Baraboo Gas Engine Show Delivers Variety
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An unusual “compressor”
Dan pays close attention to auction offerings – like the item he saw listed on a sale bill as an air compressor. When he checked it out, he found an Automatic cream separator with its own gas engine. Dan found the set-up still bolted to the kitchen counter in the house where the auction was held. Manufactured by the Standard Separator Co., Milwaukee, the unit was in running condition when Dan bought it (and all the tools that came with it). “Standard may have been the only company that built that kind of a combination,” he says.
He also showed a pair of original engines built by Termaat & Monahan, Oshkosh, Wis. The 3 hp headless dates to about 1920; the 4 hp horizontal hopper to about 1913. The earlier engine has a “skeleton” base; later models – like Dan’s 4 hp – had full bases. “There was a design patent issued for the skeleton,” he notes.
“It has the J-shape fuel mixer you see on all Termaat engines,” Dan says, “but this one has a needle valve as part of the mixer. On all the other Termaat & Monahan engines, it’s part of the head.” Dan built a gas tank for the 4 hp engine, and did extensive work on the 3 hp. “It was not too good when I got it,” he says.
Dan specializes in Wisconsin-made engines, and the odd and unusual. “I got my first engine – a Maytag – from my uncle when I was 8,” he recalls. “The day after I got it, I got it running. My first car was a 1948 Crosley, and I still have it – and that Maytag.”
If Maytag engines are at one end of the scale, the 1903 14 hp Stover displayed at Baraboo was at the other end. Weighing in at more than 4,000 pounds, the behemoth was once belted to a multi-station line shaft on a farm near Cary, Ill. – not far from Freeport, home of Stover Mfg. & Engine Co.
“You don’t normally find engines that big on a farm,” says owner Joe Maurer, Pearl City, Ill. “I don’t know if it ran the feed mill or what. It sat on a cement base and a cistern underneath was used to cool the engine.”
A previous owner found the engine in the 1960s and got it running, but by the time Joe got it, it had been left outside for more than 20 years. “I had to re-do the rod bearings but as far as I know, the rings are original. They must have taken good care of it.”
The earliest Stovers were sideshaft engines. “The thing that makes this one rare is there weren’t many horizontal Stover engines with Stover castings,” Joe says. “Just about 100 of these were made. For 1903, it was a very simple engine, but it had features that were still used later, when engines got more complicated.”