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My First Hit and Miss Engine

| March/April 1995

1072 Fourth St. Ext, Charleroi, Pennsylvania 15022

I am a new subscriber to GEM, and I received my first copy, the December issue, a couple of days ago. Looking through it, I read several items concerning the gas engine. This gave me an urge to write a story of my first encounter with a hit and miss engine.

I went to many farm auctions over the years, when my dad was living. I started to go way back at-the age of 10 years old, until Dad died in 1964 at age 72. I am now 74 years old, so you know how many years I have spent at auctions. Way back in 1960 we went to a farm auction where I bought my first hit and miss engine. I still remember the family name: the Harry McCracken Farm.

We went into a barn and there, sitting in a corner by itself, was a hit and miss engine, the first one I had ever seen. I knew I had to have it! I bid on it and it was mine to take home for $5.00. It was a McCormick-Deering, manufactured by Inter national Harvester Company, similar to the name of the family having the auction: McCracken.

We brought it home and tried to start it, but we didn't have much success. It would fire late or sound out of time, just a puff. That's all Dad and I could get out of it: puff-puff! We gave it up for a while, after a few weeks of trying to get it to run.

I worked at a steel mill, and coming home from work at 4:00 p.m. one afternoon, I pulled over at the garage (I live in the country), and Dad had the engine outside and it was chugging away! I remember the big smile on his face as I got out of the truck. I asked him how he got it started. He told me, 'You will never believe what the trouble was.' He said, 'It was the crank!'

Richard Iacono
4/12/2009 12:30:43 PM

Old gas engines are awesome, old gas and steam remind me of simpler times


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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