My Beautiful Piece of Iron

| October/November 1992

  • Sandwich on cart with the restored Jaeger
    Sandwich on cart with the restored Jaeger, which was seen on the cover of our September issue.
  • Jaeger before restoration
    Jaeger before restoration.

  • Sandwich on cart with the restored Jaeger
  • Jaeger before restoration

2328 W 300N Warsaw, Indiana 46580

Note: The following story is about the engine which appeared on the front cover of our September 1992 issue.

Having grown up on a farm in northern Indiana, I have been exposed to various types of equipment most of my life. I have been in law enforcement for 12 years and work as a deputy sheriff. After high school, I was employed as a mechanic for a farm machinery business, and through that, developed an interest in engines and their workings.

I have been collecting antique tractors and engines for several years, and in the fall of 1990, my father and I attended an engine auction near Kokomo, Indiana. At this auction, I observed a large, extremely rusty Jaeger cement mixer on a steel wheeled cart. It was covered with the usual amount of grease and hardened cement, and appeared to have been left to the elements. Under the cover of a metal engine compartment, I discovered an extremely greasy, but what appeared to be a very good Hercules/Jaeger 3 HP engine. It did not show the damage from the weather, as it had been somewhat protected by the hood and dilapidated doors. As usual, in auctions, it seemed like an eternity until it became time for this item to be sold. When the time came, there was the usual flurry of quick bidding, and when it was all over, I found myself to be the new owner of a very large, seemingly immovable piece of rusty iron.

After waiting almost two hours for the crowd to clear out so we could get our trailer into position, we hooked onto the cart with the winch cable, finding the fifth wheel type steering to be rusted solid and incapable of turning. This was surmounted, and my beautiful piece of iron was loaded. My father did make the request that we stop along the route home and buy a tarp to cover my purchase, so my neighbors would not laugh when we arrived home.

Upon arriving home, the 'before' photos were taken with the mixer still on the trailer.