ANOTHER TRUE SPARK PLUG


| November/December 1972



Steam Engine

Courtesy of Roe Cooke, Belle Center, Ohio 43310.

R. D. I, Box 135, Blairsville, Pennsylvania 15717.

It is said that some men are born with a mechanical ability, while others gain their knowledge through learning. And so it must be that Roy Keith was born with this possession of a mechanical mind.

Roy Keith was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, in the year 1900. While still a young lad, his family moved to a farm near Black Lick, which is in the southern part of Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Here, Roy, attended grade school in the local township, learning the customary reading, writing and arithmetic, but his mind was really on the new fangled thing of gas engines. Following a classroom discussion, in which his teacher drew on the blackboard a diagram and the principles of an engine, Roy went home and from an assortment of tin cans and paraphernalia from around the farm, he built a model of a gas engine. From then on, his love for engines found no bounds.

Roy is sharpening mower knives, of which he does several hundred a year for local farmers.

A Part of his shop. Note the pot bellied stove and John Deere engine under bench.

He bought his first gas engine when he was 13 years old and with a minimum of tools, used it to build a tractor to run the machine which made corn fodder. The wheels of his tractor were from a mowing machine. These wheels had to be bored out to a larger shaft diameter. For his boring tool, he used a piece of hickory slotted with a piece of file inserted for a cutter. This was turned with a brace. The boring job took three weeks of his spare time to accomplish.