PILGRIMS & CONVERTS

By Staff
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Canadian-built engines, such as this 10 HP Acadia GE, were featured at the 2007 Portland show while Oliver Hart-Parr was the featured tractor.
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Oliver Hart-Parr
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2-1/2 HP Sattley
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4-1/2 HP Jacobson
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15 HP Witte
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1-1/2 HP Domestic
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1912 1-3/4 HP air-cooled Waterloo Boy
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100 HP Fairbanks diesel
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1924 3 HP Novo “S”
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1902 4 HP Callahan (sold under Fairbanks)
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1926 1-1/2 HP McCormick-Deering “M”
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1933 2-1/2 HP Bamford
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25 HP Superior
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Circa 1913 4 HP Le Fonderie de Robertsonville
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4 HP Field-Brundage
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15 HP Reid

Prior to becoming assistant editor at Gas Engine Magazine in
early August, I admit I knew nothing about gas engines. So, when it
came to learning the ins-and-outs of the stationary gas engine
hobby, I scanned both volumes of C.H. Wendel’s American Gasoline
Engine Since 1872, took notes from Mark Meincke’s The Complete
Guide to Stationary Gas Engines and spent days swimming through the
archives of GEM. Even after all of that, I still didn’t know a
whole lot about the gas engine hobby. But that all changed as soon
as I walked into the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Assn. Show in
Portland, Ind., the last weekend in August. Many collectors
consider the Portland show the “Mecca” of the hobby, and while I
may not have arrived as a pilgrim, I most definitely left the show
as a convert.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to attend the Portland show
will attest to the enormous size of the event. It’s considered the
largest gas engine show in the world and it didn’t take me long to
verify that boast. And while I wandered up and down the rutted
pathways, taking photos of engines that I knew were probably
interesting but not knowing why, I realized I was on the verge of
becoming overwhelmed. And that made me wonder how someone like me
gets into this hobby. Where are the access points for someone who’s
interested in the hobby but has no idea where to start? One quick
look at the sea of tents of engines told me if there was anyplace
to find the answer to that question, it was right here in
Portland.

As I walked around the fairgrounds, I saw more than just a bunch
of old iron. I saw old friends reminiscing and new friends meeting
for the first time; a father and daughter working together on a
stubborn engine that just wouldn’t turn over; and, above all, kind,
patient folks who actually seemed to enjoy taking the time to show
a greenhorn like me how all of this stuff works.

And that’s when I realized this hobby is much more than simply
getting an old engine running. It’s about the friendships and
quality time that are created by a common interest.

Yes, sometimes you have to throw yourself into the fire. But I
know now that if there’s a gas engine nearby, you can always count
on someone being there to pull you out.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines