Historic Theater Engine-30 HP Foos

By Staff
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Owner Martha Warren and her pension money at work.
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Foos engine after it had been taken from the theater basement in Fostoria.
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Hole in alley where crane is pulling out a piece of the dismantled Foos.
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Owner Gerald Warren and his 30 HP Foos.

1917 Geffs Avenue, Findlay, Ohio 45840  

One Saturday morning, in the fall of 1984, I was working on one
of my dad’s engines, a 6HP Gray, in the garage. A friend of
mine, the Rev. Terry Steinhauer of Fostoria stopped by. He knew of
an engine that was by far larger than any of the engines that my
dad and I owned. He had visited an old theater in Fostoria, Ohio,
that the church had considered buying and renovating. The engine
was used for generating power to light the stage.

Naturally, he had our interest piqued, so we took a trip over to
see this engine. The 1907 Foos engine was standing in 20 inches of
water in the basement of the theater. We knew we just had to have
that engine. It took over two years and three different owners
before we were allowed to purchase the engine.

We had to go to the engineering department of Fostoria to
purchase a bond and a permit which enabled us to dig up the alley
that ran parallel of the theater.

With a crew of my uncle, Ford Warren and his equipment, Max
Treft, Ed Dymond, Gerald Warren, Fred Aller and me, we set to work.
First we pumped the water out of the basement and disassembled the
engine. Then we opened up the alley and the wall of the theater for
the removal of the engine which weighed 11,185 pounds. Each
flywheel weighed 1? tons. All of this work was done manually as we
could not get power equipment down into the basement. Just to
remove the engine after disassembling it, took a total of 4 hours.
Then we had to repair the wall and the alley back to their original
condition. The journey back to Findlay was 15 miles and then the
real work began.  

We disassembled the smaller pieces for repairing and
sandblasting. All total it took 5 months of many hours and a lot of
hard work to get our prize engine ready for her debut. Her first
showing was at a pre-harvest festival in Mt. Cory, Ohio, July
1987.

The first big engine show she went to was the Northwest Ohio
Antique Steam and Gas Engine Show in Findlay.

Hundreds of people attended the show to see her in action after
reading an article about her in our local newspaper. We were
invited to attend the Portland Gas Engine Show in Portland,
Indiana. We were one of the main attractions and have been invited
to return next August.

Gas Engine Magazine
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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines