Bigger is Better:


| February 2001



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Merle Morse's Rumely Oil Pull, built to about 1/3 scale.

For something like 10 years, Merle Morse was perfectly happy building model engines. Then he discovered that bigger was better.

'I'm a metal shop instructor, and I like to build things,' he says. 'I'd been building models, but then one day somebody offered me a Stover; it really just fell into my lap.'

The 1920 3 hp Stover Model K came with an uncommon option: it was dual fuel, and throttle governed. It was meant to be started on gas and run on kerosene, but Merle now runs it solely on gas.

'Most were not dual fuel, and were probably hit-and-miss engines,' he says. Merle speculates that the throttling governor design provided a more steady power for a particular application, such as running a generator, for instance.

'But I have no idea what this one was used for,' he says. 'I think it was originally used in a mine in Arizona.'

The Stover wears two plates: one from the manufacturer in Freeport, Ill., and one from the vendor: 'Krakauer, Zora & Moye, successors agents, El Paso, Texas and Chihuahua, Mexico.' It gleams now, but didn't when Merle first got hold of it.