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In times like these our hobbies become lifesavers. At GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE and FARM COLLECTOR, we have been tracking down the most interesting and rare vintage farm machines and collections for more than 80 years combined! That includes researching and sourcing the best books on collectibles available anywhere. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-624-9388 or by email. Stay safe!

Spalding's Corner

Looking for Clues to Mystery Engines

| September 2005

  • MysteryEngines.jpg

  • MysteryEngines.jpg

Two readers identified the "mystery" engine in the July/August 2005 issue of Steam Traction. The first response came from Jerred Ruble of Hanlontown, Iowa, who wrote:

"The engine in the mystery photo is a return-tube Minneapolis. Several tell-tail signs distinguish this engine as a Minneapolis; distinct shape of the differential gear, steam pipe feeding the engine coming from the smokestack, steam dome ahead of the crankshaft, wheel guards on the side of the boiler and a Gardner governor.

"The front tank on the engine has been customized, and the throttle assembly apparently has also been customized.

"I own three return-tube Minneapolis engines: no. 721, 12 HP, 1893; no. 6996, 22 HP, 1913; and a 14 HP, the number and year escapes me at the moment. The 22 HP was the last return tube off the assembly line. As far as I know, no. 721 is the earliest one left."

Right on Jerred's heals was a letter from Bob Carlson of Haddam, Conn., who wrote:

"Looking at the water tank and lower hand hole, I think the engine is a Minneapolis. If I again correctly answer first this time, I will give the book to a guy I meet at the spring meet at Kinzer, Pa. He just bought an engine and has little hands-on steam time."


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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