208 Mediterranean Ave., Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada N9V 3X9
Being born in 1933, I can well remember the last of the depression and the war years. We lived on the farm and my father worked the land with a would-be team consisting of a mule with two-speeds (slow and stop) and a half loco mare that would run off the end of a cliff if you didn't stop her.
One day, when I was age five, I saw the mule on a 30 foot tether eating grass. Nearby was an old hand saw that one of my brothers had abandoned. I thought if I cut him in half, we'd have two mules. I barely touched him on the back when suddenly he reeled around and gave me both hooves. I realized then one mule was plenty enough!
Well, getting back to the story, after the war my father got a new B. F. Avery and sold the team, and along in 1952 we moved to the city but I kept the two old horse collars for keepsakes.
In 1957 my brother found an old engine with other junk he bought from a farmer. I bought the engine from him for $15. It had only a serial number for identification. There was no way to find out what it was, as engine shows were unheard of till Steamera in Milton, Ontario, started in 1961. I took it to a self-made mechanic who put a coil, condenser and battery into it and got it running. Wow, what a thrill!
It looked like it had been painted black, so I repainted it black with gold trim.
After that, I married, had kids, moved from place to place -Toronto in the '60s and then back to this area- carting that heavy old engine every time.
In 1987, at Christmastime, I quit smoking for good and needed a hobby badly, and so it was I purchased a 1947 Allis WC and one for parts, then a '37 Farmall F12, good only for a lawn ornament.
Soon I started going to shows, and subscribed to GEM in January 1990. I purchased the engine and tractor books by C. H. Wendel, but I couldn't identify my engine so I wrote to GEM in June 1994 (29-6-15).
Finally I received a letter and copy of the engine as Chapman 1? HP. It is a type B made in 1916 according to the serial number (page 90 in the book).
Finding new interest, I purchased a Massey-Harris 3 HP and an IHC LA 3-5 HP the following year, and a two wheel trailer a year later. I built a self storing unit that would display the engines, then more recently a canopy for shade.
Well, after forty years, I got up the nerve to go to a couple of shows this summer (1999). One in Brigden, Ontario, on August 20-22 and Florence, Ontario, September 17-19. I met the fellow who sent me the letter regarding the engine. After I thanked him muchly, he said he knows of only one other engine of that type. I certainly enjoyed talking to the many enthusiasts of old iron, although the primitive camping was plenty rough, sleeping in the back of my van.
All in all, I enjoyed it immensely and intend to go to more shows next year.
Oh by the way, I still have the two horse collars.