Roadside Surprise


| October 2005

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    “Reid Two-cycle Engine: This engine, manufactured by the Reid Engine Works during the 1920s and 1930s was cooled by a 250-gallon wood stave circulating tank. It produced 30-45 HP with an average of 200 to 300 RPMs. Provided steady and dependable pow
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    “One Flywheel Superior CMB No. 50045: This engine manufactured by the Ajax Corp. of Carie, Pa., in the 1940s, had an updated radiator cooling, clutch and magneto system. It is still manufactured today under the Ajax name. This unit was probably the
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    “Superior Two-cycle Engine No. 24177: Manufactured by the National Supply Co., Springfield, Ohio. Cooling was achieved by circulation of water to a wooden 250-gallon tank. The engine averaged 200 to 300 RPMs. The cooling tank (not shown) was a popul
  • 10-05-008-RussellKS22.jpg
    There was no sign on this engine, but the tag on the front of the hopper identifies it as a 2-1/2 HP Galloway.

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Heading out west to the 52nd Annual Tri-State Antique Engine and Thresher Show in Bird City, Kan., one of the girls from our advertising department noticed some old gas engines sitting just off Interstate 70 on the north side of the road. Having already passed the scene, I quickly flipped a U-turn and headed back to the Russell, Kan., exit.

Back behind a truck stop sat a small building and some old machinery scattered around the area, all fenced in. In front of the building stands a statue of a man with a sign on a limestone post: "Oil Patch Russell, June 3, 1983. In gratitude to the pioneer men and women of the oil industry who made this museum possible."

As I approached the engines, I noticed signs on all but one of them giving a description of each one. Below are some photos and descriptions.

The Russell County Historical Society can be contacted at: Box 243, Russell, KS 67665; (785) 483-3637; http://rchs.russellks.net