In Love with Fairbanks-Morse and Company

By Staff

3737 Highway 43 S., St. Joseph, Tennessee 38481.

One of my most exciting engine hunts and finds came about in the
usual way. Inquiring with friends, hunting at shows, then
advertising in the GEM for that particular model, I have a 1 HP
Jack Junior, a 2 HP H, and a 6 HP H, but I couldn’t find that
elusive 4 HP to make a full set of Model H Jack of All Trades.

So, lo and behold I get an answer from a GEM subscriber in
Washington state, who says he has a 4 HP H he would sell, but I
would have to take a 2 HP in a package deal. This I had to study
about for a while, because I already have a 2 HP and that trip,
(what a trip!) for a Tennessee country boy! Now for a deal like
this I had to get the ‘better-half’ involved. (Vacation,
yeah!)

All this took place about mid-winter 1990-91. We talked about
trying to work this engine trip into a vacation, providing the gent
in Washington would hold the engines until September, 1992. He
agreed to hold them as long as necessary, and we agreed on the
price.

The catch to this whole thing is, where I work, you can’t
pick all your vacation at one time for the whole year. (Two weeks,
six thousand miles, trying to sightsee.)

What I have gotten myself into? Is a rusty old engine worth it?
Well, we got the maps out, studied them for weeks trying to find a
few places of interest we might have time to sight see. As time got
closer, we agreed on about five places of interest.

About a day or two before we were to leave I called the seller
back, told him we should be in Washington Wednesday or Thursday
leaving here Saturday morning. He said to be there Wednesday, if
possible, because he was going to be tied up Thursday and
Friday.

So, Saturday morning we left, and reached Kansas City the first
day, and the Jessie James home place the next morning. The tour
cost about half a day. We planned that whatever time we spent
sightseeing, we would have to make up night driving. Our second
stop was Custer’s Battlefield at the Little Big Horn. Then to
the Graycliff Prairie Dog Town at Graycliff, Montana. From there
across Idaho into Washington state. We got to Issaquah, Washington
about noon on Wednesday. Got loaded ready to head south the next
morning. Leaving Issaquah, we headed to the Washington, Oregon
coast. Went down the coastal road a couple hundred miles, then cut
inland headed for Fresno, California, because our fourth stop was
the Sequoia National Park in the Sierra, Nevada Mountains. We left
there, on to the Painted Desert in Arizona, across New Mexico,
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas back into town.

Now after 13 days, 5964 miles, six rolls of 35MM, 1 California
lime, 2 giant Sequoia pinecones, 1 Mojave Desert tumbleweed, 1
Indian-made petrified wood ash tray, we were back home with our
prized scrap iron.

Gas engine nut, you be the judge? All kidding aside, only in the
United States could you do something like this! We had a wonderful
time!

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