Over Forty Years to Show Time
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1917 50hp Miller
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