ONE LUNG ENGINES I Have Used


| April/May 1998



P.O. Box 6 Wilmington, Vermont 05363

As I was born on a farm in Tunbridge, Vermont in 1925, I should have grown up with one lung engines. By this time, these engines were perfected to the point of being a dependable source of power. Almost every New England farm had at least one, to be used for sawing wood, filling silo, threshing grain and pressing hay. Others were employed on farms to operate water pumps, cream separators, milling machines, butter churns, washing machines, electric light plants, and any other use where wheels had to be turned. Many larger engines were being used to turn the wheels of industry. After the disastrous flood of 1927 in New England, which washed out many mill dams, many mill operators purchased engines to power their mills, rather than rebuild the dams, that in many instances were dependent upon the amount of rainfall for power.

Unfortunately, my opportunity to gain experience with engines was severely restricted, as my father, although farm born and raised, had no interest in any form of power that did not burn hay for fuel and have the exhaust removed with a shovel. I did receive a lot of experience in the proper removal of his type of 'exhaust.'

My first experience with an engine was at my paternal grandfather's farm where I had been born. In 1929, we were living there again for a time while my father changed jobs. My grandfather had a 6 HP Jumbo engine that supplied power for sawing wood, tilling silo, and turning a grindstone. (See 'The Search For My Grandfather's Engine' on page 23 of the October 1994 issue of GEM.)

The farm buildings were all connected in the typical New England manner. The buildings enclosed the barnyard on three sides. The engine sat on a concrete pad, just outside of the woodshed, that was on the end of the house, where it could be belted to a cord wood saw inside the woodshed, and via a system of belts and a jack shaft to a grindstone that sat beside the engine. During this brief stay, I can remember the engine being used to saw wood. Being four years old at the time, I was confined to the house, but could see and hear the engine through the kitchen door.

In 1935, our family returned to the farm for a year, while my father was on another venture. My brother and I were old enough to assist in the farm work. The engine was used for sawing wood and to fill the silo, running a Blizzard ensilage cutter.