MYSTERY ENGINE


| November/December 1971



Frick Engine

Mr. Banks Smith on right and his father on the left, showing their ''Mystery'' Frick Engine. No date is given but Mr. Smith says it was early in the 1900s.

R.D. 1, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania 17019

At one of the early steam shows held at the Williams Grove Park, a man approached me while I was operating a Frick portable engine and told me that he had run Frick portable engine while he was a young man.

Now this was a common story, but then he told me it was built rather unusual with the engine bed or frame in two parts connected by two heavy rods which served as the cross-head guides as well as hold the crankcase and cylinder castings together.

Never having heard of such an engine, I naturally became quite curious because the Frick engines were quite common in my section and yours truly spent many hours studying Frick catalogs even when a small boy.

After some conversation, he told me his name was Banks Smith of McAllisterville, Pennsylvania and that he presently owned a Frick traction so he was not feeding me a line. Mr. Smith told me the old portable was scrapped but he saved the two heavy rods and at present had one which he used as a garage door prop.

He also told me he had a photograph of his Dad and the engine, but it was the only one he had of his Dad and therefore did not want to lose it, which was understandable. After we had a nice visit he gave me good-by and left, but yours truly had a suspicion that he thought he had failed to convince me that there ever was such a Frick engine.