Stationary Engine List


| January/February 2001



Stationary Engine

A subject which comes up every so often on the AT1S internet mailing list is just how much an engine should be restored, to a high-gloss, pin-striped perfection or left as much as possible 'as found,' with original paint work. The following comments are a variety of opinions which surfaced during this discussion, which just happened to have a most appropriate subject heading: 'Engine Show Heaven.'

I attended a small local show this weekend and got a neat treat today. A collector friend of mine brought in his 1910 round rod 7 HP Galloway and a 1913 Gilson 6 HP, both in original condition on their original horse carts.

He could not make it in to the show until late this afternoon, so he told me that these were mine to run until he made it to the show. What an absolute treat to sit between these two beautiful, original, and smooth running pieces of art! As some have stated on occasion, the spectators seem to be drawn to the engines that are in their original working clothes, and these were no exception.

I believe that some of it is that the 'rustys' look more like the mental image in many folks memories of 'the good old days.' Growing up during the '40s and '50s, I do not recall seeing that many shiny tractors. Sure there were new ones being bought, but most of those had to sit out in the weather, and there were a lot of really old ones in use, too. Those were seldom repainted.

I can't recall ever seeing a clean shiny stationary engine running as a kid. I never saw one repainted until they started being collected. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the great restorations, engines and tractors both, but that isn't the memory picture most of us have.

I will say that a really nice original 'anything' is worthy of preserving and in fact should be preserved in its original condition as far as 'finish' is concerned. I do however, think that it should be put into like new mechanical condition.