Dublin N. H. Gas Engine Meet

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Litchfield, RFD 1, Box 411, Hudson, N. H. 03051

Most modern-day New Englanders think an antique engine is
something from a ’49 Ford coupe. I’ve heard folks claim a
flywheel is an accessory for a fishing rod, and would you believe a
wooden skid is what a sleigh does on ice?

Still, it’s heartening to note, antique engine collectors
are on the increase in New Hampshire. That lesson was brought home
to me in a rather painful way in August, when I made Thursday-night
telephone arrangements to pick up two old Economy engines in a
neighboring town. By the time I got to the place Saturday morning,
some other eager-beaver new enthusiast had beat me to the darn
things. A year or two ago, they’d have sat there unnoticed for
months – even by me. I’ve been collecting for less than a
year.

Gas engine meets, like many of us collectors, are a relatively
new phenomenon in this area. Till now, most hobbyists contented
themselves with displaying an engine or two at an occasional
auction or county fair. And even at bone-fide gas engine meets, our
flywheel-spinning smoke belchers sometimes do their thing to their
own thunderous applause while spectators crowd around the idle
antique automobiles primly ringing the fairgrounds. Still, things
are looking up.

September 29, 1974, a sun-golden Sunday afternoon with autumn
colors just tinging the small-town setting, the third annual gas
engine meet was held on a patch of lawn in Dublin, New
Hampshire.

Forty-four owners entered more than 150 engines. They came from
Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and New
Hampshire. One ambitious observer counted fifty-four different
makes and models of working engines on the grounds. They ranged in
horsepower from my one-horse Roots and Vander Voort right on
through to a 15 h.p. International Mogul owned by David Dearborn of
West Campton, N.H. Some of the engines were beautifully painted and
pin-striped, and some decked out in rust as old as themselves, but
they all ran. There were also palm-of-your-hand size miniature
models and, of course, old cars.

In fact, the meet was jointly sponsored by two Dublin men,
Michael Worcester and Wayne Fisher, members of the Profile
Automobile League. It seems a lot of folks owning old cars have
engines too, and of that coincidence was born the idea for the
engine meets. Admission is free. Profits from the sale of souvenirs
and a ‘beanhole dinner’ put on by the Dublin Fire Company
go into the fire department’s coffers.

I brought three of my six engines to the meet. Among them was a
2-1/2 h.p. 500 r.p.m. International Titan, about 1910. Serial
number is GA 13143. This little jewel came with its original wooden
carrying skid and battery box, including induction coil. I stumbled
across it accidentally in the course of a lawn party, when I
noticed the flywheels in my own uncle’s junkyard! It’s not
refinished yet, but runs perfectly following minor repairs and the
welding of a cracked water jacket.

I also brought my 5 h.p. 450 r.p.m. Fuller and Johnson, about
1923. Serial number is 82929. A lot of spectators took pictures of
this engine, probably because of its bright yellow pin striping and
its F & J decals. This was my first engine. John Clement, a
neighbor and long-time steam engine buff, sold it to me, guessing
correctly that it’d get me ‘hooked’ on the hobby.

I was proud to note that my 1 h.p. 500 r.p.m. Roots and Vander
Voort was another attention-getter at the meet. Its serial number
is AR 47177. This size Roots, according to other collectors, is
rare in these parts. I’m trying to refinish it without
obliterating its somewhat deteriorated original decals.

My main problem at the engine show was getting my three entries
running at once without causing the trailer on which they were
mounted to vibrate violently. The flywheels invariably got into the
same sequence, so that the trailer bounced around more than some of
the children on the fairgrounds. I finally blocked up the trailer,
and that solved the problem.

I had as much fun watching the other engines as running my own.
There were two-strokers and four-strokers, diesels, gas and
kerosene models, an antique English Fordson tractor on rubber, a
2-cylinder Grey marine engine, a wood splitter, a half-dozen
vertical models, and an air compressor driving a steam engine.

Perhaps the only disadvantage to the meet was its cramped
quarters, which quite severely restricted parking and the setting
up of displays.

This shows part of a display set up by Charles Bristol and Tom
Galbraith of Somers, Conn. In the foreground you can see an
Aermotor water pump and an Ideal lawn mower engine, about 1 HP.
Mounted on the trailer is a Schramm compressor, 6 cu. feet per
minute.

Courtesy of Richard R. Jerry, R.F.D. 1, Box 411, Litchfield,
Hudson, New Hampshire 03051

This is a 1910 Fuller & Johnson water pump engine owned by
Tom Ryder of Milbury, Mass. Tom has seven engines and carries the
water pump unassembled in the trunk of his car when he goes to
Meets.

Courtesy of Richard R. Jerry, R.F.D. 1, Box 411, Litchfield,
Hudson, New Hampshire 03051

This is David Dearborne’s 15 HP International Mogul. The
engine dates to about 1920 and took 1-1/2 to 2 months to restore,
after a balance wheel was retrieved from the lake where it was used
as a boat anchor. The base of the engine itself was in ten inches
of mud when found. This West Campton, N.H. man owns about 35
engines.

Courtesy of Richard R. Jerry, R.F.D. 1, Box 411, Litchfield,
Hudson, New Hampshire 03051

These are my own entries with the Titan and Roots running. Note
the spectators around my trailer – they are looking at old cars –
oh well!

Courtesy of Richard R. Jerry, R.F.D. 1, Box 411, Litchfield,
Hudson, New Hampshire 03051

This shows a 5 HP Witte diesel engine which owner James Dunn of
East Pepperell, Mass, figures was made in the late 20’s or
early 30’s. Jim said the engine didn’t run when he bought
it a year ago and added that he’d ‘chased after it’ for
some ten years before finally getting it in a junk yard. He’s
got about 20 engines.

Courtesy of Richard R. Jerry, R.F.D. 1, Box 411, Litchfield,
Hudson, New Hampshire 03051

Another view of the Bristol and Galbraith display. The Schramm
Compress drew a lot of admiring attention not only on its own but
because it is running the oscillating system steam engine in this
photo.

Courtesy of Richard R. Jerry, R.F.D. 1, Box 411, Litchfield,
Hudson, New Hampshire 03051

Mother Nature got into the act too, getting even with us for our
afternoon’s racket by lashing out about 4 p.m. with violent
thunderstorms that made headlines across the southern half of the
state for the flooding and lightning damage they caused.

My last rain-drenched view as I drove away from the site was of
the unsung hero running his wood splitter, the engine’s long
belt flapping defiantly against the bucketsful of falling water. I
never did learn the fellow’s name.

There were three engines I didn’t get to show off in Dublin.
Among them is a six-horse 550 r.p.m. M model McCormick Deering,
year unknown, which runs a 30-inch buzz saw. Serial number is W
16090. Rig is mounted on a ten foot oak-framed, steel-wheeled
trailer. It’s completely refinished and runs just fine.

Neither did I bring my 3 h.p. 475 r.p.m. Fairbanks-Morse, Model
Z, year unknown. Serial number is 497368. I assume this
gas/kerosene model to be among my ‘newer’ makes. Like the
McCormick, I figure it to have been manufactured in the late
20’s, but I would gladly stand corrected if anyone with more
information would pass it along.

The other engine left behind was a 4 h.p. Ottowa log saw, 500
r.p.m., serial number FS 4340. This piece took plenty of
‘intensive care,’ but I finally got it running after taking
the Webster Oscillating Magneto apart some . eight times. It still
doesn’t throw a proper spark. I have all iron parts for the
drag saw, but two new main wooden beams have to be made.

My whole collection runs well. All engines except the McCormick
and Fairbanks have make-and-break ignitions and hit-and-miss
governors. I’m on the lookout for other makes, and will acquire
them as time and money permit.

Gas Engine Magazine
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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines