An Appreciation for Gas and Steam Engines

Mel Cameron shares his appreciation for gas and steam engines with Gas Magazine readers.


| March/April 1967



Fairbanks Morse 50 H.P

Photo courtesy of Mel Cameron, Windsor, Illinois.

MEL CAMERON

A reader talks about his appreciation for gas and steam engines. 

I can remember my Dad having an old gas hit and miss engine when I was just a small boy. I have found out since I'm grown that it was a 11/2 hp "McCormick Deering" I. H. I have acquired an engine identical to it, with the exception that mine is a throttling governor type.

I bought a real nice 3 hp hit and miss "Fairbanks Morse" engine from my brother-in-law's father a few years ago. The engine ran real sweet after I cleaned and set the mag and made a gasket for the carburetor. I kept the engine for a year and then sold it for not too good a reason (I think now) and for not much money, $8.00 to be exact. I know I couldn't replace that beautiful old engine for that small sum now.

I've really got "side flywheel fever" now. I've been sorry since I sold my "Fairbanks Morse" and have wanted another ever since.

About a year and a half ago, I located an old engine. I just went to get it this spring. It is a 11/2 hp throttling governor "McCormick Deering I. H." purchased new in about 1925. I made the deal for the engine as soon as I found out the gentlemen had it. I also found out from him that he had it on a line shaft in a shed and that he had a washing machine, pump jack, cream separator and floor mounted grinder he run off it. I went out to look at the engine soon after I located it. It was not stuck and it hadn't been run in 15 years. The gentleman gave me a Briggs and Stratton 5/8 hp Model Y engine when I went out to look at the McCormick Deering this spring as I told the man I wouldn't get the engine until I felt I could spare the money. It was over a year, but the wait was worth it. I got the engine (on a fine set of trucks), the floor pedestal grinder, the line shaft and 3 line shaft hangar and bearing assemblies and the little Briggs thrown in free. The "McCormick" had never spent a night outside until the day I got it and it set out in the rain one night before we unloaded it from the truck the next day.

John Bean Spray Rig — Engine is a 3 hp vertical cylinder Novo. The pump is a 3 cycle brass with grease cups on all bearings. As you can see it is in 50/50 condition.