When Horsepower Was Measured At An Honest Rate

| February/March 1986

  • Fabricating parts, fitting pieces'

  • George Hall

  • Fabricating parts, fitting pieces'
  • George Hall

West Milford, New Jersey 07480

Why not build them as you remember them states George Hall at 72 years of age. He has been a tool and die maker all his life and has had an overwhelming interest in various gasoline engines since he was ten years old. He opened up a small lawn-mower repair shop in the early 60s in a quiet North Jersey town to serve the local people with honest repairs.

About fifteen years ago an elderly old friend came into the shop and explained to George that he had an old Fairbanks and Morse make and break engine that didn't run and was hoping that he would look at it. After almost an hour of reminiscing about the good old days and talking about the sweet sounds of the ol' chuggers... George realized that he had to accept the challenge of restoring this friend's particular engine.

It took almost a whole winter with many frustrating hours, numerous hand made parts and a lot of loving care to bring this iron to life. Alas... to that first pop, that oh, so familiar sound, and the blue white smoke draping his shop, George knew that this was the starting point of a new hobby with demanding time and never ending enthusiasm. With all this spinning in his head he immediately started looking for more of these beautiful iron masterpieces that could be salvaged and restored, adding to his collection.

The point in time finally came when George decided to build his own make and break utilizing the many ideas and designs accumulated over the years. He recalls many times when he would wake up in the middle of the night and think about newer designs and better ways to fabricate various moving parts. The next day he would find himself down in his shop surrounded by a milling machine, drill press, and an old Atlas 10' lathe.

George spent six months fabricating parts, fitting pieces, and assembling his engine to accurate tolerances. The finishing touches were added along with a beautiful oak box artistically fabricated by that same good friend.


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