Farm Collector

Galloway Engine Collector Builds Registry

John Cullom, Westminster, Md., is a Galloway engine enthusiast who collects serial numbers.

It all started when Leopold Umber bought a new Galloway saw rig in 1926 to use on his farm in Charles City, Va. Leopold was John’s great-grandfather. When Leopold’s son, Philip, had to replace a flywheel on the saw rig sometime in the early 1940s, he didn’t get one made by Galloway, so the rig wasn’t correctly balanced. In fact, it shook the engine so badly that Philip stopped using it and it sat in the barn for half a century. About five years ago, John rescued the rig and took it home to Westminster, where he undertook a total restoration process.

“I took it completely apart,” he said. “I cleaned, primed and repainted everything, then put it back together. I was able to get a Galloway flywheel from a fellow collector near me, so the engine now runs nice and smooth.”

John said he had no idea of the manufacturing date of the rig, so he did some research and discovered that all the Galloway company records had apparently been lost many years ago.

“Before my mother found the original certificate of guarantee showing the manufacturing date in some old family papers, I had no idea what that date would be,” he said. “There didn’t seem to be any way of putting an exact date on any Galloway engine unless one still had the original paperwork on it. I began collecting information from other Galloway collectors and soon put together a list of serial numbers of Galloway engines, some of which had verified manufacturing dates. It’s with this list that I can put an approximate date to any Galloway engine.”

John said that from his research he has established that his 7 hp Galloway engine, which is mounted on the original Galloway saw rig, is of the “Masterpiece” style, which Galloway began producing in 1915.

“It is distinctive from the earlier style in that the hopper edges are rounded and the water hole has a rounded opening,” he said. “The edges on the head and base are more rounded as well. The connecting rod on the Masterpiece style engines was changed from the pre-1915 ’roundrod’ style to the cast ‘I beam’. The Galloway engines are one of the few that can be made to run backwards, as they need to run that way on the saw rig.”

John, a captain in the Baltimore County (Md.) Fire and Rescue Service, has always been interested in antiques and used to collect old firehouse equipment. But once he got his grandfather’s saw rig restored, the engine bug bit him.

“As it is with so many other gas engine collectors, I wasn’t content with just one, so that’s how I started with the Galloway line,” he said. “The Internet is a good source and I get to know collectors. It’s easier to stay with one brand. They’re pretty easy to figure out … I used to do woodworking. I take the engine apart and put it back together again. Some were restored when I got them. They’re all in running condition.”

John’s collection includes a 1911 1-3/4 hp hopper-cooled engine with an original Galloway cart, which he restored; a 1915 “Boss of the Farm” 1-3/4 hp air-cooled engine, and a 1-1/4 hp “Handy Andy” engine made between 1926 and 1935. He also has a 1912 Old Style 2-1/4 hp engine with a Galloway cart added that has a gear reduction pulley on the left side so it can be used to power a butter churn.

“Each one has a pulley on it for running grain mills, cream separators, corn shellers, butter churns,” he said. “They were a source of power around the farm before they had electricity. The ones I have are all powered by gasoline, but the really big ones ran off steam. The bigger the horsepower, the bigger the job they could do.”

John owns a 1915 4 hp engine made by Galloway for a brief time before it was re-rated to 5 hp. He also has what he describes as a “barn fresh” 1916 late style 2-1/4 hp engine with original paint, pin-striping and decal.

“To get it to run, I just had to clean out the fuel line and she fired right up,” he said.

John also collects Galloway literature, including catalogs and promotional posters. The Galloway Company was established by William Galloway in 1906 in Waterloo, Iowa, through the purchase of the Cascaden Company and the Davis Gasoline Engine Company, both of Waterloo.

Some of the Galloway promotional pieces in John’s collection feature a watermelon cut in half to demonstrate William Galloway’s sales pitch of selling direct to the farmer and eliminating the middle man. Advertising slogans describe the Galloway Company as “The House That Divides the Melon With its Fanner Friends” and exhort prospective customers to “Always Remember Galloway Divides the Melon With You.” John also has a copy of Galloway’s Silver Anniversary catalog, celebrating 25 years (1904 to 1929) of selling equipment direct from factory to farmer. FC

Jill Teunis is a freelance writer in Damascus, Md.

  • Published on Jan 1, 2001
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