Our Ohio Engine


| September/October 1970



Ohio side-shaft engine

1306 Kirkwood Highway, Elsmere Wilmington, Delaware 19805

While we were visiting our Uncle Daniel Leiby, who lives near Tamaqua, Pa., in July of 1965, he suggested we go look at some gas engines that he knew the whereabouts of. We drove up on a remote mountain where a small farm was perched almost on the top, drove down the lane and came to rest near this rusted hulk of iron that was once a 6 hp. Ohio engine with the serial number of 43219 (?). We soon found this engine to be rusted fast and thought of the work it would take just to turn the flywheels, let alone getting the fuel and ignition systems ironed out. We then walked back to the woods where we spied a small stationary thresher about the size of a VW -- It had no undercarriage. Getting back to the engine, we decided that since it had been sitting for so long on the north side of the barn it was in too bad of shape to restore.

We then forgot about it until later when we learned how rare side-shaft engines really were. This was a year after we first saw this 6 hp. Ohio engine. Due to other obligations, we couldn't go up at the time to help my Uncle Daniel load and move it. He said he needed an excuse to come down and visit us anyway, so he got it for us. My Uncle Pierce, who helped move the engine, was stung by a wasp who didn't want his engine turned into a mobile home.

In 1968 after Uncle Daniel paid for and removed the engine, Harry Wishou-sky, who was the previous owner of this Ohio engine, was blown to bits when a case of dynamite he was carrying ignited while he was working at the Atlas Powder Plant at Tamaqua.

Anyway, in the spring of 1969 we rented a U-Haul trailer, loaded the big Ohio engine up, and Uncle Daniel said as we were leaving that he felt it was useless to take this engine because he never thought we could get it running.

On Route 10 there is a mile-long hill, well known to Pennsylvanians of the area. Our 'mighty' '48 Dodge started up the hill in fourth gear (we put