Growing Up with an INGECO

| 1/7/2016 8:00:00 AM

Tags: February/March 2016, Field Notes, Flywheel Forum,


This is a 2-1/2 hp Model AK throttling-governor with serial number 6285 gas or kerosene engine. The serial number dates the engine to having been built in 1913 by the International Gas Engine Company of Cudahy, Wisconsin, or INGECO. The company was taken over by Worthington Pump and Machinery at a later date.

The first owner of this engine was Albert Fullert, a farmer who lived on the canal road near Deansville, Wisconsin. Albert and Anna had five children, one of whom was named Harry, who will be involved in this story later. The engine was used on the farm for doing normal tasks such as grinding, sawing, pumping, etc. The engine dutifully did its work until the late 1930s, when it was given a rest after electricity came to the farm. It was then parked alongside a wooden fence for several years until it was called into action once more.

Now, enter Harry. Harry worked at the Deansville garage repairing automobiles, tractors and whatever needed to be fixed. Harry left the garage in order to fight in World War I. At the end of the war Harry was stationed in France, but did not come home as the other fellows had in the Deansville area. His friends and relatives thought that something had happened to him. It seems what had taken place, somehow his paperwork had gotten lost and the Army took its time before finding it and getting Harry on his way home.

Upon coming home, Harry bought the Deansville garage from Ed Strasburg and became his own businessman. Harry ran the business until 1946, when he retired and sold the garage and business to Frank Kleinschmidt, who then set up his nephew Martin Luther to run it.

The stipulation was that Harry was not to repair cars anywhere else in competition with Martin. Harry abided by that agreement, and then bought the old vacant farm implement and machinery building across the road from my dad’s tavern. This was part of a thriving creamery, icehouse and barn complex that were no longer in existence at the time. He remodeled part of the building to live in and also built a workshop for himself.