Rough and Tumble's Christmas


| July/August 1989



Otto Langen engine

Otto Langen engine forerunner of all spark-ignition engines: ton for HP.

308 E. Derry Road Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033

Christmas 1988 came early to the agricultural heritage museum on Route 30 in Lancaster County, at Kinzers, Pennsylvania, known as Rough and Tumble. The gifts came in the form of an inheritance from the private estate and museum of William Willock of Chestertown, Maryland.

Notified of their gifts earlier this year, the curator committee of Rough and Tumble was amazed to find that they totaled thousands of pieces. When an evaluation was placed on these one-of-a-kind artifacts that figure was estimated to total nearly half a million dollars.

Not everything has been moved, but hundreds of volunteer man-hours have gone into bringing 60 steam engines, over 30 early gas engines, numerous gas and carbide lamps, water and gas-powered pumps, early household appliances, a collection of wood and coal-burning stoves, turn-of-the-century office furniture, early telephones and vehicles to Rough and Tumble.

The vehicles include six cars made before World War I. There is a 1904 curved-dash Oldsmobile, a 1911 Ford touring car, a 1908 Sears Model H, a four-cylinder 1913 White, a 1910 Maxwell and a 1906 Stanley Steamer. Because Rough and Tumble does not currently have a climate controlled building on its grounds, these six cars are at present on display at the Antique Automobile Club of America library building in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is open to the public weekdays.

A rare 1924 Day Elder stake body truck was taken to Rough and Tumble to await restoration. It had not received the ground-up restoration the cars had had back in the 1950's. The restorations were very well done for their time, for the White touring car bears a plaque stating that it and its then owner completed a Gliddon tour from Long Island to California and back in the early 1970's.