Museum Visit Cures ‘Iron Fever’

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P. F. Olds & Sons engine.
2 / 6
4Vz HP Seager-Olds.
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Ideal Motor Co. Museum lists this as a 12 HP, no brass tag on engine to confirm.
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Hildreth Mfg. Co., Lansing, 3 HP shop No. 499 marine engine.
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Novo Engine Co., 4 HP engine No. 49303.
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New Way Motor Co., model CH 5 HP Engine No. C-10225.

4960 Sioux Way Okemos, Michigan 48864

It was a cold, dark day in Michigan, and pushed by gusty winds,
the snow was falling sideways. The old iron fever was running high.
I went out to the garage and tried to tinker with the Stover. Soon
the hands were numb from the chill of ‘old iron.’ Got to
get more heat in here! Sure wish spring was here!

Suddenly, I get an idea. Let’s jump in the pickup and go
visit the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum in downtown Lansing,
Michigan. I’ve lived in these parts for many years and never
visited the place.

As you might guess from the name R. E. Olds Museum, I discovered
that the biggest share of the exhibit is devoted to cars and
trucks, namely Oldsmobiles and Reos. Then I spotted some gas
engines, six in all, tucked back against the rear wall. This was
more like it! I did look over the displays of cars, etc., but
‘flywheels’ were the main attraction.

The city of Lansing accounted for some 26 manufacturers of
engines in the early days. To get a good idea of the part that R.
E. Olds played in the engine world, may I refer you to Wendel’s
American Gasoline Engines, pages 231, 355, and 452. Mr. Wendel did
a beautiful job with this book.

If you ever get to Lansing, be sure to visit the museum. It is
located downtown and is easy to find. My fever cooled somewhat for
the day, but I know there are a lot of days ahead. Think
Spring!

P.S. My wife knew that I would not be bringing home any engines
from this trip.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines