Wise Beyond His Years
Nate Smith, Brookville, Pa., with his 4 HP Domestic.
Name: Nate Smith
Location: Brookville, PA
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: I have been collecting since I was 15 years old.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A: I have always had an interest in history and mechanical stuff, so engines really brought the two together. When my friend Mark Mohney brought me to the Coolspring Power Museum in Coolspring, Pa., that was it – I was hooked. The creativity and the craftsmanship have always amazed me.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A: I am the only one in my family who collects engines. My grandpa was a collector of antique cars, so it would be fair to say that I got my love and understanding of antique machinery from him.
Q: How many engines do you have in your collection?
A: I have owned a lot of engines over the years but right now I only have four engines in my collection: a 2 HP Type B Witte, 1-3/4 HP MacLeod, 4 HP Domestic and 4 HP Model H Myrick Eclipse.
Q: What is your favorite engine in your collection?
A: My favorite is the 2 HP Witte because it was my first engine. I’ve learned a lot from it and made a lot of good memories with it.
Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?
A: Right now I’m finishing the restoration of my 4 HP Domestic, and I’m restoring a 30 HP old-style Titusville Olin for the Coolspring Power Museum.
Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year?
A: I live four miles from the Coolspring Power Museum, so I attend every show there. I also go to the Portersville Steam Show in Portersville, Pa., and the Ashtabula and Orwell shows in Ohio. I would like to make it to the shows at Rough and Tumble in Kinzers, Pa., and Rollag, Minn., some day.
Q: As a young collector what are some of the obstacles you’ve come across?
A: Of course, money is always an issue no matter how old you are, but as a young collector, I have experienced older collectors thinking that I would rather be playing a video game than messing with old engines.
Q: What are your favorite engines and why?
A: The early western Ohio-built engines, such as the New Era and Springfield, are very nice, but it’s hard to come up with favorites. I am just as happy watching a Hercules-built engine run as I am watching a slide-valve engine.
Q: What is your dream engine to own?
A: A large, single-cylinder Miller engine because they are smooth and quiet runners, and the design is really well-built and unique.
Young Iron is looking for gas engine collectors, age 35 and younger. If you or someone you know would like to be profiled, please contact Associate Editor Christian Williams: (800) 682-4704 or email@example.com .