Circa-1918 Emerson-Brantingham Model U

Glen Westphal prefers to bring odd or uncommon engines to shows, including his Emerson-Brantingham Model U that once belonged to his father.

| August/September 2018

Circa-1918 Emerson Brantingham 6 hp Model U

Manufacturer: Emerson-Brantingham Co., Rockford, Ill.
Year: 1918
Serial Number: 12196
Horsepower: 6 hp
Bore & stroke: 6in x 9-1/2in
Flywheel: 32in x 3in
Ignition: Igniter w/battery and coil
Governing: Hit-and-miss w/weight on flywheel
Cooling: Water-cooled w/hopper

Engine collectors are fortunate that Glen Westphal chooses to bring different engines to shows. Like his rare circa-1918 6 hp Emerson-Brantingham U.

“About the time I was born in the 1960s,” the Elk River, Minnesota, man says, “my dad, Ronald Westphal, started collecting engines and tractors. I grew up with the engines on our hobby farm, and didn’t really realize that other kids didn’t have engines around, or go to shows, until I got older. That was partly because the shows were done during our three months off in the summer. These days, I’d love to have those three months off to go to all the shows I’d like to attend!”

Besides his dad, nobody else in the family was very interested in engines, but that was OK with Glen. “It gave me time to develop a special bond with him, riding many miles with him in the pickup, going to shows, helping with whatever needed to be done like loading and unloading them, greasing and oiling the engines, starting them. I also got to drive tractors in the parade, and met many people I’ve now known all my life, some in their 70s-90s and still see at shows, while some have passed away,” Glen says. “It was exciting going with Dad to the shows, driving a tractor or helping with the engines.”

Some engines Glen helped with included an 8 hp IHC screen-cooled engine, a 12 hp Root & VanDervoort, and a pair of 15 hp Fairbanks-Morse engines, one a screen-cooled engine and one a pumping engine. “Those went with us to the shows the most,” Glen says. Fortunately, Glen built that bond with his father early, because his dad tragically passed away when Glen was only 12.

But Glen‘s interest in old iron continued. “I kept playing with the engines when I could. Most of my school friends had no clue what the engines were or what you might do with them. They thought, ‘Engines. OK, you farm with them,’ but they really had no clue.”

In the 1990s he visited a few shows, and by the early- to mid-2000s he was exhibiting in eight to 10 shows a year. Last year he exhibited in 12 shows, including exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair where a friend runs the engines, giving him time to attend other engine and tractor shows.