Oil Held Engine Society News

Bessemer Engine

Bill Baker cooks his lunch with the help of Frank Furguson's 10 HP Bessemer.

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1231 Banta's Creek Road, Eaton, Ohio 45320-9701 oil engine@voyager.net

This month we have some correspondence and photos from two of our California OFES members. The first is from Frank Furguson of Forest Ranch, California, who sends in a photo of his 10 HP Bessemer being used as a hot dog cooker by a friend of his, Mr. Bill Baker. I don't know what this would do to your hot dogs, but I'd assume that it would add somewhat of a propane flavor to them. And another mystery which Mr. Furguson didn't explain was why Mr. Baker is wearing a helmet. Needless to say, these guys are real 'Oafs,' and appear to know how to have a good time. Mr. Furguson writes that the Bessemer runs wonderfully and that he also has a 12 HP Reid in his collection of oil field engines.

The next correspondence is a letter from Richard Hunt about his experience in the oil field engine hobby. He also sends along two photos of his 20 HP Pattin Bros. engine.

Hunt says 'I enjoy the Oil Field Engine News section of GEM and hope to see it continue to be a regular addition in many future editions. My father and grandfather worked oil fields of Oklahoma and moved to the Signal Hill area of southern California in the early fifties to continue that tradition. I remember the forest of oil derricks that covered Signal Hill and the sound of the 'grasshopper' pump units.

'I began collecting old gas engines about six years ago. I suppose my oil background drove me to decide to try to find an oil field engine. My search led me to the Internet and, after about a month, I was able to locate a 20 HP Pattin Bros. engine here on the West Coast. Mike McKinney sold me the engine and delivered it to the 2000 Antique Equipment Show in Tulare, California, last April. Bill Tremel was a lot of help and gave me plenty of instruction on how to set up the propane system and some starting procedures. I also received a lot of information from Gerald Johnson, Myles Lamm and Ed Rerrad.

'I attempted to start it by hand, but since I was not sure about the gas valve setting, or exactly how much to prime (or not to prime), I belted it up to my tractor. After it fired the first time and covered me with oil, I began experimenting with the gas valve setting and regular pressures. It now starts fairly easily by hand by backing it up onto compression.

'During the 2000 show year, I took 'Mr. Pattin' to two shows in the Sacramento area: the Rio Linda Farm Days and the Amador County Fair in Plymouth. I'm finding out that oil field engines are not a common occurrence at shows on the West Coast. Because of its size, hot tube ignition and propane fuel source, most of the onlookers kept a safe distance while watching the operation of the half-breed design and listening to it pop off its very distinct ported exhaust sound. I am now looking for more oil field engines, hopefully in the smaller 10-15 HP range, as well as a push-pull and pump jack. Richard Hunt, P.O. Box 507, Clarksburg, California 95612, rmhunt@cwo.com.'

As a last issue of correspondence, we received a call from Carl E. Rhodes, 1305 Mt. Crawford Ave., Bridge-water, Virginia 22812, phone 540-828-3975. He requests any info or literature anyone can offer concerning his 2 HP Meitz & Weiss oil engine. It would be most appreciated.

As always, if you would like a free membership in the Oilfield Engine Society, please call or send an S.A.S.E. to my address above. Also, please visit the society website at www.oilfieldengine.com, or e-mail us at oilengine@voyager.net. Feel free to send in your experience with oilfield engines.