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Letters & Miscellanies

Notes and Responses From Readers

| November/December 2002

  • Bulls Eye

  • Ad on Crude Oil Engines
    An old catalog cut advertising Best gas and crude oil engines.

  • Bulls Eye
  • Ad on Crude Oil Engines

Best Engine Follow-up

The image of the Best engine (GEM, October 2002, page 29) is from a Best sales catalog at U.C. Davis. A number of these engines were built, and I have heard of two other surviving copies of the first series of Best engines.

Best Manufacturing did produce gas engines for several years, at least to the mid-1890s. They built at least one 75 HP single-cylinder engine, which was used at a mine in EI Dorado County, Calif. It was featured in an issue of Mining & Scientific Press.

I have an 1895 14 HP Best crude oil engine that I hope to do something with.

Jack Alexander 7795 Crews Road Gilroy, CA 95020

Charging Exhibitors

We recently went to an engine and tractor show where we were going to set up five engines and some other display items. Upon arrival, we were informed we had to buy a button - at $3 per person - to get in. This fee applied to everyone; vendors, exhibitors and spectators. I had already spent $22 in gas money to get there, I was not going to spend another $6 to show my engines. This club acted as though they did not care whether we stayed or not. I imagine they have enough people who will pay the $3. We turned around and went to a free flea market on the other side of town, had a nice side trip and enjoyed ourselves.

Is this something new starting? Is this club just greedy? I realize it costs money to set up these shows, but without the tractors and engines and other displays there would be nothing to see and no show. Four years ago at the Jacksonville, Ill., show they charged $5 to get in, but gave the $5 back later, along with meal tickets for lunch and dinner for three days, plus any gas I needed as an exhibitor to run my engines.


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