Collector Specializes in Ottawa Engines
(Page 2 of 2)
"I just clear-coated the original lettering," he says, "and painted the rest. If an engine has the original paint, I'm not going to repaint it. It'll eventually be worth more, if you don't cover up the original paint."
He was able to salvage the original gas tank: all it required was a bit of straightening, sand-blasting, and an automotive acrylic enamel.
Once complete, the 1-cylinder engine has become one of Jerry's favorites.
"It's one of the earliest ones I have," he says. "And it's fairly rare. There's not that many of these around."
His collection includes other rare engines: He has a 5 hp Canadian Ottawa, complete with Canadian tag.
"It was bought new, and then sold, all in Canada," he says.
And he's building a solid collection of Ottawa literature.
"One of my earliest pieces I got in Tulsa, at a flea market," he says. "This guy had boxes of paper from a hardware store in western Oklahoma, and they had saved every bit of paper they ever had." After an hour spent digging, Jerry went away with two pieces of literature from the Warner Fence Company – Ottawa Engine's forebear – dating to 1904, the year the company started. He also has an extensive collection of sales brochures, letters and catalogs.
The Ottawa company also manufactured filling station equipment, and Jerry has two pieces from that line: a compressor pump, and a gas pump. The only exception to his engine collection is a 25 hp Superior oil field engine that he keeps at a club showground at Pawnee. It's not running, and needs to be – like some others in his collection – torn down and rebuilt. But a "to do" list won't keep Jerry off the trail.
"I'd still like to get a 22 hp," he says. "That's the biggest one they made."
Ottawa's still turn up at swap meets, sales and other events with some regularity, he says.
"It's just getting harder for me to find the ones I don't have." FC
For more information: Jerry Swanson, 12807 E. 14th St., Tulsa, OK 74128; (918) 438-6788.
Page: << Previous 1
| 2 |