7HP Masterpiece Saved and Restored

By Staff
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RFD #1, Box 95 Voluntown, Connecticut 06384

My Son, Todd Babbitt, and I, Richard Babbitt, enjoy reading the
Gas Engine Magazine.

Last year, Todd had an engine given to him by a friend. Well,
that was it, we got the bug and now have 15 engines plus a Galloway
saw rig I purchased from a friend. It amazes me how the saw rigs
and the engines survived the depression and World War II.

A good friend of mine had the Galloway and I tried many times to
purchase it, but because it was in his family since it was new, he
decided not to sell it. Recently, I had occasion to talk to him and
told him that if he didn’t sell it to me soon, it would be
beyond restoring. He said he would let me know in two or three
days. Later in the week, I called him and he told me to come and
pick it up. Well, Todd and I rigged up the lowbed and went and got
it. The axles were so bad that when I got it home, one of the axles
was almost rotted off. I knew right from the start that my work was
cut out for me. I told myself this was going to be a very big

Just then a friend of mine, Herb Savage, drove in. He took one
look at the saw rig and said, ‘It looks good and about 90%
complete. Does it run?’

‘I don’t know, Herb,’ I said. Herb proceeded to
climb up onto the lowbed.

‘Engine looks free. Got some gas, oil and grease, Todd?’
Five minutes later, Herb said, ‘Let’s turn it over.’ I
grabbed one of the flywheels and was about to turn it when Herb
said, ‘Wait a minute, Dick. Don’t turn the flywheel the
wrong way. This engine runs in reverse.’

I said to Herb, ‘I haven’t seen too many like this.’
Herb said, ‘It’s so the saw can cut on the right-hand
side.’ After about twenty minutes, we had her popping. This is
about the easiest starting engine we have. Even Todd can start it
at the age of twelve.

The Galloway sat there where I parked it for three to four days
until one night at supper, I told my wife Lois, Todd and my
daughter Darlene, that I was going to try to restore it during the

My first step towards restoration was to have the whole machine
sandblasted down to bare metal. This procedure turned up a lot of
paint chips, some original colors (black, red and yellow) and pin
striping. I then rolled it into the shop. The next morning before
going to work, I went out to look my prize over. During the night,
the damp air got at it and formed a rust film on everything. I knew
right then and there I would have to clean it and prime it fast. My
wife and I painted primer for two and one-half days. Next I started
replacing the axles and some of the tin work. When I purchased this
machine, I received the original book from the Galloway Company so
a lot of time was saved because of the pictures that showed a lot
of detail. I also replaced all of the wood work which consisted of
maple and oak and all of the square-headed bolts that were bent or
rotted. It took a lot of time to clean all of the sand out of the
bearings, cylinder and valves. The gears showed very little wear.
Then came the rest of the paint work. This tedious job took another
two weeks of spare time. My wife and I were finally glad to see it

The next big job was the lettering, pin striping and scrollwork
and who was going to do it? After discussing the subject with
several people, I contacted an old friend of the family, Mr. John
Gemeasky, and asked if he would consider undertaking this task for
me. After much consideration, he said he would see what he could
do. John and I talked and looked the saw rig over and over and all
we could see with the naked eye was the word ‘Galloway’
written on the water hopper. John started looking the book over and
decided to enlarge the pictures to the actual size. Believe me,
it’s possible! Through this enlargement process, we found pin
striping, scrollwork and different designs that are unbelievable,
so we decided to try to put everything back as close to original as
we possibly could. John spent countless hours at his artistry but
the finished product speaks for itself. Everybody says it sure is

This machine was bought by Irving Burdick new in 1927 for
$209.75 plus shipping. It was delivered to the Jewett City,
Connecticut railroad station and taken to his farm in Griswold,
Connecticut, where it had been until I recently purchased it from
his grandson, Mr. Donald Burdick.

The original advertisement for my model of the Galloway in the
Galloway company catalog reads as follows:


This engine runs like a scared wolf and pulls slike a 20-mule
team. The Masterpiece is one of the engines that has built the
Galloway reputation. It will operate heavy duty jobs like the large
corn shelter, cane mill, buhr mill, hay press, mine fan, building
hoist, woodyard, ensilage cutter, corn grinder, well drill, lathe
machine, shingle knife and other machinery requiring up to 8 HP.
Can be slowed down where less power is required. Equipped with
Webster magneto, speed regulator, 16×6 in. pulley and iron sub-base
as pictured. Weight 1150 lbs.

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