Dublin N. H. Gas Engine Meet

| January/February 1975

1910 Fuller & Johnson water pump engine

Richard R. Jerry

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.