Besy Bangs Again!

| February/March 1989

  • The Bessemer's first debut at Sussex
    The Bessemer's first debut at Sussex's 30th annual show.
  • The Bessemer being lifted
    The Bessemer being lifted from Norm Noll's shop on to the crane truck.
  • Noll and Knoll
    Noll (left) and Knoll (right) after the Bessemer was loaded.

  • The Bessemer's first debut at Sussex
  • The Bessemer being lifted
  • Noll and Knoll

585 W28188 Hartwig Ave Mukwonago, WI 53149

My father, Norman Knoll, got his first engine ten years ago and has only been collecting for the last five years. My father's first engine was a 6 HP Economy that had seen its better days; to me it was beyond repair. Norm set it out in our backyard and there it sat for another six years, just the way he had gotten it. One day, my father became bored and decided to attempt to restore her. The Economy was in very rough shape; many things had to be done, including putting in a new sleeve.

When it came time to fire her up, my mother, Ann, and I watched. We had our fingers crossed when my father went for the first crank. The first crank over had her popping. My father said, 'It's running better than it did when it came off the factory floor.'

That year my family brought the newly restored engine to the 27th Annual Thrashing Bee Show in Sussex, Wisconsin; we all had a great time that year. That's what started my father's hobby in engines.

The next spring we started going to auctions and other shows in Wisconsin. These caused us to meet and see other people with their engines. One knows how it works, one guy will ask 'Hey I got one of those for sale, or I got that.'' We got some of our engines through conversations like those.

In the spring of 1988 my father got tired and bored of working on and restoring the small engines (1? HP-6 HP). My father wanted something a little more challenging; he wanted a big one.


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