1988 Show Report: Coolspring Power Museum

By Staff
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30 HP Crossley sideshaft.
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125 HP twin cylinder Klein.
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15 HP electric lighting Otto.
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Standard Rig, Chicora, Pa. field.

Special Projects and Funding Coordinator Coolspring Power Museum
R.D. 1, Box 199A , Monkey Wrench Rd., Greensburg, PA 15601

This past summer was the third operating season for the
Coolspring Power Museum, one of this country’s largest
permanent collections of historically significant internal
combustion engines. This year, as in previous years, two shows were
held on museum grounds. Our Summer three-day show, always held on
the third full weekend in June and a popular event for the last 12
years, was our largest ever. Our fall closing show, held on the
third full weekend in October for the last ten years, was also well

The Summer show, sponsored and managed each year by the
Coolspring Hit and Miss Engine Society, was a huge success. This
year’s show attracted an estimated 5,000 people and featured
added museum displays, 161 guest exhibitors, 55 flea market vendors
selling everything from spark plug terminals to an eight-ton TD-9
dozer, and new equipment displays including Caterpillar, John Deere
and Kubota machinery, White and Navistar trucks, an operating
Breeze-wood band-type sawmill display, and Timberjack log skidders.
An excellent food concession provided by the Oliver Township
Volunteer Fire Department included several battalions of
deliciously barbecued chickens and nearly endless quantities of
creamy, homemade ice cream made with the help of a 1? HP New
Holland engine. Other show attractions included an old-fashioned
farm tractor pull, a children’s pedal tractor pull, and live
music on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Of course, everyone that attended this year’s summer show
will agree that the main attraction was the extensive and diverse
exhibit of vintage internal combustion engines. The museum exhibits
include approximately 250 engines ranging from a small and very
rare flame ignition Crown pumping engine to two 100-year-old slide
valve Crossley-Ottos. Also of note are a twin cylinder 125 HP Klein
and a 150 HP four cylinder Turner-Fricke. For those enthusiasts who
haven’t yet attended one of our shows, the museum exhibits are
housed in nine buildings.

The machine shop houses many examples of early machine tools and
a number of gas engines typically used to power them.

The engine house is the home for many engines designed for
petroleum production and agricultural use, including a rare
Harvard-Stickney, three Kleins, a 6 HP Mietz and Weiss, and a very
old Van Duzen.

The McKee Station is an authentically preserved example of a
National Transit petroleum gathering and relaying station, complete
with belt-driven lighting generator and vintage wiring.

The annex building houses a beautifully restored 30 HP Crossley
side-shaft and Crossley twin-sideshaft 5 HP starting engine, a 10
HP Alamo commercial style oil engine and a dozen very rare, nearly
one-of-a-kind engines, all illuminated by a worn but trusty Delco
Light plant.

The powerhouse is home for 15 of the museum’s proudest
exhibits. These include the 150 HP Turner-Fricke, a 40 HP
wipe-spark Foos, a 35 HP Superior commercial-type, a 15 HP electric
lighting Otto, two slide-valve Crossley-Ottos, an 8 HP Springfield,
a 30 HP Climax, a beautiful 10 HP New Era, and a large 15 HP
electric-lighting Fairbanks-Morse Type N.

The big engine building houses 35 examples of vintage engines
representing various oil field, marine and electrical generating
technologies. Prized exhibits in this building include the 125 HP
twin cylinder Klein, a 300 HP four cylinder double-twin opposed
Miller, two recently acquired 1901 Westinghouse direct coupled
engine generator sets, one 50 HP and one 100 HP, a huge Model 4
single cylinder Klein, among other rare engines.

The pumphouse recirculates water to all of the display buildings
to cool the engines on permanent display. Pumping is done with
vintage pumps driven by Domestic, International Harvester, Otto,
and Foos engines.

The ‘half-breed’ pavilion, a new display for 1988,
houses 20 steam drilling engines converted to gas engines for oil
well pumping duty. This practice was peculiar to the eastern oil
fields and our display of ‘half-breed’ engines is the
largest of its kind in the country.

The last building houses various static displays, museum
equipment, and more oil-field style engines, including a
one-of-a-kind throttling governed 14 HP Jacobson.

The Coolspring Power Museum has evolved from the lifelong
collections of two individuals, Paul Harvey and John Wilcox,
through untold hours of labor and support volunteered by many
dedicated engine enthusiasts.

Guest exhibitors displayed a variety of unusual engines
including a 1910 Kewanee, several Bullseyes, a smooth-running
Lawson-Lawton, and a very old tank-cooled Domestic. Several nicely
restored oil field engines provided an interesting contrast to
smaller New Ways, Moguls, Aermotors and Grays. Finely finished
model engines were displayed in abundance and included an
impeccably detailed quarter-scale Reid and a stovepipe Domestic.
Other beautiful models included faithfully reproduced York and
Witte models, several freelance sideshaft models and various Breish
engines. Other unusual displays included a nicely restored, but
still active, Indian motorcycle, several hot air fans, a number of
expertly restored marine engines, and a miniature Hagan sales
man’s sample engine.

October Show No admission is charged to our
Fall closing show, which is held on the museum’s last regularly
scheduled open days of the season. This year’s fall show was
held on October 15 and 16 and featured approximately 30 exhibitors
and flea market vendors. The pace was very leisurely and everyone
had ample time to enjoy all of the displays. Unique engines seen at
this show included an inverted Backus engine recently unearthed at
a shopping mall construction site and a very rare Straight Line
brand oil field engine. The fall show, which is attended primarily
by museum members and serious collectors, drew visitors from as far
away as Nova Scotia, California and England.

Guided Tours Following each of the season’s shows for the
last five years, the museum has sponsored guided tours to various
points of engine-related historical significance within driving

Following the June 1988 show, the Coolspring Power Museum con
ducted an informal tour into the old oil fields of Western
Pennsylvania. On Monday morning, we departed to the Windy City air
lease, the last of such still in production. Here, by the courtesy
of Harold ‘Jim’ McCauley, we were able to see oil pumped by
1880’s steam engines powered by compressed air from a 1916
Blaisdell air compressing gas engine.

The lease was drilled in the 1880’s using steam engines and
standard rigs. There was a total of 48 wells of good production
drilled into the third sand. Upon completion, five central boilers
were installed with steam lines running through insulating
‘sawdust boxes’ to essentially ten wells each. As time
passed, production decreased and boilers aged. About 1915, a
contract was let to Blaisdell of Bradford to convert the wells to
air power. A factory-designed plant consisting of two 16′ x
20′ Blaisdell gas engine air compressing engines was built to
power the existing steam engines by compressed air. An original
Farrar & Treft boiler was used as an air receiver. With both
engines running, five wells could be pumped.

72 years later, the lease still pumps six original wells from
one Blaisdell engine-one well at a time. Windy City now produces
about 100 bbls. per month. The air engines are of many different
brands including Stearns, Struthers-Wells, Climax, Oil Well Supply,
Bovaird-Seyfang, Tifft, and others.

Next, we all boarded our vehicles and, after a quick lunch,
departed to the Chicora field. Here, we were able to see an
entirely different pumping technology. These wells pump 24
hours/day to maintain oil and gas production as well as eliminate

Our host here was Harold ‘Hank’ Eyth, who had arranged
with Gary O’Donnell to visit his pumping wells. Over each well
is constructed a standard rig with engine house, belt hall, and
derrick. The engine is a 15 HP, 4 cycle Evans belted to a large
wooden band wheel which operates a walking beam that pumps the
well. The engine is also belted to a compressor which maintains a
vacuum on the well. This increases oil production as well as
providing gas for the engine.

In all, the tour demonstrated to the guests two entirely
different and unique pumping technologies still found in Western
Pennsylvania. Although long obsolete, the equipment still runs well
and give a glimpse of ‘living’ power technology

Following the October 1988 show, the Coolspring Power Museum
conducted an informal tour of the oil fields and museums of Western
Pennsylvania as well as engine collections in Pennsylvania and New

The first stop Monday morning, as in the tour following the June
show, was the Windy City air lease.

Next, with the exhaust note of the Blaisdell in the background,
we departed by a scenic forest road to the Sackett Station of the
National Fuel Gas Company. Here we viewed a 1926, 330 HP twin
double-acting Worthington compressing engine. By museum efforts,
this engine has now been donated to Western Minnesota Steam
Threshers Reunion, Inc. and moved to their Rollag, Minnesota
grounds. The Sackett Station still operates six 1950 Ingersoll-Rand
gas compressing engines.

Following lunch, we traveled to the Drake Well Museum at
Titusville, Pennsylvania, the site of this country’s first oil
well drill in 1859. Vance Packard of the Pennsylvania Museum
Commission was host and interpreted the displays and equipment for
us. Of special note is the beautifully reconstructed replica of
Drake’s first well, complete with operating steam engine. There
is also an operating rod-line oil pumping lease powered by a 20 HP
Olin engine and ‘Silver Run’, an original National Transit
local station powered by a Model 2 Klein engine. It is interesting
to note that the Coolspring Power Museum was instrumental in Drake
Well Museum’s acquisition of the Silver Run station.

On Monday evening, the tour visited National Fuel Gas’
Roystone Station. Although this is a busy main line station, we
were privileged in having the engineer start and operate a 1917
24′ x 48′ tandem double acting Snow gas compressing engine
for us. This beautiful machine has an 18′ diameter flywheel and
still operates on dual ‘make and break’ ignitors. It
certainly makes nice stack music in the cold night air!

After spending the night in Brad ford, Pennsylvania we visited
the collection of Mike Fuoco. Mike is Coolspring Power Museum’s
secretary-treasurer and has some most unusual engines not seen any
where else.

We then departed to Allegany, New York, for a visit to C.B.
Giardini’s scrap yard. The tour guests were like kids in a toy
store and most everyone obtained a ‘goody’ to take

After lunch Tuesday, we traveled on to Wellsville, New York to
visit Donald ‘Red’ Ball. Red has many unique and
beautifully restored engines in his display building, and he
operated them all for us. His collection includes a 25 HP Rumsey,
Ripley Rumsey, 6 HP Reid, 10 HP Otto, and a 14 HP Buffalo-Olin, to
mention a few.

At this point, some tour members left for Jim Ertle’s huge
tractor collection in Canandaigua, New York. The rest of us
proceeded on to Pavilion, New York to visit Stiles Bradley. We
pulled in his driveway to the music of his 25 HP Simplex. Stiles
has a most impressive collection which includes 2 Type A and 2 Type
B Springfields, two Callahans, a Watkins, two Old Style Simplexes,
an Otto, a Bogart, and a Columbus as only a partial list. Stiles
operated every one of his engines to the delight of the group and
to provide a most memorable end to the fall tour.

As we left for home that night by various routes, everyone felt
they had seen an amazing amount and variety of gas engines during a
short, two day period.

Engine Raffle Each year, the Coolspring Power
museum raffles a restored, donated engine, the proceeds from which
are used for museum operation and improvements. This year’s
raffle engine was a 1? HP Jacobson ‘Sturdy Jack’, and was
won by Joseph Glaudel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We thank everyone who visited the Coolspring Power Museum during
the 1988 season for your support and enthusiastic help. We also
invite everyone to visit our museum in 1989. The museum is always
open by appointment and will be open to the public on the third
Sunday of every month, May through October. Come and see what
we’ve added for 1989!

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