Craig Prucha’s 12 HP Field, made by Field-Brundage Co.,
Jackson, Mich., sometime in the teens. Note the sideshaft ‘cam
stopper’ design, in which the intake valve cam actually stops
turning as soon as the governor latches, at the same time keeping
the magneto from tripping. Very neat stuff, and only employed by a
few engine builders.
Jeff Park’s 12 HP Rumsey, built by G.B. Rumsey Machine Co.,
Friendship, N.Y. Rumsey supposedly built these sideshaft engines in
both air-cooled and water-cooled versions up to 30 HP. This is a
rare survivor from a company that is said to have built engines
first in Ripley, N. Y., then for a time in Johnsville, N.Y., and
finally in Friendship, N.Y.
I always enjoy the occasional gas-ups sponsored by Craig Prucha
on the western side of New York state in Pavillion, N.Y. So when I
heard he was having another gas-up on Labor Day weekend, I looked
forward to it eagerly – and I was not disappointed. Even though
this year’s gas-up was more laid back than previous ones, there
were engines there that could put all but the largest gas engine
shows to shame.
Of course, the fact that Craig has some fine, unusual engines in
residence helps. His latest acquisition is a 12 HP Field made by
Field-Brundage Co., Jackson, Mich. This engine, which was probably
made some time in the late teens, runs on natural gas and was
originally used on an oil field lease. It is known as a ‘cam
stopper’ engine, because when the governor locks the exhaust
valve open a clutch in the end of the camshaft disengages the
intake valve cam, at the same time preventing the magneto from
tripping. The Field has a rare, aftermarket Webster magneto, making
the engine all the more interesting.
A trio of Boviard & Seyfang hot tube oil field engines
belonging to Craig Prucha (10 HP on left and 20 HP on right) and
Stiles Bradley (15 HP at center).
A trio of Boviard & Seyfang single valve, hot tube oil field
engines made by Boviard & Seyfang Manufacturing Co., Bradford,
Pa., were on hand. Restoring these engines is a specialty of
Craig’s, and the unique sound of these engines could be heard
throughout the day. The 10 HP and 20 HP engines on either end are
Craig’s, and the 15 HP engine between them belongs to Stiles
Bradley, Pavillion, N.Y.
The photo below shows a unique 5 HP ‘Special Electric’
Bogart engine, made by famed steam engine builder Farrar &
Trefts, Buffalo, N.Y., around 1902. This engine, also owned (and
restored) by Stiles, features a counterbalanced crankshaft, hot
tube ignition and pendulum governor. It idles along at about 28
Wayne Grenning and his son, Alex, both of Lockport, N.Y.,
brought a couple of Economy engines. Alex is the proud owner of the
1919 1-1/2 HP Economy Model E on the right, and Wayne owns the 1921
1-1/2 HP Thermoil on the left. This is the first type of diesel
engine made by the Cummins Engine Co., Columbus, Ind., and is
rarely seen today, especially in running condition. Cummins, in
fact, wants to buy this completely original example for the lobby
of their factory. This engine was started by hand (no starting
crank, which, for those familiar with Hvid engines, is almost
unheard of), and ran all day long.
There were many other engines, too many to picture in this short
article, but I will include a few of the more unique ones, such as
the rare 12 HP Rumsey engine owned by Jeff Parks, Elma, M.Y., and
built by G.B. Rumsey Machine Co., Friendship, N.Y. A few Rumsey
engines still survive in their native habitat of western New York,
but these larger ones are rarely seen.
The photo below shows another unusual item, a Pattin 6 pump
‘power’ with integral 8 HP engine made by Pattin Bros. Co.,
Marietta, Ohio, and owned and restored by Howard Weaver, Jamestown,
N.Y. This set up was used to run oil well pumps in the fields of
Pennsylvania and western New York.
There were other relics of the oil fields on hand, including a 6
HP Reid made by Joseph Reid Gas Engine Co., Oil City, Pa., and
owned by Dave Johnson, Corfu, N.Y. Wonderfully restored, this
two-cycle engine features a separate cylinder for charging the main
cylinder instead of the usual crankcase charging found on most
two-cycle engines. Although originally designed to run on the
natural gas by-products from the oil fields, this engine runs on
gas oline, supplied via a small, modern gas engine carburetor. This
makes it run nice and slow.
Dave Johnson’s two-stroke hot bulb Reid. Dave has this
engine running on gasoline drawn from a small carburetor, just
visible in front of the cylinder head.
Woody Sins’ circa 1902 2-1/2 HP Cook side shaft, which is
possibly related to Craig Prucha’s Field. Cook is thought to
have evolved into the Jackson Engine & Motor Co., Jackson,
Mich., which then became the Field-Brundage Co. some time around
Last, but not least, is an engine from the ‘toot your own
horn’ department. The picture at right shows my 2-1/2 HP Cook,
built by Albion Engine & Motor Co., Albion, Mich. I restored
this engine with much help from Wayne Grenning (thanks again,
Wayne), and it features dual fuel operation and a very nice,
original brass fly ball governor. The patent on the governor is
from 1902, making the engine about 100 years old.
I hope you all enjoyed this brief tour of Craig’s gas-up as
much as I enjoyed being there. Thanks again, Craig.
Contact engine enthusiast Woody Sins at: 3 Edna Ter, New
Hartford, NY 13413, or via e-mail at: hitnmissi @juno.com