20 Years Ago in GEM

By Staff
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Bill Arnold of Petersburg, Ind., wrote an article detailing the restoration of his 1923 2 HP Jaeger hit-and-miss engine.
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Basil and Jeff Fox, a father and son team from Washburn, Maine, were featured in an article about their “Engine Display and Parade Trailer.”
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Shown on the back cover is a circa-1898 15 HP Joseph Reid 2-cycle engine with hot tube ignition, owned by Harold Keller of Glouster, Ohio. The oil well pumping engine was used in southern Ohio and weighs in at 6,500 pounds.

November 1985

Editor’s note – This is a new monthly department we think has a
certain historical value you will enjoy. Let us know what you think
via U.S. mail, e-mail (rbackus@ogdenpubs.com), or log on to

Magazine.com, click on Forums, then Gas Engines and look for the
“20 Years Ago – Comments?” subject heading.

As many of you attended Tri-State’s 40th Anniversary of the
Portland, Ind., show this year, of the November 1985 issue of Gas
Engine Magazine included a recap of the 20th Anniversary of the

The article, written by Donald Siefker, begins by saying, “They
came from 29 states and Canada and brought with them 2,495 gasoline
engines, 372 tractors … and seven steam engines.” By comparison,
this year’s show saw over 3,000 engines – and that’s with the
sudden hike of gas prices, which caused many people to stay at home
this year. The 1985 show also hosted the John Deere 2-Cylinder Club
rally, of which 102 John Deere tractors made an appearance.

Page 12, titled “8th LeSueur County Swap Meet” has a listing of
some of the items sold at the meet. For example, a running 1936
Case CC tractor on steel wheels sold for $450, a 15-30
International engine sold for $100, and a restored 1 HP Ideal sold
for $650! Oh, how times have changed!

C.H. Wendel wrote in his “Reflections” department about the Old
Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which I’m sure many of you
also attended this year. He claimed there were “500+ engines on
display” in ’85. That’s another show that has seen a lot of growth
over the years. As a matter of fact, there were about 1,000 engines
at this year’s show.

Wendel also mentions his paint color guide, which appears in his
now out-of-print Notebook. He says, “We continue to make progress
on the paint color guide … and with any luck, we’ll have a
listing ready sometime this winter.”

One page does not allow us a full report on respective past
issues, but it sure is fun looking back at the hobby and seeing how
far we’ve come since 1985.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines