| September/October 1969

1442 Lincoln Drive Flint, Michigan 48503

Can't quite figure the reasons or reasoning for all this intense interest in old engines. Had that sort of problem years ago, back on the farm near Hadley, Michigan. Collected quite a few dandies then - even one small 'oil engine' and a group of us had a 30/60 Rumley Oil Pull that was used for all sorts of belt work. In fact, I remember one time when George Schanck was the elected engineer, that we used it for pulling plum tree stumps. Then along came World War II and scrap iron was needed. Folks were patriotic. Engines were a bit in the way on the farm and I was overseas. So, away they all went to the scrapyard. I believe the Rumley brought $100.00 - and they ran it to the yard.

Guess I pretty much forgot about them after the war and changed the collecting interest to old guns, muzzle-loaders. This, of course, was along with getting married, buying a home, building a cottage, and finishing some graduate work at school. Then came some youngsters. Guns were fun, and still are, but the cost nowadays makes them a difficult hobby.

Last summer, while up at the lake for the summer, my teen-age son, Jon, and I got to thinking about engines - old engines. One sure thing a collector has to do is look and talk and 'get more of them'. So we did. We placed ads. Had phone calls, letters, cards, word of mouth help - just everything! Wife, June, usually made 'engine trips' with me. Some of them would seem to get so involved. And she would vow not to ever go again. Then on the next one, we would stop and have dinner some place. She still goes. We meet the darndest folks - or hear from them. One old fellow, at least by his writing I think he must be old, sent me a clipping after he read my ad. Told me about an engine in the west end of the Upper Peninsula of Mich, that had been used on a mine pump. Had fly-wheels forty feet in diameter. He thought this might be just what we were after. June didn't think so though. But we are getting a yard and a shop full of engines - some running and some not.

Until a few weeks ago, the most expensive one was $27.50. I must hasten to add that this doesn't include the cost of getting them home or the time and labor and parts for them after they are home. Guess I count that another way. No ulcers here.

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you about was the latest engine trip. Some eleven years ago, June and I spent most of the summer with Uncle Fred and Aunt Pearl in Prescott, Arizona. Uncle Fred is a mining engineer and prospector, or something like that. He just ran us all over those hills out there and under a a good many of them. One item I always remembered, sort of in the back of my mind, was going into an old mining shack of his down south of town in Copper Basin and seeing an old 'hot-head'. It hadn't run since about 1920 or so- and I believe was born earlier- but just a wonderful piece of machinery. I remembered that it wasn't rusted a bit- all free.


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