The Splendor of Autumn Yields Engine

| September/October 1998

  • Fuller & Johnson 3 HP Model K Engine

  • Fuller & Johnson 3 HP Model K Engine

  • Fuller & Johnson 3 HP Model K Engine
  • Fuller & Johnson 3 HP Model K Engine

1388 Beadle Road, Brockport, New York 14420

On Sunday, October 12, 1997, my wife Barb, daughter Diana and I decided to take a ride to view the beautiful colors that the season has to offer. We started out about 10:00 a.m. and headed towards Canandaigua Lake. We finally ended up at Bristol Mountain, took the chair lift to the top and enjoyed the scenery. The fall colors were just about at their peak. It was a warm, clear day with an afternoon temperature in the mid 70s. After leaving Bristol Mountain, Barb asked if we could stop and buy some grapes. This area of New York State is well known for its grape and wine industry. We headed for the village of Naples, which is about 15 to 20 minutes from Bristol. Upon arriving in Naples, I soon discovered that the village was hosting its annual arts and crafts show and sale. Needless to day, there were wall to wall people and not a parking space in sight. I suggested that we find a grape stand outside the village where there would be a lot less people and traffic. I went through the village and turned onto County Road 36 and headed north towards Honeoye Lake. About a mile or so out of Naples, we came upon the Glenside Organic Vineyards, owned and operated by John and Shirley Braun. I parked alongside the shoulder of the road and told Barb and Diana that I'd be back in a few minutes. I walked over to the building where Mr. Braun was selling grapes and grape juice. While he was tending a customer, I casually walked around the building noticing a variety of old tools, lanterns, etc. hanging on the walls and ceiling. In an adjoining room, my eyes spotted a line shaft suspended from the ceiling. When Mr. Braun asked if he could help me, I told him yes, I'd like to buy a couple pounds of Concord grapes and a gallon of Delaware grape juice. As he was drawing the juice from a stainless steel vat, I asked, 'What was the line shaft used for?' He replied that it was used to operate a 32 volt generator to provide electricity for his house and outbuildings. I then asked him whether the engine that drove the generator was still around. To my surprise, he said 'Yes, it's down in a small barn across the road.' He had to move a couple of tractors to be able to see it. And there it was a Fuller & Johnson 3 HP Model K. Mr. Braun's grandfather, John Braun Jr., bought the engine new in 1927. It's been sitting in this barn since the mid 50s. Every bit of this engine is original and complete.

Next to the engine was a Rumsey horizontal piston water pump, which was built in nearby Seneca Falls, New York. We agreed on a price for both the engine and the pump. On Tuesday, the 14th, I returned to Mr. Braun's to pick up the engine and pump.

The next couple of months was spent restoring the model K to as close to its original condition as possible. To be quite honest, all this engine really needed was to be completely disassembled, cleaned up, and put back together.

I contacted Mr. Verne Kindschi out in Wisconsin as to the proper color to paint this engine. (Mr. Kindschi has vast knowledge of these engines and the original serial number records from Fuller and Johnson.) He stated that Rustoleum Hunter Green was a very close match to the original color. I sent him the serial number (163934) and he wrote back to tell me that my engine was shipped from the factory on March 23, 1927 to Naples, New York.

The engine is about 99% back together now, March 18, 1997.1 plan on bringing this engine to a variety of shows this summer. My intent is to belt it up to a small grist mill to grind some corn. I always like to hook up an engine to a piece of equipment to demonstrate what these engines were used for on the farm. I'm sure I will get as much enjoyment from showing this engine as I have received in restoring it.


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