5151 E. 8005 Columbia City, Indiana 46725
This story starts out prior to World War II, when a gentleman
rescued this engine from the top of a scrap pile in Le Sueur,
Minnesota. His intentions were to rebuild the engine and use it on
his farm or in his business.
He owned the engine until the early to mid-seventies, at which
time he was contacted by Mr. Willmar Tiede. Mr. Tiede was able to
acquire the engine with the intent of restoring the Root and
In 1986 my dad, some good friends and I attended the Le Sueur
County Swap Meet at Le Center, Minnesota. One of my friends was
interested in picking up a one horsepower R&V. While at Le
Center, he made contact with Mr. Tiede, who had two one horsepowers
for sale, and arranged to see the engines at the end of the
That evening we all went to Mr. Tiede’s to check out his
engine. My friend decided that the Root required a little more work
than he wanted to do, so we visited a while and left.
On our journey home, my dad and I discussed the nickel-plated
engine and came to the conclusion that we ought to try to get the
Root. Once we got home Dad called Mr. Tiede and arranged to pick up
the R&V at the Waukee Swap Meet later that spring.
After getting the Root home, it was like many other projects
that just don’t seem to get done. It was discussed from time to
time over the years with several people, one being Mr. Earl
Goldsmith. Mr. Goldsmith does the polishing for a plating works not
far from where we live.
In December 1992, Mr. Goldsmith called my dad and told him that
the plating works was going to close soon, so if we wanted to get
the R&V replated we had better get it done soon. The time had
come to do something. We tore the engine down and turned it over to
Mr. Goldsmith so he could get the process started.
We had an original cart around the shop so we decided to get
that plated at the same time so we could mount the engine on it
when it was finished. I think it turned out to be a little more
work than Earl had figured on, but he finished it and did an
outstanding job. At this point a set of walnut skids and battery
box were added. The engine was assembled and the decals were put
The information we’ve been able to collect on this
nickel-plated R&V is that it was made for Deere and Webber by
Root and Vandervoort Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is
identical in size to all other one horsepower Root and Vandervoort
engines. It was shipped by rail or dray to fairs, plow days and
other agricultural events of the day. The salesman would then
display the engine and take orders for the one horsepower R&V
engines. A standard painted engine was then sent to the customer.
The serial number was sent to the John Deere archives, but no
information was available on this engine, as they did not make the
engines, only sold it through certain branch houses.
I would like to thank all those involved in the process of
bringing this engine to this point: Mr. and Mrs. Will-mar Tiede for
all the information they provided (they probably thought they would
never see the R&V restoration completed); Mr. Earl Goldsmith,
for his outstanding polishing work on the engine and cart; and my
good friends Galen and Mike for all their help. Last, but
certainly, not least, a very special tribute to my dad, Larry Fulk,
for his foresight and determination in the restoration and
completion of the R&V project.