| November/December 1976

  • Frick Eclipse engine

  • Frick Eclipse engine

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania 17022.

Harry E. Bechtold of Columbia, R. 2, Pennsylvania often drove past Harvey Hoffman's place in Rheems and admired the steam engine there, little dreaming that one day he would own it.

Iron-Men readers may remember a recent article about old-time thresherman Hoffman and his steam engine. Harvey died recently and on Saturday, July 31, his estate was auctioned off.

The prize item at the sale, of course, was the 1920 steam engine, a 16', 14-ton Frick 'Eclipse.'

Bechtold says he isn't too good at estimating crowds, but wouldn't be surprised if there were nearly 1,000 people at the auction.

Hoffman's engine was rather well known throughout the area, which may help to explain the size of the crowd. Several steam engine collectors began bidding. As the bids jumped up in steps of $5,000 the competitors soon dwindled down to two, Bechtold and Titus Brubaker of Rohrerstown. At $14,200 Brubaker called it quits and the engine was Bechtold's for $14,300.