Looking Back, Looking forward
Merry Christmas! It's hard to believe another holiday season is upon us. This is the time of year when we should all be reminded how thankful we are for our families and the great friendships we're blessed with in our extended family of fellow engine enthusiasts.
I'm thankful for the wonderful people I meet in this hobby, thankful for the knowledge I gain from those who teach me new things about this hobby, thankful for those who are willing to help me do something the 'right way,' and I'm thankful for the fun times. If your local engine club throws a Christmas party this holiday season, I encourage you to attend. These parties are a great opportunity to visit with the many friends we may only see during the summer show season.
I was browsing through some photos I took at shows this past season, and a few of them are worth a mention. Photo #1 is Galen Henderson, Greenville, Ohio, attending the Darke County (Ohio) Steam Threshers Association 47th Annual Reunion in July with his 5 HP Myric-Eclipse engine with matching oil field pump jack. It's a two-cycle engine with hot tube ignition and hit-and-miss governing.
Photo #2 is collector Robert 'Uncle Bob' Elston from Milroy, Ind., with his 15 HP, four-cycle Pattin Bros. 'Ekonomy' gas engine from the oil fields in West Virginia. Robert exhibited his engine at the White River Valley show in Elnora, Ind., last September. Photo #3 shows Chester Bills (center) of St.
Mary's, W.Va., explaining his 5 HP, four-cycle Pattin Bros, engine to Tim Farmer (left) of Eaton, Ohio, and Mark Willaert of Britton, Mich. This unusual engine runs the opposite direction of most engines - the flywheel rotates counterclockwise. The pushrod cam is cast in a different lobe pattern to facilitate the reverse motion. I assume Pattin Bros, offered this option to customers. Chester's engine powered a geared pump jack on an oil well in Washington County, Ohio, but Pattin engines were manufactured in Marietta, Ohio. This photo shows Chester at the 35th Annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival in Sistersville, W.Va., last September.
Photo #2:Robert 'Uncle Bob' Elston of Milroy, Ind., displayed his 15 HP, four-cycle Pattin Bros. 'Ekonomy' gas engine at the White River Valley show in Elnora, Ind.
Photo #3: Chester Bills (center) of St. Mary's, W.Va., explains his 5 HP, four-cycle Pattin Bros, engine to Tim Farmer (left) of Eaton, Ohio, and Mark Willaert of Britton, Mich.
I recently received a letter requesting a list of all known oil field engine manufacturers. At first, I thought the request was rather simple, but the more I thought about it, the harder it was for me to answer it. In my opinion, any engine, regardless of size or make, can be considered an oil field engine. I always considered oil field engines in terms of their applications, not as a particular engine type. Many smaller engines worked in some capacity in the oil field, powering a transfer pump or a single pump jack, just to name a couple applications. The question depends on what the individual defines as an 'oil field engine.'
Nevertheless, I have started a list of those engine manufacturers that were predominantly in the oil and gas industry. Even if I restrict myself to this narrow criterion, it's still a large project.
I encourage anyone who might know of lesser-known engine manufacturers that mostly worked in the oil and gas industry to drop me a letter or e-mail. I'll publish a list of manufacturers in a future issue.
Contact the Oil Field Engine Society at: 1231 Banta's Creek Road, Eaton, OH 45320-9701, online at: www.oilfieldengine.com or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org