Bohon Beauty

By Staff
article image
Carl Stewart's 1- HP Bohon, made by the Nelson Bros. Co. of Saginaw, Mich. Nelson made engines for numerous companies.

Carl Stewart’s 1- HP Bohon, made by the
Nelson Bros. Co. of Saginaw, Mich. Nelson made engines for numerous
companies.

Carl Stewart’s friends have always wondered why his engines
have never graced these pages. Seeing his engines for the first
time, we had to ask the same question. Carl’s been collecting
and restoring gas engines for decades, and his work is nothing
short of fantastic, especially when you consider he does all the
work himself, and without the benefit of an outfitted shop. Carl
lives in town, and does all his work in his garage and back yard,
including his beautiful paint jobs. According to Carl, one man saw
his engines, came over to his house, and while they were standing
in Carl’s back yard the man said, ‘I want to see your paint
shop.’ ‘You’re standing in it,’ Carl replied.

The exact age of Carl’s 1- HP Bohon is unknown, but it
likely dates to the early 1920s, as evidenced by its Webster
oscillating magneto. The engine was actually built by the Nelson
Bros. Co., Saginaw, Mich., which built engines for a number of
other companies. Bearing serial number 3228, the engine’s
nameplate says: The D.T. Bohon Co., Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

The D.T. Bohon Co. was in fact a hardware store and mail order
house in Harrodsburg, Ky., and according to some sources the
company also was involved in the manufacture of phonographs. How
long they operated is unknown. It is likely they closed doors
during the Depression years.

Carl lives right down the road from Harrodsburg in Owenton, and
had long wanted to add a Bohon to his collection. He finally found
the engine pictured here in the fall of 2000, and aside from the
new yellow paint job he’s applied to it he hasn’t had to do
much else. Why yellow? ‘All I ever saw was that color,
yellow,’ Carl says, acknowledging, however, that when he
acquired this engine it was red. Even so, it got the yellow
treatment that was Bohon’s signature color.

Carl also owns a 1 HP IHC Mogul, a 2 HP sideshaft 1916 Domestic,
a 1- HP 1913 Chore Boy, and recently acquired a 1- HP Galloway
‘Handy Andy.’ Carl says it has a bent crank, no valves, no
valve springs, and burnt valve seats. Even so, Carl will likely
have his Galloway looking, and running, as nicely as his Bohon in
short order.

Contact engine enthusiast Carl Stewart at: 106 Sunset Dr.,
Owenton, KY 40359, (502)484-2718.

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