Oil Held Engine Society News

By Staff
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Bill Baker cooks his lunch with the help of Frank Furguson's 10 HP Bessemer.
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Richard Hunt's 20 HP Pattin Bros. engine

1231 Banta’s Creek Road, Eaton, Ohio 45320-9701 oil

This month we have some correspondence and photos from two of
our California OFES members. The first is from Frank Furguson of
Forest Ranch, California, who sends in a photo of his 10 HP
Bessemer being used as a hot dog cooker by a friend of his, Mr.
Bill Baker. I don’t know what this would do to your hot dogs,
but I’d assume that it would add somewhat of a propane flavor
to them. And another mystery which Mr. Furguson didn’t explain
was why Mr. Baker is wearing a helmet. Needless to say, these guys
are real ‘Oafs,’ and appear to know how to have a good
time. Mr. Furguson writes that the Bessemer runs wonderfully and
that he also has a 12 HP Reid in his collection of oil field

The next correspondence is a letter from Richard Hunt about his
experience in the oil field engine hobby. He also sends along two
photos of his 20 HP Pattin Bros. engine.

Hunt says ‘I enjoy the Oil Field Engine News section of GEM
and hope to see it continue to be a regular addition in many future
editions. My father and grandfather worked oil fields of Oklahoma
and moved to the Signal Hill area of southern California in the
early fifties to continue that tradition. I remember the forest of
oil derricks that covered Signal Hill and the sound of the
‘grasshopper’ pump units.

‘I began collecting old gas engines about six years ago. I
suppose my oil background drove me to decide to try to find an oil
field engine. My search led me to the Internet and, after about a
month, I was able to locate a 20 HP Pattin Bros. engine here on the
West Coast. Mike McKinney sold me the engine and delivered it to
the 2000 Antique Equipment Show in Tulare, California, last April.
Bill Tremel was a lot of help and gave me plenty of instruction on
how to set up the propane system and some starting procedures. I
also received a lot of information from Gerald Johnson, Myles Lamm
and Ed Rerrad.

‘I attempted to start it by hand, but since I was not sure
about the gas valve setting, or exactly how much to prime (or not
to prime), I belted it up to my tractor. After it fired the first
time and covered me with oil, I began experimenting with the gas
valve setting and regular pressures. It now starts fairly easily by
hand by backing it up onto compression.

‘During the 2000 show year, I took ‘Mr. Pattin’ to
two shows in the Sacramento area: the Rio Linda Farm Days and the
Amador County Fair in Plymouth. I’m finding out that oil field
engines are not a common occurrence at shows on the West Coast.
Because of its size, hot tube ignition and propane fuel source,
most of the onlookers kept a safe distance while watching the
operation of the half-breed design and listening to it pop off its
very distinct ported exhaust sound. I am now looking for more oil
field engines, hopefully in the smaller 10-15 HP range, as well as
a push-pull and pump jack. Richard Hunt, P.O. Box 507, Clarksburg,
California 95612, rmhunt@cwo.com.’

As a last issue of correspondence, we received a call from Carl
E. Rhodes, 1305 Mt. Crawford Ave., Bridge-water, Virginia 22812,
phone 540-828-3975. He requests any info or literature anyone can
offer concerning his 2 HP Meitz & Weiss oil engine. It would be
most appreciated.

As always, if you would like a free membership in the Oilfield
Engine Society, please call or send an S.A.S.E. to my address
above. Also, please visit the society website at
www.oilfieldengine.com, or e-mail us at oilengine@voyager.net. Feel
free to send in your experience with oilfield engines.

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