Mississippi Valley FLYWHEELERS MEET

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Tractor parade at Grenada
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Working all-wood model hit & miss by John Bednar of Carlisle, Arkansas.
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Unsurpassed example of an air compressor made into an engine by Raymond Taylor, Pensacola, Florida.

20201 Arthur Road, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307. 

The Mississippi Valley Flywheelers held their 7th annual Spring
Antique Engine Show April 22,23, and 24, 1988. This is one of the
most picturesque surroundings in which to display memorabilia of
any show it has been my pleasure to attend. It is held in the Hugh
White State Park at Grenada, Mississippi. Amidst the trees, with
ample shade and paved roads, it makes a most enhancing setting for
the old engines.

Included in their exhibits are the old cars, feed grinders,
light plants, tractors, and a small operating cotton gin. The
cotton gin is mounted on an eighteen foot tandem-wheel trailer,
decked over to provide protection from the weather. The gin is
powered by a steam engine built at York, Pa., in 1898. It was
patented November 26, 1846 by the Eagle Gin Company. This is a
beautiful restoration, owned by Joe McCraw of Mason, Tennessee.

One particularly interesting exhibit was a collection of
numerous coffee grinders, of all sizes and shapes, from the
colonial days to present times, by Quentin Jensen, from Pittsburg,
Kansas. A stone grind mill, powered by a small steam engine, was
turning out corn meal ground to perfection for making corn

A comparatively new trend with engine enthusiasts is building
their own engine models from an air compressor. Raymond Taylor from
Pensacola, Florida exhibited a remarkable example of such a

There were 435 engines displayed at the show, with exhibitors
from thirteen states. One of the most unique engines displayed was
a hit and miss engine, built by John Bednar from Carlisle,
Arkansas. It was completely machined from hard maple wood! YES,
flywheels, crankshaft, gears, piston, connecting rod, and all of
the parts. The most unique part of all is that it actually runs!
Mr. Bednar devised a set of valves within the carburetor that
permits controlled air pressure, 25 PSI, to force the piston down
the cylinder. The valves are controlled by a push rod, operating
from the governor as in a conventional engine. The only metal on
the engine was the retracting springs and the wood screws!

At a time of year when the trees are still bare in Michigan, it
is very refreshing to attend a show where the foliage is at its
peak and the flowers, even roses, are in full bloom.

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for the president and secretary of
the club, Jimmie and Joan McKinley, respectively, from Jackson,
Mississippi, who have devoted so much time to make this show such a

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines