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Exclusive Club of Monitor Engine Owners

Four friends, four rare 1 hp Monitor engines

| July 1999

  • Bill Keene, Robert Womack, Perry Kolb and Paul Armstrong
    Bill Keene, Robert Womack, Perry Kolb and Paul Armstrong. The four got together with their Monitors at a spring "gas up" meeting of the Granbury (texas) Flywheelers held at Bill Keene's home. "We do this every year, the first Saturday in March," Keene says. "The ladies feed everybody lunch, and we don't charge anybody anything."
  • Illustration from
    Illustration from "Repair List for Little Monitor Pumping Engine"
    From the Monitor Repair Catalogue

  • Bill Keene, Robert Womack, Perry Kolb and Paul Armstrong
  • Illustration from

Four collector buddies, four Monitor engines: It's not such an unusual story ... except that the four Monitors – all identical 1 hp engines – are extremely rare. Just seven of the 1 hp Monitors are known to exist. 

"This is a very unusual Monitor," says Bill Keene, a retired maintenance electrician. "Monitors in general are plentiful, but not the little 1 horse. The pump jack is part of the engine on the 1 hp Monitor: It does not bolt on. It's a permanent part of the engine. They had a little pulley available so it could pull something little like a cream separator."

Owners of the four Monitor engines are Bill, who lives in metropolitan Fort Worth, Texas; Robert Womack, Goldthwaite, Texas; Paul Armstrong, Hart, Texas; and Perry Kolb, Satanta, Kan. The three Texans belong to the same engine club, the Granbury, Texas Flywheelers. Perry, the lone Kansan, meets up with the others at occasional shows.

Engines are their common bond. Each is an enthusiastic collector.

"I'm looking for engines all the time," says Robert, who works as a welder. "I don't know when I'm not looking for engines. I enjoy the chase. When I've got the engine, and it's running, sitting there going 'kerfut, kerfut, kerfut', well, there's not much fun to that."

Perry, a retired farmer, was the first to snag a 1 hp Monitor.


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