8 hp. Rockford

Courtesy of Bill Fogwell, Shellsburg, Iowa

Bill Fogwell

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5333 Grove City Rd. Grove City, Ohio 43123

Having just gotten acquainted with Gem, I decided to join in the fun and send in my resume of my introduction to the fascinating world of gas engines. It all started when my husband George came home and announced that he was going to purchase an old gas engine from a pumping station in southern Ohio. Natcherly, being a female and not very interested or educated in mechanics, I replied, 'What for and where are you going to put it?' I had visions of a monsterous thing taking up space in our garage which was already filled with other innumerable goodies. George patiently explained all about gas engines and their function. He also threw in a few sound effects of how an engine sounds which was really very funny. He felt that we should have one as we have several antiques and an antique engine was a must for gung-ho collectors like us.

Well, honestly, I still was unenlightened about this thing but decided to play along with George and besides that word antique did spark a little interest.

We made plans to acquire 'our engine' though a mutual friend of yours and ours, John Wilcox of Columbus, Ohio. We met John one Sunday at the Carbon Hill, Ohio, pumping station where our new toy was awaiting. We had never seen a pumping station before and we were very fascinated with the whole works. We were early so we had to wait for John and I wasn't sure I could stand anything at home that even made the slightest resemblance to all that noise. I consoled my nerves by doing a little jig called the 'gas engine rock.'

John arrived and introduced us to a very dirty greasy 1909, 6 h.p. Waterloo engine which was later to become our pride and joy. We also met Smitty, the engineer on duty who was a swell person and really helped us out later. I could tell by George's expression that he had the same thoughts as I did, how in the world were two men going to move a 1500 pound engine down off it's foundation onto the floor then up about two feet, over the door sill and up abut three more feet into our truck.

Impossible to us but not to John as he was very confident, so we put our faith and trust entirely in his hands.

The men went to get the truck and immediately got stuck in the mud as is had rained the previous night. Since we had borrowed the truck this made the situation even more tense to me and I was beginning to wish I had stayed at home. Good ole Smitty saved us by getting his jeep truck and hauling us on down the hill.

Rear view of 8 hp. Rockford owned by Guy Myers, North Liberty, Iowa. The restorer's names are listed.

Side view of 8 hp. Rockford owned by Guy Myers of North Liberty, Iowa.

Then we began work in earnest and this is where John's vast experience and ingenuity really began to show which bolstered our enthusiasm with more hope. I watched with true interest while they maneuvered 'our little gem' into the truck along with a 700 pound pump for John. The pump was quite an ordeal too as it was on another level below us and had to come us stairs. But let me tell you that John is a genius with a sincere love for gas engines and George and I feel richer for having had some of his knowledge and experience rub off on us. We feel we could move just about anything now-well-almost.

After we got the engine home and established in the garage, we both relaxed and admired 'our engine.' It really was a beauty with it's magnificent red fly wheels and other parts that makes engines so intriguing.

Side view of 8 hp. Rockford gas engine owned by Guy Myers, North Liberty, Iowa. The little girl on the seat is Jeanie Fogwell. The small engine is a 1? hp. Sandwich belonging to The Fogwell, Pugh and Fogwell collection.

The flyball governor, the side shaft, the fuel pump, the contact for the make and break ignition and the compression release and part of the throttle. My brother-in-law, Roy Pugh of Walford, Iowa made parts for the governor.

We started to refinish it which was very slow at first but our interest and perseverance kept us at it. After much scraping and wiping, we finally had the cleanest piece of cast iron and metal that was possible. This is where the rewards came in. We painted the fly wheels a brilliant grenedier red and polished the rims to a gleaming natural shine. The bulk of the engine we painted a deep petroleum green which is almost black but against that red gives a beautiful contrast, better than black. We polished the brass to a high sheen which really sets the combination off. Also to our delight, one of the pulleys was made of lovely pieces of wood which we left in natural tones. It is marked Limestone Pulley, Maysville, Ky.

As of this writing we are preparing to run the engine for the first time and we can hardly wait. Everyone we know goes along with us when we tell them about the Waterloo but they really don't comprehend our enthusiasm until they see it, as it really is a charmer.

'Every Job well done is a standing advertisement for the company that did it.'