Sold on Stover Engines

A Wisconsin man builds his collection around the legendary Stover engine line.

| February 2018

Most old iron collectors get roped into the hobby by a parent or a sibling or a friend. For Ed Hanson, his introduction came through a new acquaintance.

“After I met Kathy and found out that her dad had an antique tractor show, I helped out with it,” Ed says. “‘This is kind of fun,’ I thought, so I bought a 3 hp Stover KF gasoline engine that the owner started for me and that’s how my collection was started. That was 25 years ago, and we’re still together today: Kathy, me and the engine.”

In truth, Ed had taken an interest in some old farm equipment earlier. A threshing machine and corn silage cutter caught his eye, and he had been looking at some tractors. “Nothing really old, just rubber-tired stuff,” he says, “but I never bought anything.”

The Stover was a bigger step, not only because Kathy had entered his life, but also because it was the beginning of what would grow to be a collection of more than 50 Stover engines. The collection today includes representatives of all the different Stover engines, and a few duplicate engines, as well.

Ed also has a variety of Stover memorabilia, such as stove dampers, ice crackers, mop heads, candlestick holders, lamps, a saw sharpener vise, window pulleys, a Christmas tree stand, screen door hinges and even an orange juice squeezer. The collection also includes about 20 Stover grinders.

But Stover gas engines remain the heart and soul of the collection. “After buying that first one and doing some research, I became aware of all the various styles that Stover made,” Ed says.