That Odd Looking Fuller & Johnson

| June/July 1991

Route 3, Box 71 Kenyan, Minnesota 55946

This story actually started about four years ago when a good buddy of mine, Albert Remme, of Dennison, Minnesota told me about two brothers who were neighbors of his. He said that they had an old gas engine-a Fuller & Johnson. At first 1 didn't get very excited. Now don't get me wrong; Fuller & Johnson made some really good old work horses. They were simple but well-built engines. No, I didn't get excited until Albert told me that this engine looked different from any other engine he had ever seen before. He said something about an old radiator on this engine, that looked like the old radiators they used in older homes with steam heat. You can imagine the instant rabbit ears. By now, I'm twisting Albert's arm to go for a short ride to his neighbor's place.

After looking over this old gal, I inquired about buying her. The answer I got was, 'We'll never sell it.' I got a little history lesson on how it came into the family in 1905. The brothers said that their father used the engine in a farm shop. It was on a line shaft hooked up to a metal lathe, grinder and many other things.

It is a 2 HP engine similar to the one on top of page 186 in C. H. Wendel's book, American Gasoline Engines. The engine is in excellent original condition. It is complete with muffler and hand crank. The only thing that isn't there is the hot tube ignition.

As the years went by, I visited these two brothers on several occasions. I always got a good reception, but still the engine wasn't for sale. When I would ask about the engine I would get a 'We're not quite ready to sell' instead of 'never.'

In September 1990, I decided to write the brothers a letter. Among several different subjects, I mentioned my desire to purchase the engine once again. A few weeks went by and I got no reply. I just took this to mean a definite 'no.'