Number One Son's First Engine

Stephen Hanuscin

Before: Stephen Hanuscin trying to uncover serial number; Galloway Masterpiece Six in background.

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7 Orange Court Longview, Texas 75604

I started collecting old gas engines in the early '70s with the help of my Power Mechanics teacher, Preston Foster. After restoring two engines and acquiring a third, I lost interest in engines. Then in 1990, after several years of battling an undiagnosed collagens disease, I looked up Mr. Foster and he helped me locate an engine to restore, a 4 HP Leader made by The Field Force Pump Company. I call restoring engines 'gas engine therapy.' All heavy lifting is done by hoist, neighbors, or #1 Son.

The boy was nine when the Leader was finished. He told me he wanted a gas engine. We looked for over a year. Several engines were found at engine shows, but the price was beyond his reach. This hobby can be very expensive if you get in a hurry, so we kept looking. In the time spent searching for an engine, he bought five of the toy engines made by Ertl. He now has a nice collection of those. We catch a lot of shows in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the summers, and one or two in Texas where we live. Here in Texas it's not uncommon to drive four to ten hours to reach a show.

One day I received a phone call from a man named Frank, of Marshall, Texas (30 miles east of our home). He said a friend told him that I collected old gas engines, so he called to talk engines. He also said he had two engines that weren't for sale, but I was welcome to come and look at what he had if I wanted. Two days later I dragged my neighbor to Marshall with me, and there was a 6 HP Galloway Masterpiece Six with a Webster Tri-Polar mag sitting outside, complete, but very rusty with moss covering a portion of the flywheels and hopper. Then we were taken inside a workshop to see an Associated l HP Chore Boy. The igniter had been drilled and tapped for a spark plug, the mag was gone, and it was rigged with a buzz coil for spark. The trip arm assembly was also missing, and a few teeth were missing off the small gear. The Galloway came from the Jefferson Chair Factory in Jefferson, Texas (the fifth oldest town in Texas). A friend of his owned the Galloway and Associated. The friend worked at the chair factory from 1911 until closing. The man passed away and left Frank the engines. The Associated was left to the chickens to roost on in a chicken house when Frank retrieved them. I asked if he wanted to sell the engines. A definite 'no' was the reply. After a short visit we left for home. On the way home I told my neighbor the Chore Boy would be a good engine for my son to learn on.

Nearly a year passed, and every now and then I'd call Frank to see if he was doing okay, and to see if he had done anything with the engines.

Then in November of 1992, I decided to call Frank. As I was about to make the call the phone rang; it was Frank. He told me he was in need of some cash and for a few bucks more than what I offered for the Galloway I could have both engines. Within a few hours the Chore Boy was in my shop and the next day the Galloway was too.

The boy had his engine at a very reasonable price. I told him I would help him restore it, but he had to do most of the work and cut enough grass to help pay for paint and such. He had it disassembled in a few days. Pulling the flywheel to make the gear repair took over two months. We searched for about a year for an igniter and trip assembly. No luck. Preston Foster made the trip and igniter for us since we couldn't find them. All parts were then degreased and sandblasted. #1 Son primed and sanded and primed and sanded until he was sick of priming and sanding, but after the first coat of color was applied he saw it was worth it. We found the proper color red in Centari and I had a quart mixed. It looked a little orange to me, but maybe it was the poor lighting in my shop. Wrong! After he painted all the small parts I found it was definitely orange, but the boy liked it, he liked it a lot! I could not convince him to let me get the right color. I didn't want to discourage him by making him change it, so if you see an orange and black Associated Chore Boy at Coolspring Power Museum in Coolspring, Pennsylvania, from June 17-19, you'll know who owns it#1 Son, Stephen Hanuscin, age 11. He will probably take his engine to several other shows in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania also.

If anyone has a spare Associated mag, and idler gear, at a reasonable price, Stephen would sure like to hear from you.