Apple blossoms & antique farm machinery

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6-hp International gas engine

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Glenn Rex of Arendtsville, Pa., collects John Deere tractors and Galloway engines, and for the past 20 years, he's been taking his 'old stuff' to the National Apple Blossom Festival at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, Arendtsville, Pa., just down the road from Gettysburg.

Glenn is president of the South Mountain Antique Engine Association Inc., a group of 350 members founded in 1991. They hold shows as part of the spring Apple Blossom Festival, which was May 4-5 this year, and the fall National Apple Harvest Festival.

At the May show, Glenn displayed his 1940 John Deere B tractor and 1917 Galloway engine. Both machines date to earlier eras on Glenn's family farm, which he owns today and which has been in his family since 1886. 'My dad, Guy Rex, bought this tractor new,' he says of the B. 'I restored it nine years ago. It's never stopped running.'

The 4-hp Galloway hit-and-miss was purchased new also, by Glenn's grandfather, Jacob Rex. At the show, Glenn displayed not only the engine but a letter from the company that thanked his grandfather for buying it.

'The engine was made in Waterloo, Iowa,' Glenn says. 'It came by train and Grandpa picked it up in a horse and wagon.'

Sam Harman of Taneytown, Md., has had his 1909 6-hp International gas engine for about four years and says he enjoys taking it to shows. He acquired it by trading t 1929 Model A Ford.

'I have 45 International engines, all sizes up to 12 hp,' he says. 'I've been collecting since 1976, when I bought an engine at my grandfather's sale and had no idea how to start it. Since, I've bought them from all over. It's a lot of fun to go to shows - you meet a lot of nice people.'

Sam says no restoration work has been done to his 1909 International. He thinks it must have been operated indoors during its work life, probably to shell corn, saw wood or draw water.

Keith Rex of Aspers, Pa., is an Allis-Chalmers collector. For the spring show, he brought in his 1953 WD-45 LP tractor, which has a tank attached to the engine hood. He says 1953 was the first year that tractors were designed to run on propane, but the tank on his tractor is dated 1955.

'It was converted to propane,' he explained. 'Propane burns cleaner so the engine lasts longer, and it was a cheaper fuel. This one runs good.

'I bought this one from Iowa in 1995,' he said. 'I've been collecting since 1986. I still have my first Allis-Chalmers, a 1953 model.'

Robert and Edna Urich of Lewisberry, Pa., who will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in September, brought items from Robert's collection of cultivators and garden **^ tractors, which is an extension of his business career. 'I was in the lawn mower business for more than 50 years,' he says. 'It's now owned by my son Charles.'

Robert's collection includes a 1922 Coldwell motor lawnmower powered by a Fuller & Johnson water-cooled engine patented in 1919. He found it in a junkyard four years ago in 'horrible' shape and restored it to running condition.

Harry Wildasin of York Springs, Pa., has two cherished engine he exhibits: one a York 1/2-hp hit-and-miss, the other a 2-hp New Holland.

'The York was manufactured by Flinchbaugh Manufacturing Co. of York, Pa., in the late teens or early 20s,' he says. 'It cost as much to make a 1/2 horsepower as it did to make a 1 horsepower, so they only made five of them.'

Harry's New Holland was built Jan. 4, 1922. 'When I told the company the serial no. 9074, they were able to tell me this was the 24th of 25 engines built that day,' he said. 'The barrel attached is a 1912 oak butter churn with a 15-gallon capacity made by the Climax Power Churn Co.' FC 

For more information on the South Mountain Antique Engine Assn. Inc., contact Glenn Rex, president, 185 Dughill Road, Biglerville, PA 17307; (717) 677-7288.

Jill Teunis, a freelance writer who lives in Damascus, Md., is a frequent contributor to Farm Collector.