Route 4, Box 18, Osage, Iowa 50461
The order for this old heavyweight is dated Oct. 1, 1906. It was purchased from the Lennox Machine Co. of Marshalltown, Iowa by Knowles Brothers of Manly, Iowa-one of whom was my grandfather, D. D. Knowles. It is 16 H. P.-has 9.5' bore and 14' stroke, fly wheels are 56' in diameter and it weighs 4800 pounds. The serial number 1018, the purchase price was $375.00, and was to be delivered 'as soon as possible'. Grandad died in 1927 and the old engine had not run from then until after I acquired it in Oct. 1963. As a boy I can remember peeking into the shed where it was kept and seeing the old thing laced with heavy spider webs. As the years went by, the shed rotted and collapsed. The day we went to get it, we had to brush aside the remains of a 12 inch tree limb which had sometime fallen between the flywheels, but luckily the oiler wasn't even broken. The piston wasn't stuck, but everything else was badly rusted. As with all old engines, it took plenty of patience, penetrating oil and persistance. It runs like a charm. It has a few unique features. The exhaust valve is horizontal-to one side of the head, and the intake is vertical. Also, instead of a roller on the push rod, the cam is inside a floating ring, which stops each time it pushes. The igniter is tripped by a separate push rod from a smaller brass cam.
The engine was used for custom feed grinding. I also have the grinder, it is a cone burr mill-Spartain, made in Galesburg, Illinois; but haven't done anything with it yet. I learned that it was also used to run a generator which sparked the arc light projector in the Manly Theatre.
Although it runs beautifully, the old Lennox hasn't been repainted. That will be done after we get it onto a good set of trucks and can move it indoors. It did pose a problem last summer. One day when the temperature was close to 100 degrees, I happened to look at it while I was filling my tractor and saw a gap in one of the fly wheels. Guess the extreme heat had been too much. It cracked where a counter balance is bolted the inner side of the rim We did fix it though by shrinking a ? X 3' band on it. Did both wheels for looks sake.
Although the engine was ordered to have a galvasized cooling tank and rotary pump, it was cooled by water from a shallow well through a force pump run off the line shaft. Another interesting sidelight was that since it was in town, the explosions annoyed some and grandad was forced to dig a large cistern to muffle the exhaust.
Acquiring this engine was the beginning of an ever growing collection of engines for me and my neighbor, Lawrence Schmidt, who is just as crazy as I am. (So our wives say,) We now have some 30 different makes and models.
In May of last year a group of enthusiasts from this area organized what we call 'The Cedar Valley Engine Club' and held our first annual show on the Labor Day weekend at the Osage, Iowa Fair grounds. Our next show will be Labor Day Weekend-1967 at the Charles City, Iowa Fairgrounds.