By Staff
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Glenn Karch’s circa 1915 4 HP Kewanee Model 6C, on display at the 2005 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
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Digging for history

Thirty-two years ago, Glenn Karch, known to the old engine crowd
as the keeper of the Hercules engine flame (a flame he fanned in
his “Hercules Engine News” column in Gas Engine Magazine for 14
years!), happened across his first Kewanee engine.

Intrigued, Glenn started collecting Kewanee engines and
literature until, likely much to his own surprise, he became
something of an expert on the brand, if not at least the owner and
curator of a significant collection of Kewanee engines and

Glenn first mentioned his interest in Kewanee to me two summers
ago, as he was preparing to wind down his series on Hercules
engines. He suggested there might be a good article in the offing
once he had a chance to settle down and pull all his notes

Well, Glenn pulled his notes together all right, but instead of
an article, he’s self-published a book on Kewanee, portions of
which are excerpted in this issue of GEM, beginning on page 8.

“I did it simply for the hobby,” Glenn told me in his typically
understated manner when I asked him about the book, adding, “I
finally stumbled onto enough information to pick it up and go. I
figured somebody needed to do it.”

This isn’t the first time Glenn’s done something like this: If
anything, it seems to be a bit of a habit for him.

Glenn launched his “Hercules Engine News” column after
self-publishing a comprehensive history of the company, and in the
process became an established authority on Hercules and its various
cousins (Jaeger, Economy, etc.), and undoubtably contributed to
increasing collector interest in the Hercules line of engines.

With any luck, Glenn’s latest bit of historical engine research
will have the same impact on interest in Kewanee engines.

Richard Backus

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines