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.
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.
In the course of conversation, Mr. Allison mentioned he donated a number of negatives of historical scenes taken in the vicinity of Dublin to the Dublin Public Library and some were of old gas engines. We all visited the library, a small stone masonry building, an architectural gem! Mrs. Worcester, the Librarian, was very helpful and many interesting scenes were reviewed.
Three which I thought would be of interest to engine land readers were selected. Dublin, is the sight of the Dublin Gas, Steam and Antique Auto Show normally held the second weekend in September (a show well worth seeing). As I did not want to transgress on any of their planned future use of these photos, I asked for their approval before submitting this article. They were very helpful.
In closing, Dublin is a typical New England town; quaint, neat and not much different from its appearance in 1900. Huge supermarkets, shopping plazas and developments are missing, but not missed. All personal contacts were most pleasant and friendly.
(All photos from Allison Collection, courtesy Dublin, New Hampshire Public Library.)