Vintage Iron: Old Gas Engines and Vintage Farm Equipment

Find of the Month: interesting old gas engines or vintage farm equipment


| August 1998



The author with two of his prize engines: 1 X and 12 HP Bauers

The author with two of his prize engines: 1 X and 12 HP Bauers

Hello to my fellow collectors! Welcome to Farm Collector's Vintage Iron Find of the Month. Each month on this page, we'll bring you an interesting 'find.' Expect plenty of variety: it could be old gas engines, classic tractors, steam engines, memorabilia, vintage farm equipment or just a very odd farm collectible.

I have been collecting old engines for more than 27 years. My main line is Bauer, manufactured by AF Bauer Engine Works of Kansas City, Mo. I have been lucky enough to get a complete set of the pre 1916 line, which includes 1 3/4, 2 3/4, 4 1/2, 6, 8, 12 and 15 HP engines. I also have the only two known side-shaft Bauers (a 4 1/2 and a 25 HP).

My collection includes a large number of Ottawa engines built in Ottawa, Kan. (I still need a 12, 15 and 22 HP to complete that set).

The third category in my collection is any engine built in Kansas City. I have pieces from eight companies, with one of the rarest being a 2 1/2 HP Royal Manufacturing by Smith & Sons, and a 6 HP KC Junior Manufacturing by the Kansas City Hay Press Co.

The broadest category in my collection is any engine with the word 'junior' in its name: I have more than 10 different juniors so far.

A collection like this means I'm on the road a lot. I have attended every annual swap meet at Waukee, Iowa, and other swap meets and shows around the country, from Florida to North Dakota.