11950 Montague Road, Winnebago, Illinois 61088
One day several years ago, Nelson Tower greeted me with, ‘I
heard you are interested in old gas engines.’ The Towers have
an orchard near Youngstown, New York, about twenty miles from
Niagara Falls. The Towers and my wife and I spend the winters in
Dora Pines Mobile Home Park at Mount Dora, Florida.
I assured him I was very interested in old engines. He said he
had an old ‘Friend’ sprayer engine that had sat in a shed
for fifty years.
‘Sold.’ Sight unseen. I had never heard of a Friend
engine, but golly, $75!
The next fall, he brought it with him to Florida and delivered
it to my door. A rusty hunk of iron, but not stuck. No gas tank, no
governor, no ignition, but with a tag, number A115. I cleaned it up
and gave it a prime coat before I hauled it home to Winnebago.
This is the fourth engine I have brought home from Florida. The
other three were a Novo, a Fairbanks Morse, and an EXA Friend.
Before painting, I hooked up a Model T coil and a temporary gas
tank, and with just a few turns it started. There is just a short
lever on the Schebler carburetor to control the speed, also a lever
to control the spark.
Gary Jarvis of Bowman, Georgia has several Friend engines, as
well as a complete spray rig. He gave me the name of a person at
Friend Mfg. Company at Gasport, New York, where I Could write for
The Friend Company has been in business since 1895. I received a
letter stating my ‘A 115’ was built in 1917. My EXA engine
was built in 1932. Sad to say, I do not have a pump for either
My A 115 is quite a curiosity at my home in Winnebago, because
most of the people have not heard of the Friend engine.