Gray’s Engine, One Rare Bird

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A 6 hp Gray engine manufactured by A.W. Gray’s Sons, Middletown Springs, Vt. According to an 1881 business directory, A.W. Gray’s Sons produced cultivators, drills, threshing machines, wood saws, mowing machines, horse rakes and reapers. The company employed about 50 men in 1881. 

Here is a photo of an engine built by A.W. Gray’s Sons Co., Middletown Springs, Vt. This photo was taken at a show at the Raitt Homestead in Eliot, Maine, several years ago. This is the second Gray’s engine I have seen; the first one was also tank-cooled. These engines are extremely rare.

Little information is available about this company. A brief account was found in the Hamilton Child Gazetteer and Business Directory for Rutland County, Vt., published in 1881-’82. This account obviously predates the time when the company manufactured gas engines. I don’t know when engine production started, what types of engines were produced or the horsepower range.

In the Classified Business section of the same directory, under the heading Agricultural Implements, appears this: “Gray’s Sons, A.W. (horse powers, sawing, threshing and grain cleaning machines) South Street, Middletown Springs.”

I have seen A.W. Gray’s Sons treadmills and threshing machines. In fact, I saw one threshing machine rust and rot away after being taken out of storage and left in a field in Readsboro, Vt.

Two of my grandfather’s older brothers went with a team of horses from the farmstead in Randolph Center, Vt., to the factory at Middletown Springs to purchase a treadmill to use in fall threshing. They drove the horses at night when it was cooler and slept during the day. I don’t know how long the trip took. FC

Wayne D. Rowell, 69 East Main St., PO Box 6, Wilmington, VT 05363-0006

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