A. D. Mast Urges Gas Engine Education

By Staff
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Photo courtesy of Preston Foster.
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A. D. Mast.

Education, through ‘Hands on’ inspection and lectures
which inform as well as entertain, are seen by A. D. Mast as basic
to keeping the interest of young people in antique engines.

Mast, a longtime member of the Rough and Tumble Historical
Engineers’ Association at Kinzers, Pa., believes that
demonstrations of the way engines work are important.

‘No stationary gas engines are being produced today,’ he
notes. ‘The young people are not being properly shown how this
old equipment was used. We should go into much greater detail than
we do. It is not enough to have the engines for people to look at
and not touch.’

Mast’s collection, which he started 35 years ago, now
entertains thousands annually through the events of R & T, and
at special sessions he provides for either people who drop in at
the grounds, or groups that arrange in advance.

His equipment on view includes engines, pumps, compressors,
generators, tractors, a road roller and others. His purpose is to
show how they made the burden lighter, and life more enjoyable for

Retired from Sperry New Holland as a project engineer in the R
& D ‘sand box’, he has numerous pieces he can exhibit
and demonstrate at R & T. These include stationary engines such
as Meitz & Weiss, Buck, New Holland, Olin, Klein, DeLa-Vergne,
Fairbanks Morse, Mogul, Domestic, Reeves, Otto, Columbus, Cook,
Lauson, Half Breed and others. His rolling stock includes
Hart-Parr, Rumely 6, a 15-ton Austin road roller and Model G

40 HP Reeves and generator he got from a Johnstown, Ohio movie
theater in 1971.

Mast also has other items to attract his audiences a hot air
pumping engine, water rams, air horns from locomotives, and
whistles. Audience members are invited to blow the whistles if they
like. Most certainly they go away knowing more than they did when
they arrived. He shares in a matter of minutes information he has
taken a lifetime to acquire.

Born on a farm near Morgantown, Pa., he grew up with animals and
machinery. For several years before leaving the farm he was
involved in custom threshing, baling, road grading, silo filling
and stone crushing with Huber and Frick steam engines, followed by
gas tractors including IHC 8-16, Frick, Minneapolis, McCormick
Deering and Rumely Do All.

‘Our Frick thresher was good,’ he recalls, ‘but the
Aultman and Taylor was an old smoothie and the farmers liked the
‘starving rooster’ with an Ann Arbor baler.

‘The Blizzard silo filler was far superior to the Ross;
however, the latter was preferred for shredding corn

His first industrial job was with Dellinger Manufacturing Co.
Then he went on his own for 20 years, mainly designing and building
machines for manufacturing plants around Lancaster. He joined
Daffin Corp. about 1956, in charge of research and development.
From there he went to Sperry New Holland. Since retirement he has
been upgrading his collection.

Young people have taken an interest in engines through contact
with him. Oliver Snowden looks after his OilPull at R & T,
where he keeps his engines; Snowden, who is middle aged, hails from
Blue Ball, Pa. Marshall Stayman looks after Mast’s 15-ton
roller. Mast comments, ‘They do a splendid job.’

Mast’s collection includes a full set of five New Holland
gas engines. He’s looking for someone to take responsibility
for them and others during shows.

He lives at 46 Danbury Road, Lancaster, Pa. 17601. His telephone
number is 717-569-0636.

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