Mogul Engines: The Whole Line

It took some work, and three decades, but one dedicated collector amassed the entire Mogul engine line.

| April/May 2014

  • The rarest set of Mogul engines owned by Lyle Dumont, the screen-cooled ones, are transported to shows fixed on a trailer.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Engines piled high on the Dumont truck, ready to be hauled from Joplin, Mo., to Sigourney, Iowa. Photos courtesy Lyle Dumont.
    Photo courtesy Lyle Dumont
  • This 1915 10 HP Mogul was Lyle’s first Mogul engine. The flywheel is 41 inches in diameter with a face of 3-1/2 inches. The engine weighs 3,658 pounds. The silver pipe is the exhaust pipe with the muffler on top. The green pipe is the breather pipe, which brings back warm air from the running engine to make it start and run better.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The front of the cylinder head on this Mogul shows the magneto, with the bronze body, as well as the horseshoe-shaped magnet that creates the polarity for the spark.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • A view of the sideshaft on Lyle’s 1916 6 HP screen-cooled Mogul. Its flywheel has a diameter of 33 inches with a 3-1/2-inch face.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • This assembly bolted to the flywheel of Lyle’s 6 HP Mogul’s flywheel is the clutch wheel. It runs freely until the operator grabs it and pushes it in to engage the clutch, which operates whatever machinery is hooked to the Mogul’s pulley by a belt.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The black device in the far left bottom corner is the igniter trip, which is tripped by the green shaft just behind the black magneto magnet. The spark comes through the electrical wire on top, and a set of contact points is on the end of the igniter.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • This Type B Witte was just one of the more than 400 engines Lyle found in Joplin, Mo.
    Photo courtesy Lyle Dumont
  • The line-up of the Moguls in the Dumont Museum, except for the Mogul Jrs.
    Photo courtesy Lyle Dumont
  • Lyle’s rarest Moguls, the screen-cooled variety, are transported to shows already fixed on a trailer.
    Photo by Bill Vossler

When Lyle Dumont does something, he does it in a big way. Like the time in 1969 when he bought more than 400 antique gas engines in one fell swoop.

“I was born and raised on a farm,” the retired Sigourney, Iowa, collector says. “I worked as a mechanic for a while and always had an interest in that old iron, because when I was a little boy my uncle would say, ‘Lyle, you’ve got to get a hobby, you’ve got to get a hobby.’ And that’s what happened.”

During high school, Lyle started collecting antique cars, and then after three years in the Army he began collecting tractors. He was attracted to the tractors his dad had on the farm and he had driven when he was younger, but then his collection expanded to engines even older than that.

During the 1960s, the now 75-year-old bought and sold more than a thousand tractors (and still has a hundred or so in his Dumont Museum near Sigourney) “I really went crazy, buying and selling tractors and fixing them up and selling them at auctions,” Lyle says. “The most I had at one time was over 300 tractors in my collection.”



Natural step

Moving from tractors to gasoline engines seemed like a natural next step. Lyle remembers his first engine being a small IHC or John Deere. “After that, pretty soon, away you go,” he says. “I had a few more by the time I got acquainted with a real character who found the estate of a collector who had died in Joplin, Mo. The estate had three engines that this character wanted, but he couldn’t afford to buy them,” and he wanted Lyle to buy them for him.

It turned out those were three of more than 400 engines, so Lyle decided to buy not just those three, but all 400-plus gasoline engines from the estate. Included in the trove were a number of very rare engines, including an entire set of the square-tank headless Witte engines, a Falk, a couple of rare screen-cooled International Harvester Moguls, an upright Monitor that stood over 6 feet high and many others.