Letters & Miscellanies
Best Engine Follow-up
The image of the Best engine (GEM, October 2002, page 29) is
from a Best sales catalog at U.C. Davis. A number of these engines
were built, and I have heard of two other surviving copies of the
first series of Best engines.
Best Manufacturing did produce gas engines for several years, at
least to the mid-1890s. They built at least one 75 HP
single-cylinder engine, which was used at a mine in EI Dorado
County, Calif. It was featured in an issue of Mining &
I have an 1895 14 HP Best crude oil engine that I hope to do
Jack Alexander 7795 Crews Road Gilroy, CA 95020
We recently went to an engine and tractor show where we were
going to set up five engines and some other display items. Upon
arrival, we were informed we had to buy a button – at $3 per person
– to get in. This fee applied to everyone; vendors, exhibitors and
spectators. I had already spent $22 in gas money to get there, I
was not going to spend another $6 to show my engines. This club
acted as though they did not care whether we stayed or not. I
imagine they have enough people who will pay the $3. We turned
around and went to a free flea market on the other side of town,
had a nice side trip and enjoyed ourselves.
Is this something new starting? Is this club just greedy? I
realize it costs money to set up these shows, but without the
tractors and engines and other displays there would be nothing to
see and no show. Four years ago at the Jacksonville, Ill., show
they charged $5 to get in, but gave the $5 back later, along with
meal tickets for lunch and dinner for three days, plus any gas I
needed as an exhibitor to run my engines.
Also, I’d like to give folks a warning. While attending an
auction in Centerville, Iowa, someone stole 16 steel wheels out of
my trailer. It was stupid on my part for leaving them in plain site
in an open trailer. I believe I know who took them, but I can’t
prove it. Don’t leave items unattended, as I did.
George DePoola P.O. Box 12 Carbon Cliff, IL 61239
Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka,
KS 66609-1265, or e-mail: rbackus @ ogdenpubs.com
Jacob Schmidt, 53, West Bend, Wis., passed away
Jan. 18, 2002. He was employed with Ameritech for 31 years. Jacob
was vice president of the Kewaskum Historical Society, a member of
the Empire Threshing Association of Eden and a member of the Board
of Appeals for the town of Kewaskum. Jacob collected antique gas
engines and enjoyed woodworking in his spare time. He is survived
by his wife, Violet; two daughters, Laurel and husband, Mike
Nonhof, and Kristine and husband, Dan Wolf; one granddaughter,
Julie Nonhof; his parents, Orville and Geraldine Schmidt; one
sister, Cynthia Barry; and other relatives and friends. Jacob will
be sadly missed by all of his family and friends.
Submitted by Kristine Wolf
Old Photograph of McCormick Deering-Binder and Farmall F-12
McCormick-Deering binder and Farmall F-12 fill out the scene in this old photograph.
In Memoriam of Howard E. Pray
Remembering Howard E. Pray, member of the Antique Engine & Tractor Assn. of Geneseo, Ill.
What Year Is This Reeves & Co.?
The Pottsville Historical Museum in Merlin, Ore., is looking for more information on their Reeves & Co. steam engine