In September 2012, while on a visit in the U.S., Turkish industrialist Rahmi M. Koç noticed a steam engine in a field near Fayetteville, Ga. An ardent steam engine enthusiast, he got out of the car, had a quick look and decided to make an offer to purchase the item he had fallen in love with: a 1910 Aultman & Taylor 20 hp steam engine. After some bargaining, an agreement was reached with owner Darryl Coleman, Fayetteville. Early this year, the steam engine was loaded into a container and shipped from Wilmington, N.C. Following restoration it was delivered in May to the Rahmi M. Koç Museum in Istanbul.
Built by the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co., Mansfield, Ohio, the museum’s 20 hp engine dates to a period when steam traction engine production was beginning to decline. For unknown reasons, the engine remained at the factory, unsold, for 10 years after its manufacture. In 1920, the decision was made to scrap the engine. The first piece to be cut for scrap was a rear wheel. A workman had just started that process when an order for a 20 hp steam engine was received from a southern Indiana farmer who wanted a steam engine to use on his sawmill.
The process of scrapping the rear wheel was halted and the cut was repaired, leaving a scar that can still be seen today. The engine was overhauled and shipped to Indiana in 1921. It remained in active service for many years, powering the sawmill and a threshing machine. During its working life, the engine was mostly static. As a result, its gear wheels and drivetrain are in remarkable condition.
In 1970, the steam engine was sold to a Pendleton, Ind., collector who kept it for 10 years. During that time, the engine was displayed at shows and used in threshing demonstrations. Later it was sold to a Missouri collector who also ran it at shows.
In 1996 the steam engine was sold to a Georgia collector. By that time, the engine was beginning to show its age and extensive work to the boiler and smokebox was required. That work was completed in 2001 in Middlefield, Ohio, and the Aultman & Taylor returned to the show circuit. FC
Read more in Rahmi M Koc Museum Displays American Relics.