Stationary Engine List


| April/May 2001



Stationary Engine

There can be very few engine collectors who don't dream of finding an unrestored engine, preferably in its working location. This month's article originated from this question:

For the last six years, since we moved out to the country, my husband has gotten the kids and me to ask everyone we know with a barn if they have any old engines. This included dodging ornery bulls and digging through years' worth of scrap metal. After six years, we've gotten two old saws and two old tractors, but no engine. My question is, has anyone found a 'barn fresh' motor in the last decade? Do they still exist?

As usual on this internet mailing list, there were lots of tips and advice from around the world in the quest for original engines. Less common was that I asked the contributors to the discussion if they minded sharing their information with the readers of GEM.' Luckily, I got the go-ahead, so here are some ideas worth trying when you need another engine to add to your collection!

I was under the impression when I started this hobby that I started too late and that all the engines had been collected before my time. Well, like a few others have said, just keep asking and sooner or later one will show up. My Petter, KA Stover, Lister and portable shearing plant were all what I would guess you call barn fresh.

Ya know, I go along with the comment that 'I got in too late to have or find anything.' Well, I sorta agree with that but am finding out that it seems that once you find one, you will find a couple more. I know of several engines that are in buildings, but trying to get in touch with the owners is something else. One person will tell you go and get it for free and then you find out that they never did own it! I have also left calling cards stapled to fence gates to get the attention of the owner and even left letters but to no avail. Most people you run into when doing the hunting will at least let you look, but there are some that don't trust you at all, and won't even talk to you. I guess some people have better luck than I, but I'm not giving up!!

It's been awhile since I got a barn or farm fresh engine, but I'm sure that there are still lots of them out there. They're just not as easy to find as 10 or 20 years ago.