Young Iron: John Ridings

All in the family


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Take a quick glance at the exhibitors and attendees at gas engine shows, and it’s easy to think that this is an older person’s hobby. But take a closer look and you’ll find a growing number of younger enthusiasts. You'll meet them in Young Iron.

Name: John Ridings
Age: 30
Location: Darlington, PA

Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: About 10 years.

Q: How many engines do you have in your collection?
 I have four engines: a 6 HP IHC M, 2 HP Ohio Engine Co., 1-1/2 HP Ideal and a 6 HP vertical Bessemer.

Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
 My dad.

Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
 I think engines are interesting and I had lot of friends who collected engines.

Q: What’s your favorite engine in your collection?
 The 2 HP Ohio Engine Co. 

Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?
 I just finished restoring a 6 HP IHC M that my wife painted.

Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year? Which shows haven’t you been to yet that you’d like to see one day?
 I attend a lot of local Pennsylvania shows such as Coolspring, Ashtabula, Portersville and others. I’ve never been to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers show in Rollag and I would like to go there someday.

Q: As a young collector, what are some obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
 Mostly prices. Young collectors can’t spend a lot of money on engines. I think some engines are really over priced,  and a lot of people get upset when you offer them what you can afford.

Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine to own?
 I would like to own a New Era. I’ve always liked watching them run.