A Tale of Two Gas-ups

Private Engine Shows in New York Prove the Lust for Rust Never Ends

| February/March 2004

  • Pohl oil engine
    Woody Sins' 3 HP Pohl oil engine and Phil Antonio's sideshaft Milwaukee.
  • Stunning engines
    Just two of the stunning engines on hand at Wayne and Alex Grenning's annual gas-up in Lockport, N.Y.
  • Dempster windmill
    Wayne Grenning's #12 Dempster windmill;
  • John Deere Model
    A 1937 John Deere Model BO at Don and Sue Odin's Pasture Party in New Hartford, N.Y.
  • 'Baby' Geiser
    Very nice 2 HP 'Baby' Geiser owned by Fred and Rick Lederhouse.
  • Model T engine
    This Model T engine at the Pasture Party (below, left) was modified for belt work. Craig Prucha's 5 HP Fowler
  • Restored Farmalls
    A nice selection of restored Farmalls was on hand for the Odins' Pasture Party.
  • Gas-up
    On display at the Grennings' gas-up in Lockport, N.Y.
  • Hercules
    As was this Hercules-powered hay loader.

  • Pohl oil engine
  • Stunning engines
  • Dempster windmill
  • John Deere Model
  • 'Baby' Geiser
  • Model T engine
  • Restored Farmalls
  • Gas-up
  • Hercules

Here in the Northeast the show season comes to an end earlier than in other parts of the world. But I was privileged to ring out the 2003 season at a couple of very interesting gas-ups in early September. A 'gas-up,' in case you are wondering, is a private engine show. It is usually by invitation only, although an uninvited guest is never turned away.

Lockport Gas-up

Wayne and Alex Grenning, Lockport, N.Y., hosted the first show, and like every gas-up Wayne's ever held, this one had some very interesting machinery. The most prominent item was Wayne's new lawn ornament, a Dempster No. 12 windmill. Wayne set it at ground level for the gas-up, giving people who didn't want to climb a tower a chance to see a real prairie windmill up close.

Craig Prucha, Pavilion, N.Y., brought his 4 HP Fowler, manufactured by R.M. Fowler, Bradford, Pa. Craig's Fowler was designed for oil-pumping duties in the Pennsylvania oil fields, and since it was expected to be under a load at all times it was never equipped with a governor. Engine speed is controlled by varying the natural gas mixture.

Fred and Rick Lederhouse, Ransomville, N.Y., brought their very nice, very original 2 HP 'Baby' Geiser, complete with its original low-tension magneto and cart. Manufactured by Geiser Manufacturing Co., Waynesboro, Pa., this sideshaft engine has a flyball governor, disk crank and other features usually found only on much larger engines.



Another interesting sideshaft was a beautifully restored Milwaukee engine brought by Phil Antonio, Arcade, N.Y. Manufactured by Milwaukee Machinery Co., Milwaukee, Wis., this very rare engine runs as well as it looks. My contribution to the show was my latest project, a 3 HP Pohl oil engine manufactured by Geo. D. Pohl Manufacturing Co. of Vernon, N.Y. Although it is not one of their larger sideshaft engines, it is extremely rare. Restored earlier as a static display, it hadn't run in a very long time when I got it. After correcting some minor issues with the injector (and some major issues with the cylinder bore) I got it running in time for the gas-up, where it ran most of the day - just long enough to point out some other problems that need attention. There were several other engines there, including Wayne's pair of 5 HP Ottos and Alex's 2- HP Economy.

Pasture Party

The following weekend I went to the 3d Annual Pasture Party hosted by Don and Sue Odin of New Hartford, N.Y. Engines were few, but there were many tractors, including a nice selection of restored Farmalls. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the party was Don's collection of working farm machinery, of the type usually seen rusting away in hedgerows and old barnyards.