Online Enthusiasm

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Collectors come together to restore this engine in "The 42-Year Itch: Fairbanks-Morse Model NB."

The first idea for a modern computer (aside from perhaps the abacus and slide rule) was the Analytical Engine conceived between 1833 and 1871. British mathematician Charles Babbage was inspired by the Industrial Revolution and thought with all the other mechanical advances, a machine to make calculations should also be possible. Before this time, “computers” were people whose days consisted of creating numerical tables to complete tasks. Components of the Analytical Engine included a central processing unit that Babbage called the “mill,” and memory he named the “store.” Babbage’s design existed in the form nearly 5,000 pages of notes, but it far surpassed the current technology and his project didn’t become a functioning device until 1991.

Many of you now have a computing device that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s our portal of connectivity, our go-to resource for the unknown, and our tool to facilitate communication. It’s a device we love at times and hate at others, an intrusive glowing screen with seemingly endless possibilities.

In an effort to tip the scales in favor of your computing device, I’d like to remind you of the great things you can find when you visit Gas Engine Magazine. This website is an easily accessible tribute to the mechanical marvels of the past. If you haven’t explored the depths of our publication’s content, I invite you to hop online and do some clicking. You’ll immediately be able to access magazine’s archives – articles that date back to 1966! It’s a website where experts and enthusiasts alike collaborate on restoring, preserving, and contextualizing old iron. Use the search function to explore by engine manufacturer, by author, or by enthusiast’s name. In addition to restoration tales and engine features, videos covering a vast array of old iron subjects are available. Unfortunately, it’s sights and sounds only, smells are not included.

Looking for technical tips on a topic? We have plenty of that posted to guide you through a tough project. Also, check out the Community tab to find the following: Auction Previews and Results; Museums and Shows; Letters; Q & A; and Classifieds.

While you’re there, click on the Newsletter link and sign up to receive the Old Iron News, a reoccurring email that showcases a curated selection of articles from Gas Engine Magazine and Farm Collector. You can also send a subscription of GEM as a gift or visit the store to purchase resourceful books and branded apparel.

Until next issue,

Christine Stoner

  • Updated on Sep 20, 2022
  • Originally Published on Sep 16, 2022
Tagged with: editor's letter, Hit and Miss
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