Portrait of Emil Dittrich

John Deere Gasoline Engine

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R.R. 2, Box 34 Tilden, Nebraska 68781

Emil Dittrich of Tilden, Nebraska, displays his Waterloo John Deere gasoline engine with an attached Hudson grinder in the living room of his rural home.

On a winter day about four years ago, Emil decided to restore the old engine. As he lived alone, and the workshop was too cold to work in, he thought he would just bring the engine into the house.

It's a conversation piece and entertainment for him and his great-grandchildren. When you visit his home, he starts the engine to 'grind a little corn' while you drink a cup of coffee.

Emil's daughter Judy recently moved back to the farm, after an injury as a flight attendant. Friends asked him if she made him move the equipment out of the house. He answers, 'Judy insisted that she paint the engine; and she has to dust more frequently!'

Emil has a large collection of over fifty operable antique tractors, including a 10-20 Mogul, 10-20 three wheel Case, high wheel cross motor Huber, four-wheel drive Massey-Harris, and a Smith Model T Ford conversion.

He has a collection of about ten other gasoline engines, including a Superior 35 horsepower gasoline engine.

A restored 1915 Ford Roadster and a 1926 four door Ford sedan are amid ten running and restored antique automobiles, plus a couple of hard rubber tired trucks. Emil removed a tree blocking the doors of an old garage to retrieve his 1914 Reo in original, good condition.

Larry, a son, farms with Emil. A daughter, Bonnie, lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

If you'd like to talk about old engines and tractors, give Emil a telephone call at (402) 368-5686.