think of. He can tell you where he got just about every one, and he can also tell you a story about it. He collected a number of New Holland engines over the years as well, and my grandfather used to go around once a year and oil them up, turn them over - even start a few. My grandfather and my father always liked New Holland engines, and my father remembers bringing home a new 5 HP New Holland to use in the barn grinding feed.
That First Engine
Growing up on the farm I was around engines all my life. I remember going to shows and seeing all the neat engines, and I bought my first engine, a 2-1/2 HP Ottawa, when I was around 16 years old.
When I was about 17 I received the best Christmas present ever. Opening up a shoebox I found a crank handle, and I knew right away it was from a New Holland. My father told me I could go pick out a 5 HP New Holland engine for my present. At that time he had four 5 HP engines in the barn, so when I went to the barn to pick one I was like a kid in a candy store. I chose what I thought was the best engine, a 19145 HP on a high wheel #14 truck with its original battery box and a Hendricks magneto running off the flywheel - and it still had (and has!) a lot of original paint and pin striping.
There were so many other engines in the way you couldn't get to where the engine was sitting in the barn, and 10 years passed before I finally pulled it out. My father and I worked on it, and within half an hour we had it running, but not right. After a little more work and some cleaning I finally got it running smoothly. That was when I first became interested in New Holland engines. That year I pulled it in a local parade and won first place for the most original engine.
The next item I got from my father was a #6 New Holland feed mill with all original paint and pin striping. The #6 was the smallest feed mill New Holland made. I gave my father some money down on it, and when I went to give him more money he told me to wait. Next, I asked him about a 1915 2 HP New Holland he had. I should mention that when I started to buy engines I bought any kind, just as my father did, and recently I've been selling some of these for more valuable engines. When we started talking about the 2 HP I offered him a 1-3/4 HP air-cooled Associated, plus some cash to make up the difference, in trade for the New Holland. He agreed to take the Associated, but not the money. Living close to New Holland, Pa., as we do, a 2 HP New Holland engine is worth more than an Associated, but he was happy to make the trade, anyway. This engine is also all original, mounted on a #13 truck with its original paint and pin striping still showing.
In the meantime I purchased a New Holland rock crusher on an original New Holland truck. The truck was made for a 5 HP engine on front and a rock crusher on back, so I talked to my father about a 1912 5 HP engine and an original battery box he had so I could make an original unit. I made him an offer and he said it was too high - he wouldn't take my offer, and I'm still waiting for a decision from him.
There were two more items I was interested in; a New Holland farmers saw and a 1918 1-1/2 HP low base, single-flywheel engine. Once again I made him an offer, and once again he said it was too high - I'm still waiting to hear on this, too! The farmers saw has its original paint and pin striping, and it still says New Holland on it. The single flywheel engine is all original, and you can see its original paint and a lot of pin striping.
When we took the 1-1/2 HP out of the shed my father told me it came out of a feed mill in Hereford, Pa. The feed mill was set to have an auction, and a few days before the auction a fellow told my father about an engine there. The engine had supposedly gotten away from the fellows moving it when they slid it down some steps, and the person who told my father about it thought they broke a flywheel off because it only had one. On the day of the sale was my father went to check it out, and what he found was a single-flywheel New Holland.
Showing and Collecting
When my father was working the dairy farm we went to shows, but we never had time to actually show anything. In fact, I just started showing this year. I took all my New Holland items to the Rough & Tumble show in Kinzer, Pa., and it was unbelievable how many people commented and complemented me on how I kept everything original.
I have also started collecting New Holland literature; I have around 20 pieces of literature and 40 New Holland letterheads dating from 1907-1919.
Cliff Moyer collects a large variety of New Holland items, and he also sells New Holland decals and replacement parts. Cliff is quite knowledgeable about New Holland engines, and he is trying to get an idea of how many of the 10,028 New Holland engines made are still out there. If you contact him he will date your engine and put your serial number on the registry he is building. Right now he has around 800 numbers recorded, and any New Holland's you know are out there would be a big help for Cliff's registry. Cliff's address is: Clifford Moyer, 183 North Main St., Dublin, PA 18917, or phone him at (215) 249-1490.
As you can see, New Holland's are well liked in the Jacob family. It started with my grandfather, then passed to my father, and now to me. My 4-year-old son, Tyler, is starting to get into the hobby - he helps me work on my engines and he even has a 1961 mid-engine Wheel Horse he calls his own. I have another son on the way, and with any luck he will take a liking to this hobby, too. I want to pass these New Holland items down to my sons and keep them in the family, and my plan is to put together a complete set of New Holland engines. I think I have a great start, and I owe it all to my father.
So this story goes out to my grandfather, who passed away two years ago at the age of 91, and to my wonderful father, who is my inspiration. His generosity and knowledge will be passed down through yet another generation, and I, and his grandson, Tyler, thank him for that.
Contact engine enthusiast George Jacob III at: 2759 North Charlotte St., Gilbertsville, PA 19525.