Jerry Smith's Bessemer.
1231 Banta's Creek Road Eaton, Ohio 45320
I am happy to report that the society has been getting lots of requests for membership from the readers of the Oil Field Engine News. Also some of the members have been very nice to send stories and photos of their engines and experiences to share with everyone in the column. If anyone has something to share, please send it in to the society and I'll get it in the news; keep those letters coming, it has been great!
This month we have correspondence from Don Anderson of Prescott, Arizona; Jerry Smith of Jamestown, Kentucky; and Bruce Dixon of Grand Ledge, Michigan.
Lastly, if anyone wants an O.F.E.S. membership card, call or write; membership is free.
BRUCE DIXON, Grand Ledge, Michigan, sends this: 'Mr. Farmer, I read your article in the December 2000 GEM. It reminded me of something of my experience with oil well engines. I don't own one, but helped a very good friend to bring them home. My friend Tom Hart dealt for a 25 HP Franklin valveless. It was still on the oil well when we got it. It had a large clutch on one side, and also has 62 inch flywheels. We drove to northern Michigan with a two wheel pickup and triple axle trailer. We removed the clutch, jacked up the engine, rolled it on the flywheels, loaded it on the trailer, simple! We moved about ten feet and the trailer sank into the sand!
'We came home the next weekend and we towed the Jeep with winch, tied the Jeep to a tree, winched the engine trailer to hard ground. We hooked it to a four wheel pickup, drove the Jeep home. It took us three weekends to get the Franklin. So much for the Franklin.
'About a year later, Tom found a 40 HP Lorane, single flywheel. You guessed it, old Bruce will help.
'This one was at a grist mill. We put in an implement trailer that had no brakes. We hooked it to the same Jeep and started home. Luckily we didn't hit anyone. If you ever had much to do with a Jeep, you know how much brakes we had some where between zero and none.
'The next one is a 25 HP Franklin oil engine with a hot tube. This time we had a triple axle with brakes. No fun at all! That's why I don't own one.
'I have a few gas engines and a few small tractors. I have been to Portland the past 25 years and am a member.
'I hope you see the humor in this letter.'
This letter is from JERRY SMITH, Jamestown, Kentucky. 'These are pictures of my 15 HP Bessemer and 20 HP Reid. I also have a 20 HP Bessemer and a 15 HP Reid that I am restoring at this time. The 15 HP Bessemer pumped oil in Pennsylvania from about 1920 until about 1940. The 20 HP Reid pumped oil in West Virginia from about 1912 and came off the well in 1997. Both engines are good runners.
'I was happy to see the Oil Field Engine News in GEM, as I like the big ones and would be proud to be an Oaf. And I have taken the Oaf Oath.
'Also, here is a picture of Gilbert Knight's 4 HP Reid, serial #1437, that I restored for him this past year. He purchased this engine in Pennsylvania about 22 years ago.
DON ANDERSON of Prescott, Arizona, tells us, 'My granddad was James H. Titus, who was in the oil business around Titusville, Pennsylvania, until he moved west about 1928.
'I have a 35 HP, two cycle Tico (Titusville Iron Works Company) engine which is now belted to a large oil field type pump jack. I have it running and it even pumps a small amount of oil.
'I have other engines, but the TICO is the only oil field. I would like to have a few more but they are hard to come by out here. I would like to hear from anyone who has info on the TICO.'
Mr. Anderson may be contacted at 2675 W. Shadow Valley Ranch Rd., Prescott, AZ 86301.