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TAG : Richard Backus

Celebrating the Coolspring Power Museum

2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the Coolspring Power Museum in Coolspring, Pennsylvania. Since its founding in 1985, the Coolspring Power Museum has gone from being a relatively small and obscure collection of pioneering engines to the largest and most important museum of early gas engine ...

Show Photos and the Past and Present

The 2019 show season is effectively over, making this the time for me to put out my annual reminder to readers to send in photographs of the engines you displayed and the shows you attended in 2019. Although some areas of the country were plagued by rain (Portland doesn’t count; it rains ...

New Collectors, Old Collections

Just when it starts feeling like the pool of young aspirants to the old iron hobby is drying up, along comes budding engine restoration hobbyist Dana Kehoe. Currently studying automotive technology at the University of Northwestern Ohio, 20-year-old Dana stands as a refreshing reminder that ...

Big Engines in Oklahoma

Southwest of Hooker, Oklahoma, a small town nestled high in the Oklahoma panhandle, an old natural gas pumping station sits quietly in an open field. A tall silo on the site is perhaps the first thing you might notice driving by. Shuttered in the 1990s, it appears to be untouched, and chances ...

Preserving Old Engine History

It never ceases to amaze me how information on the old engines we collect and preserve continues to come forward. The world around us is evolving and changing at a dizzying pace, especially as it relates to information. New digital technologies continue to promise new and better ways to gather, ...

Moving Forward in the Community

One of the best – if not the best – aspects of collecting old engines is the people. When I was first introduced to the vintage engine hobby, I was completely out of my element. I had a solid background in car and motorcycle engines, but hit-and-miss engines? Not so much. Yet as soon as I ...

The Evolution of Early Gas Engine Design

I find myself increasingly fascinated by patent drawings concerning early gas engines, as they afford us a window into the evolution of engine design. Pioneer engine designers were keen on divining new and unique methods of engine operation, and their approach to a problem was often driven by ...

Inspiring New Engine Collectors

One of the biggest issues facing the future of the old iron hobby is the simple question, “Who is going to carry the torch?” In the earliest days of the hobby, almost everyone came from a rural or farm background. Further, almost everyone had a direct, personal connection to the machinery ...

Uncovering the Past and Obscure Engine Manufacturers

This issue shines a light on several obscure manufacturers from the past, including White Lily Washer Co. and Schmidt Bros. Co. Engine Works, both of Davenport, Iowa. Although the full story of the apparently intertwining interests of these two firms remains to be discovered, Glenn Thompson’s ...

Gas Engines and Show Photos

We’re deep into the show season by now, and it looks like I’ll only make a few shows this year. With three magazines to oversee (I’m also responsible for sister publications Farm Collector and Motorcycle Classics) finding time to do everything I’d like to gets harder and harder.I’m ...

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines