Antique Engine Gifts Plant the Seed

A Hired Man engine and Fuller & Johnson pump engine launch the antique engine hobby for a new generation.

| June 2018

Fate has a funny way of bringing people together. Glen Sladek and Jason Peterson, for instance, might never have met. But when Glen got lost on trails near Markville, Minnesota, he stumbled onto Jason’s cabin. Jason was there that day and offered help.

“In conversation, we started talking about what we do for a hobby, and we discovered that we were both into old engines,” Jason says.

Glen had acquired an engine collection in an unusual way. “He had a friend who gave him his engines before he died. The man told Glen he could give the engines to people who were interested in the hobby and wanted to preserve it, but he didn’t want him to sell them and make a profit off them.”

As the two men talked, Jason – a tractor-trailer mechanic – learned that he and Glen had other interests in common besides engines, like hunting and fishing. “It developed into a good friendship over the years,” Jason says.

The gift of a Hired Man

Over time, that chance meeting has acted like a ripple in the water, helping expand the engine hobby to a new generation. When Jason visited Glen in Hutchinson, Minnesota, during the winter of 2004, Glen brought a gift: a 1914 2-1/4 hp Hired Man gasoline engine built by Associated Manufacturers Co., Waterloo, Iowa. But the engine wasn’t for Jason.

“My son, Tyler, was 4 at the time,” Jason says. “Glen said ‘Here you go. Here’s something to plant the seed and get your son involved in restoring old engines and preserving old machinery. I hope it sparks Tyler’s interest and keeps him interested.’”

6/5/2018 4:17:52 PM

A nice read. Enjoyed it. Thanks! Ken H.