Engines Of The Northeast The Maine Antique Power Association

By Staff
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The author's 1 HP Jaeger;
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His collection at the show.
3 / 5
Willie Ellis' Domestic sideshaft (note license plate on pickup).
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The author's Sparta Economy at the show.
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MAPA member Gene Barker at the Windsor Fair.

RFD #3, Box 5840, Gardiner, Maine 04345

In January of 1973 several antique engine enthusiasts met to
share their interest in old iron. From this meeting the Maine
Antique Power Association was born and membership has grown to over
300 in 1988.

The growth in interest in restoring and running these old pieces
of history is certainly evident here in the Northeast. The first
meetings were held at members homes and ‘fireups’ were
pretty much limited to this small group. Of course, getting
together to talk about engines and their history usually leads to
someone suggesting that engines were made to run so ‘let’s
get started.’

The Association’s first actual engine meet was at the
Lewiston-Auburn Airport in the summer of 1973. That fall a show was
held in the parking lot of the new Augusta Civic Center. Interest
was great and the Maine Antique Power Association was off and
running. Engines represented at these shows were Don Sjostrom’s
two cylinder Eagle marine engine, Prince Steven’s 6 HP, 1919
Thermoil and twin cylinder opposed air cooled New Way, a 6 HP
Lennox, Thayne Hodgdon’s 10 HP Root and Vandervoort, Elwin
Cunningham’s Big Six Sandwich and 7 HP Root and Vandervoort,
Bob Meixell’s big vertical Fairbanks Morse and John
Webber’s 3 HP Empire and butter churn to name a few.

The club established its headquarters at the Owls Head
Transportation Museum on the Maine coast and remained there until
1980 when a move was made to the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds in
Skowhegan, Maine where in 1983 a building was erected to become
permanent head quarters. As is the case with many organizations,
success can be measured by the many hours of effort by those
willing to give of their time. These members really pitched in and
the new clubhouse was built.

The Maine Antique Power Association has members throughout the
Northeast and neighboring states who attend the twenty-to-thirty
events supported by the club which include state and county fairs,
town celebrations, festivals, historical societies functions and
regularly scheduled annual events at the Booth-bay Railway Museum,
Owls Head Transportation Museum and our own Spring Auction and
Meet. Members take pride in being able to provide scholarships to
deserving students who are continuing their education. Old engines
are indeed part of our past and can be an active part of our future
as new generations begin to appreciate bringing these relics back
to life. As our eldest member, Ernest Hallowell, has many times
stated, ‘Nothing has had such a great effect on mankind as the
internal combustion engine.’ At ninety one, Ernest is still
active and continues to operate his machine shop as he has done
since 1918.

The largest engine owned by a club member is Philo Hewitt’s
45 HP Alamo which he has transported to Maine shows. Walter Perry,
of Mechanic Falls, owns three working engines that he built and
mounted on dimes. One of which was on exhibit at the 1939
World’s Fair in New York. In between these engines there range
many of all sizes, shapes and descriptions each with it’s own
story and many operating all sorts of mechanical  labor saving
devices and contraptions. At times it seems more labor is used
keeping them running than is saved by their operation. But, oh
well, I guess that is to be expected.

When spring arrives who knows what will appear from the work
benches of craftsmen like Ernest Hallowell, Andy Anderson and Elwin
Cunningham. Ernest’s quarter-scale 8 HP Callahan Bros.,
quarter-scale 6 HP Famous screen cooled and third-scale first four
cycle Otto which is currently in the Antique Power Museum in Akron,
Ohio are fine examples. Andy’s working-scale models of a
woodsplitter, cider press, ice cream freezer, threshing machine and
International hay baler driven by his ‘Blue Jay’ engine
which he designed using ideas from seventeen different engines are
truly works of art. Elwin has brought engines to life that even the
most optimistic would quickly use as boat anchors.

The Maine Antique Power Association is a group made up of fine
folks doing a public service and thoroughly enjoying themselves in
the process. The organization is committed to pre serving the
history of engines, labor saving devices and other machinery from
our past.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines