The Rough and Tumble Antique Gas Engine Collection
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"You can't imagine how many hours some people have spent working out here," Roger says. "Some people are just dedicated to it."
That dedication shows in many ways. Acquisition of the Cooper, for instance, was the result of a 10-year quest.
"We just had to save it," he says. "It was significant enough."
Renovation of the Cooper will be a long, slow process. But the Rough and Tumble Museum has plenty to offer in the meantime.
Take the Otto-Langen free piston atmospheric gas engine, for instance. Nikolaus Otto and Eugen Langen introduced their free piston engine at the Paris Exposition of 1867. Dating to about 1869, it's one of the oldest operating antique gas engines in the world.
Though the free piston engine was more efficient than other engines of the day, it was never produced in the U.S.
The engine is believed to have been brought to the U.S. by John A. Roebling, chief engineer on the East River Bridge in New York City. It came permanently to Rough and Tumble in 1988 from the collection of William Willock, Chestertown, Md.
That's just one of dozens of engines on display in the museum. You'll also want to check out some early generators, and a handsome display of carbon arc and gas lights more than 100 years old. And then there's the other collections: steamers, harvest equipment, gas tractors, models, stationary steam engines and automobiles!
For more information: The museum is open Friday and Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, during shows and special events. Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association, 13 miles east of Lancaster on US 30, Kinzers, Penn., (717) 442-4249. Website: www.roughandtumble.org
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