R & T Restores an Avery

By Staff
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A restoration project that began in 1978 was brought to a climax
by Rough & Tumble Engineers, at Kinzers, Pa., 12 years later in
1990.

This project centered on a very special engine the Avery which
had been the personal property of Arthur Young, the founder of
R&T. Young was a nationally known businessman whose son,
Everett, was a second generation member of the organization.
(Everett recently passed away; see Golden Roll, page 24.)

The Avery was in dire need of help, principally because its
boiler long ago reached the point of no return.

The decision to restore the engine was made by members of
R&T in 1978. No one could have known at the time that a dozen
years would be required to complete the undertaking.

We have a complete record of the major steps taken, thanks to
Roland Woodward, curator of the Rough & Tumble Museum and a
member of the group that undertook the project.

First step on the long road was the facing of the need for plans
for a new boiler. An estimate of $30,000 was received for the
construction. Plans alone would cost $500, the group was informed.
The $30,000 was too big a hurdle to jump at that time so only the
plans were ordered, at $500.

In 1983 Otis Astle proposed the creation of a fund for the
restoration, to be known as the ‘Avery Fund.’ The idea was
presented at the annual meeting of R&T and accepted. Fred
Taylor, of Chadds Ford, gave the first $100 to get it rolling.

For the next five years, 1983-1988, members conducted a search
for a boiler. Obviously, it was not an easy task. Even though a
boiler is far bigger than a needle, it was tougher than finding a
needle in a bunch of haystacks. Yet the search went on.

Light broke when an ad appeared in IRON-MEN ALBUM in
1988, advertising an Avery boiler for sale. That raised hope, but
the search was not ended. Roland Woodward telephoned Tom Terning of
Valley Center, Kansas, to determine whether the advertised boiler
would be satisfactory. Tom knew the R&T Avery and determined
that the boiler in the ad would not be right for this engine.

However, and this is a big however, Tom knew of a boiler in
Colorado that would be of the correct size. He was kind enough to
make a trip to Colorado for an on-site inspection. He found it to
be correct, and in nearly perfect condition.

Late in 1988, Tom was authorized to buy the boiler and transport
it to his shop for refurbishing. Tom did all this and even more. On
one of his trips east, in December 1988, he delivered the boiler to
R&T at Kinzers.

Spring of 1989 saw the Avery chassis moved into the R&T shop
for disassembly and restoration. Restoration was started shortly
thereafter.

Taking part in the restoration, in the summer of 1990, were Otis
Astle, John Railings, Everett Young, Buss Powell, Ernie Reynolds,
Dan Gehman, Nevin Myer, and Dale and Scott Young.

In August of 1990, the Avery with its new boiler, and fully
restored, was fired and proved to be satisfactory. From then on it
was celebration time, and during the annual Reunion the Avery was
dedicated in memory of Art Young to the Young family.

It was a long story with a happy ending.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment