Young Iron: Mark Mohney
Name: Mark Mohney
Location: Brookville, PA
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: I have been collecting for 10 years, starting with a Jensen steam engine model.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A: I really began in the hobby on my own. I was always into mechanical things and I liked to collect antiques, too. I collected bottles, tobacco tins and signs, and own an Edison-Dick mimeograph machine and Edison phonograph. The mechanical features of engines piqued my interest. I began volunteering at the nearby Coolspring Power Museum and that gave me the boost into engine collecting.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A: My grandfather collects now that I’ve introduced him to the hobby. My father also has one engine but really does not collect – he just enjoys them.
Q: How many engines do you have in your collection?
A: My grandfather and I have had more than 20 flywheel engines, and around 100 small engines including Briggs & Strattons and Maytags. Some of our flywheel engines include Jaeger, Fairbanks-Morse, Domestic, Titusville Abel, H.M. Spence, a Nelson Bros. Little Jumbo and a Lauson mud pump. I also have a small wood shop display of Parks Ball Bearing Co. wood working machines that run off a line shaft demonstration at Coolspring Power Museum.
Q: What’s your favorite
engine in your collection?
A: My favorite engine is my Jaeger because it has the most interesting history, and was also my first hit-and-miss engine. I bought it from Preston Foster, who told me about its very interesting history.
Q: Are you working on any projects?
A: I am working on a few things: two old pot belly stoves, a Nelson Bros. Little Jumbo and a Speedex garden tractor. I just finished up my 3 HP Domestic Type A, putting the pump on it, and making parts on my 1936 South Bend lathe.
Q: As a young collector, what are some obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
A: The biggest is funding, but the other I have come across is the older folks don’t give you much credit because you’re a kid until you do better work on engines than they do. For the most part the older collectors have treated me very well and have worked with me to bring me up to the next stage in collecting engines.
Q: In general, what are your favorite engines?
A: My favorite engines are the high-end mill-style engines for their quality and craftsmanship, and oil field for their ruggedness.
Jim Erdle’s Legendary Antique Tractors Sold at Auction
Jim Erdle’s eye for rare and unique tractors has developed quite the reputation over the years, and allowed him to assemble one of the finest tractor collections of all time. But all good things must come to an end.
1902 8 HP Bates & Edmonds Engine
A 1902 8 HP Bates & Edmonds engine with generating set on display at the Coolspring Power Museum.
1918 Blaisdell Air-Compressing Engine
A 1918 65 HP Blaisdell air-compressing engine on display at the Coolspring Power Museum.