HCR 1, Box 39 Alsen, North Dakota 58311
Last summer (1990), when I was sixteen years old, I went to a
threshing show near my home, the Prairie Winds and Pioneer Power
Antique and Old Iron Threshing Show at Hampden, North Dakota. I am
now a member of the association.
Well, anyway, I was walking around looking at the old engines,
tractors, and other things that caught my eye, when I decided that
I wanted to get involved, whether it be with a tractor or an
engine, I wasn’t sure.
The tractors were too much money for me, so I started looking
for an engine. I knew of a man in a nearby town who had a few
engines, so off I went to see what he had for me. I was originally
thinking of something small, like a Maytag, but after looking at
all of his engines I decided to buy the biggest one he had. It was
sitting outside the shed that housed the rest of the engines, with
the water hopper full of parts for it. It was a 1917 3 HP Fairbanks
I was quite fortunate that the only major things that were
missing were the fuel pump and the magneto. After going to a few
more shows and making a few phone calls, I had both of them,
My junior year of high school was coming up and I didn’t
have a shop project chosen yet. I decided this would be a good
place for my first restoration project. My shop teacher told me I
could not do it unless there was wood involved, so I had him order
some oak for me.
I thought, ‘If I’m going to build a set of trucks, I
should look around for something to show with it.’ I looked for
a while and finally ended up at the same place I had bought the
engine. The man had a pump that he would sell me, a Peters pump,
made by the Peters Pump Co. In shop class, I totally restored the
engine and pump and built the oak trucks.
I have had the engine to only one show and have received more
compliments than I thought I would ever get. I am very proud of the
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me with my
project, and to give a very special ‘thanks’ to my grandpa,
Martin Gjesdal, who tells me stories of ‘how it used to
be.’ I think he is as proud of ‘Pete and Joe’ as I am.
That is what the kids at school have named my projects-Engine Joe
and Pete the Pump.