Rare Master Workman Engine

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Detail of the cam shaft and major working parts.
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Mike McClure and his rare Master Workman engine.
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The engine has original trucks and paint.
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The Master Workman was made in Chicago.

January’s Find of the Month belongs to Mike McClure of Caney, Kan. I photographed Mike’s engine at the K&O Engine Show at Winfield, Kan., last August. It is a very rare Master Workman made by the Temple Pump Co., Chicago. The engine (number 1811) is a 6 hp, two-cylinder factory portable. The inverted vertical is ignitor fired and hopper cooled.

Mike’s engine is an early one, as the later Master Workmans were sparkplug fired. It has a lot of original paint, and Mike plans to keep it that way.

Any engine that has original paint on it should be preserved in that condition, as most pieces have generally been left outdoors and rusted to the point where no paint is visible. The value of original paint, when compared to a new paint job and restoration, is evident at the auctions we attend. Many times, the originals will bring twice the price of a restored engine.

This Master Workman spent its life inside a blacksmith shop near Columbus, Kan., where a friend of Mike’s found the engine. Inverted engines of any brand are very rare, and often qualify as “show stoppers.” Mike has had lots of offers for the engine, but plans to keep it in his personal collection. Check back next month for a follow-up on this story, pertaining to original literature. FC

A 25-year collector, Wayne Walker is the marketing director and a columnist for Farm Collector.

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