| May/June 1968


Collecting Rams are my Hobby. Courtesy of William G. Enfield, Felton #1,Pennsylvania 17322

G. Enfield

Enfield Felton #1, Penna. 17322

Most people sometime or other in their life time have had a hobby of some kind. It may be a simple one such as collecting buttons or stones. Other collectors go into collecting bigger things, such as steam engines and old cars. These collections sometime become quite elaborate and expensive. I believe the stories behind these collections are just as interesting as the collections themselves. It is interesting to know why and how one decided to collect or what caused one to collect this type of article.

My story, you might say, started from the time I was born. I was born on July 28, 1911 on my father's (John Enfield) farm in East Hopewell Township in the southeastern end of York County. The farm is about four miles east of the little town of Stewartstown and two miles west of Laurel, a railroad station. This is some of the best farming land in York County although there are plenty of rolling hills. In addition to the hills there are numerous springs and streams all through this wonderful land.

My father's farm contained about 96 acres, which was the average size farm in this area at that time. Electricity was not available to most of the farms at that time. Some farmers who had wells used windmills to pump water to their houses and barns. If he was fortunate enough to have a spring with an adequate flow of water he could use a simple device known as a ram. My father was one of these lucky farmers for when he purchased the farm in 1908, there was already a ram installed in a spring on the farm.

I will describe later what a ram is and how it operates. But first I would like to tell you more about my early life and how I was associated with the ram. My father had eight children (5 girls and 3 boys), so in addition to ten people to supply water for, he had many cows, hogs and chickens to provide water for drinking. This took lots of water, but the ram always pumped plenty of water. It was no fault of the ram when in the early 1930's there was not enough water for the animals and our family. We had a drought and the spring almost dried up. My father did not remove the ram from this spring but instead bought another ram that had been used on a neighboring farm. This ram he installed, with my help, in. another of our springs, Electricity finally arrived at our farm but we continued to pump our water from the spring with the use of the ram.

In 1937 I was married and moved away from the farm. That same year my older brother, Clarence, removed the ram, which was on the farm when my father bought it, and installed it in a spring on his nearby farm. He used it for about ten years and then removed it from the spring and stored it in his summerhouse. From 1937 until my father sold the farm in 1946 I still would came in contact with the remaining ram, but only on my visits home. The rams were gradually forgotten with the cares and interest of raising my own family (a boy and a girls), my work (welding at a manufacturing plant in York) and other duties of the time.