Courtesy of Denis McCormack, Cannonball House, St. Michaels, Maryland 21663
The Sixth Annual Gas-Up of the Hudson Mohawk Chapter of the Pioneer Gas Engine Assoc. was held June 9-10 and 16-17, 1973 at the Rolfe home in northern Schoharie County. The weather could not have been better, not only for the show but for the week or more of preparation.
After passing the buildings, down on the show grounds one of the first engines on display was the Burgett. This engine, the symbol of the Hudson Mohawk Chapter, was manufactured around 1900 in the Schoharie county village of Middleburg only a few miles from the site of the gas-up. This engine was on display along with several others from the collection of Charles Dygert, on down the line nicknamed 'corn row' by our very capable announcer, Norman Mullings, because all of the shelters and grinders seemed to be in this area.
I would like to take this time to thank Norman and I know all of the members really appreciate the time he spends, and the wonderful job he does at the microphone. This is a great asset to any show, although Norman did not get to spend much time with his display.
Next in line, Winslow Curtis and Charles Gage, were both chewing on the same large log, Charlie with his Hercules powered drag saw and Winn with his Ottawa drag saw. On down the line, many exhibits I don't remember as I am writing this from memory, sorry but at next year's show I hope to get more of it down on paper at the time.
We come to a small sample of the collection of Stanley Voorhees, Stan has done a wonderful job of keeping these engines away from the sledge hammer and cutting torch of the salvage yards. His display is outstanding in that his engines are beautifully restored and most of them are operating something, not just pounding away at empty air like mine were. Stan has a nice 2-1/2 H P New Holland operating a New Holland grinder and an Aeromotor 8 cycle restored to beautiful condition, along with several other pieces of equipment.
In the next line, Frank Dornburgh had set up his Ireland drag saw and was running it with a Christensen engine belonging to William Van Derwerker. This was in addition to his other engines.
John Kinsey Jr. had a 1-1/2 HP Stover restored, John McBride also in this section with several engines, among them a Woodpecker, not too common in this area.
Next in that line I had my display, along with several engines, a Chase Automatic Shingle Mill manufactured about 1890. This was powered (as it has been for several shows, both here and in the lower Hudson Valley.) by a beautifully restored John Deere GPO belonging to Stan Voorhees. The next two engines drew very much attention, and rightly so. An 8 HP Ohio pulled all the way from Rhode Island by Philip St. Jean, and Elroy Ehdahl from Manchester N. H. with his 7 HP Abenaque. Both of these engines add much to any show and I know they have been many places on the east coast. Our thanks go out to these men for the time and expense of transporting this heavy equipment around the country, so that we may all be able to see these unusual engines.
Art Davis Jr. had about a dozen engines. The second weekend he had a Cushman Cub operating that he had purchased the first weekend as a lump of rust at our auction. We are hoping that the auction can become a part of our annual event. All articles are donated and the proceeds go to the support of the club.
Then, we have a 5 HP Economy belted to an Ice Cream freezer and Ice Cream is sold by the club about three times a day.
The next row over, the equipment is owned by Todd and Ron Rolfe. It would be impossible for me to list the engines belonging to the Rolfe Brothers, from memory. An impressive show of its own, with a 40 HP Fairbanks Morse full diesel Model Y and a Fairbanks Morse 40 HP horizontal operating a 100,000 watt General Electric generator. This along with engines as a McVickers automatic, New Way Twin, 1894 Otto, Acme, Saxon, and many others, make an impressive display.
At the end of this row, a very unusual display by Mr. and Mrs. John Hagie; an 1860 Grover Baker and an 1872 Wheeler Wilson sewing machines, both in beautiful working condition making a stitch that puts the new imports to shame. Along with this, an Olds engine about 1904 operating a washing machine, a Caille Rowboat engine operating in a large tank of water, and a Deyo Massey four cycle engine with no timing gears. This, like Rons McVickers, you just have to see for yourself.
Next along the hill was Eugene McCaffery with two dog powers (treadmill) and a yoke of Oxen that each day pulled our club president, Elmer Cornell, and a plow back and forth across the field. But that seemed to tire Elmer more than the Oxen.
To continue down the rows of engines, we come to the display of William Salisbury Jr., with among other engines had a 30 HP Boraid and Seeforg that formerly ran on natural gas and was now eating propane and blowing smoke rings several hundred feet in the air. This engine is unusual in that it is a two stroke and operates with a crosshead, much like a steam engine in construction. And speaking of steam, let's not forget the steam boys were also here. There were several model engines, but along with the engines set up permanently here was an outstanding exhibit by Floyd J. Hill a 1907 Olmstead steam engine driving a 3 KW Crocker-Wheeler 125 volt DC Generator.
Roger Kriebel brought an unusual 2 HP National water pump engine from Penn. Also from Penn. was Robert L. Lefeuer with his single flywheel 1-1/2 HP New Holland.
Morris Willsey, along with his collection of Farmalls, had a set of twins, two McCormick Deering engines both with milking machine pumps. This along with several other engines. Bill Salisbury Sr. had a Palmer engine on a wagon and a Cushman on a duster, both nicely restored. Joseph Merli had his 3-1/2 HP United here along with some other equipment, but I felt bad to see the piston out of his Thermoil as they are rather rare around here. Gifford Mabie had his 3 HP Badger side shaft engine and a 7 HP Waterloo Boy. Don Clickner again had his 20 HP International on the stone crusher, and 8 HP Sandwich on his Bolter saw. That Bolter saw has really turned out some nice looking hardwood skids to mount engines on.
At top left is a Springfield engine - an engine I admire and would like to have one Hfor my new engine center now being built at St. Michaels, Maryland. At right is an unusual Olds engine built by Seager of Lansing, Michigan. Note the large round cooling water hopper. Bottom left is a unique engine - a very early Columbus built to be sold by New Holland on a trolley . built before they made their own engine. At right - a very popular engine - a good example of the great pioneer Otto. All these pictures were taken at Kinzers, Pennsylvania in August, 1973.
At left is pictured a very rare Fisherman Marine Engine built in Baltimore, Maryland by Loane Engineering Company. Picture on right shows three exceptional engines in a row - Challenge, Petters [from England] and a New Holland. Photos taken at Kinzers, Pennsylvania Reunion in August 1973.
In the barn, John Stewart had his 1920-25 Seeburg Nickelodian and Barnes foot-powered metal lathe in operation along with the rest of his display.
There were many, many other exhibitors and beautifully restored engines, but only because I cannot remember names are they omitted. This, I hope to correct next year. What with my Shingle Mill and engines I feel I missed a lot of the show myself but that's more to look forward to next year.
We also had approx. 54 Antique cars on the lot, this is with the help of the Autoist of the Upper Hudson Valley and the Mohawk Antique Automobile Club. Again, thanks to both of these organizations.
The run down of engines registered is as follows, although a lot of engines were not registered at the headquarters tent.
Leading the field were engines flying the I.H.C. banner, with 28 engines, Fairbanks Morse with 17 engines, Maytag 14, Sears Roebuck, Economy led Montgomery Ward, Sattley 12 to 3, Next in line was Stover with ten engines, 8 engines of unknown manufacture were registered and 7 Witte engines, United, Associated, and Briggs & Stratton tied with 6 each, Hercules 5, Ideal, Domestic, Jumbo, Galloway, and Cushman 4 each. Along with Sattley with 3 each was Waterloo, Aeromotor, New Holland, Sandwich, Novo, and Fuller & Johnson. 12 sets of doubles and 36 one of a kind were listed a total of 226 in all.
Lots of wood cutting with 4 drag saws, several buzz saws, a Bolter saw and shingle mill in operation, and a lot of electric power with 7 generators. Also, in the field were 5 feed grinders, 5 model steam engines, 4 water pumps, 4 corn shellers, 3 butter churns, 3 washing machines, dog powers, horse power, and even two small hot air engines. All in all, a really enjoyable show. Our 1974 Gas Up is tentatively set for the second and third weekends in June, but check for an announcement in the May-June issue of The Gas Engine Magazine.