| January/February 1969

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

'Joe, come along and listen to the cutest thing I've heard on the grounds,' said 'the Missus' at the '68 Tri-State Gas & Tractor Reunion, Portland, Indiana. 'There's only one little old gas engine running and it sounds just like some little old man humming a tune while he works.'

Grabbing camera and recorder I trekked along and sure enough, there under a spreading chestnut tree (not unlike the legendary village smithy) stood the li'l ol' 'Singing Man Engine' -- chugging away and 'humming' his solitary tune as he worked, while Spark Plug, Carl Rismiller, fawned proudly at the sudden sensation his newly-discovered 'prize' was creating on the sprawling Tri-State grounds.

'Turn, turn, dee, dum, dum' hummed the 'li'l ol' Singing Engine' as he chugged away - the only engine popping that early in the morning - like some little old hillbilly humming a tune through a kazoo while whittling away on a walkin' stick.

When he was singing 'turn, turn it was always on the same pitch of the scale and when he'd progress to 'dee' and 'dum, dum' he'd ascend from 'doh' to 'mi' then 'so' and onward up the diatonic musical ladder, as if the li'l ol'-timer had one day learned the notes of the scale at his Mommy's knee. Sometimes he sings up the scale, sometimes down the scale, depending on how happy he be.

O1' Man Singin' Engine- displayed by Spark Plug Carl Rismiller at Tri-State '68 in Portland, Indiana. It became quite an attraction, after my wife happened to hear some old man humming a tune on the grounds early one morning and discovered it to be this two-horse Fairbanks-Morse. Unusual 'singing effect' was caused by pits in carb. intake diaphragm and not especially planned by the jokester, Spark Plug Rismiller. Diaphragm protrudes like a loud speaker at bottom front of engine base. And it sang like a loud speaker.


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