A TRUE 1 HORSE POWER and its replacement

| May/June 1982

Fangled Gas Engine

Old Dobbin is replaced by a new-fangled gas engine


New Ashford, Massachusetts 01237

After many months of fruitless searching for a historical background photo for another future article, I was referred to a Mr. Elliot Allison of Dublin, New Hampshire. By telephone a visit was arranged.

Mr. Allison, a remarkable gentleman in his 80s, and a veteran of World War I, had the photo I needed and many more interesting early photos and glass plate negatives leading to this short article.

His father, a Dublin businessman and a member of the State Legislature, was a very active photographer in the 1880s and 1900 era when glass plates (to which you applied the light-absorbing chemicals just before you took the picture) were in use. This collection of glass negatives is in excellent condition. They deteriorate or fade if not properly protected and stored; therefore, each plate was individually wrapped and then placed in an envelope and five or six envelopes in a box meticulously indexed on the outside of the box, thus pinpointing the subject needed and eliminating search exposure so that today these negatives produce good to excellent photos.

A sound heavy workhorse could power a buzz saw equal to a 3 or 4 HP gas engine, rest periods were needed for the horse, also crew added time to pass the jug. Horse powers of the treadmill type were quite common in the New England States, the one pictured was probably made in the vicinity, old time farm machinery ads indicate at least four manufacturers within a 100-mile radius manufactured horse powers.

Old Dobbin is replaced by a new-fangled gas engine, throughout the snow belt states wherever it is available, wood as a heating fuel is staging a comeback and this saw rig and a pile of wood would be a most welcome addition to a great many backyards. I have not been able to ascertain the make of engine. Does anyone have a guess? My guess is it's a 3 or 4 HP Stoddard about 1910 built in nearby Vermont.