Smok Stak

Yesterday's Engine Prices

| April/May 2003

  • Smok Stak

  • Smok Stak

The following comes from, a recent topic on SmokStak, which can be found on the Internet at: smokstak.cgi

As ever, various individuals started, commented on and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

I'd like to hear some engine collecting stories from the past. Most of us have probably picked up an engine over the last couple of years for free or next to it, but I was wondering about engines people bought decades ago. My dad remembers an 8-10 HP screen-cooled Mogul on a cart that he didn't buy for $60. He thought it was too much money for an engine because $5 to $10 would buy most any engine at the time. I would sure like to see that engine in his barn!

Then he told me about a stovepipe Domestic he and another man used to trade back and forth for around $20 (several years after the Mogul but still cheap). He has owned a lot of really cool stuff over the years that he bought and sold for very little money. He has never regretted a minute of it. I think one of my favorite pictures is my dad's Rumely OilPull purring away right after it was unloaded in 1964. It would be nice to hear stories of yesterday from the rest of you. - Mark

Mark, a good friend of mine (92 years old) in Nebraska told me a story about trading a set of four wooden-spoke car wheels for an engine down in Kansas 'sight unseen' in the late 1940s or early 1950s. When he arrived at the warehouse to get the engine, the guy uncovered it and revealed a new and never run Stickney, still in its wooden crate. He still has the engine in the shed and I have his entire conversation and story of the 'trade' on videotape. - Dusty

Mark, I didn't get into engines until 1977, but regret not having an interest sooner. My family farm had several treasures I wish someone would have taken an interest in. Two of my uncles got tired of stumbling around the 25-50 Avery in the machine shed, so they tore it up for scrap in 1957. There was also a drum-drive 1915 Emerson & Brantingham that a man from Iowa found out about and bought for $100 in 1960. There were several engines, and they were all scrapped except for a Z Style D Fairbanks and a 1-1/2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Z. I have gotten several engines just for hauling them off. I collect Ottawa engines and of the 17 I have, four of them were free. - Dan


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