1 HP Backer - Antique Gas Engines

Letter from a 15-year-old antique engine enthusiast

Single cylinder gas engine

The Backer 1 HP single-cylinder gas engine owned by Robert Bangerter.

Photo by Robert Bangerter

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You will find enclosed with this letter a picture of my Backer 1 HP single-cylinder antique gas engine.

About 3 years ago we moved to Kansas and in a town about 3 miles from our place was an old hardware store (which still has goods hanging from the ceiling) and back in the store room was this engine. My dad bought it for me. It made him $10 shorter and me the proud owner of a Backer gas engine. It didn't have a spark plug so the hardware owner pulled out a big drawer of new and old style plugs of all shapes and sizes and gave me one. We loaded the engine in our pickup, took it home. We put some oil and gas in it and cranked it up. When it got wound up it started shaking and jumping and headed right for the beam in the shop. My dad grabbed for the spark plug wire and accidentally grabbed the spark plug. Boy did he jump. We finally got it under control. After that my brother and I purchased another single-cylinder gas engine for $1.00 but it had no name on it.

I also have an Emerson gang plow that cost me $3.00. It is in fine shape. I cleaned and painted it and it looks nice. I don't know whether you will print this or not because it is refering to gas instead of steam. I hope some day that I can own a steam engine but you know that it takes money to buy one. All I can afford now is small stuff. My grandfather owned and operated a number of engines but I won't go into that now.

I am 15-years-old and am a reader of Iron-Men Album. My dad, Leonard Bangerter, takes it and I read and enjoy it very much. I want to complement you on the fine job you are doing. Well, I guess I have written about enough so I will close.

P. S. There is a 16 hp. Advance steamer not far from our place that is still used today to saw lumber.