THE GASOLINE ENGINE


| May/June 1963


Ferry View Martins Ferry, Ohio

There it comes!

The boys who had been anxiously waiting all morning for the wagon's return ran to open the gate. Dad had left early for town to get the new gasoline engine that had been ordered. After the team came through and the gate was closed, they scrambled up into the wagon. There-with its bright paint and brass gleaming like gold was the little giant that was to make farm work so much easier. To this farm, as to thousands of others later, had come the first permanent mechanical power. Heretofore, except for a windmill or two that pumped water, the only power in the neighborhood aside from animal was when a ponderous steam traction engine pulled a separator around to thresh grain late in the summer. Sometimes portable steam engines pulled by teams of horses or oxen were used for threshing, cutting of ensilage, and many other jobs.

On some farms the fodder was fed to the animals just as it came from the shock. It was a very wasteful method. On most small farms one of the chores for the boys was chopping the stalks into short, more edible feed. This was done by pushing the fodder through a cutting box, and chopping with a hinged knife. When done right, this was a slow tedious job. Naturally, when the boys were in a hurry the stems were cut pretty long. You might say that some had just 'a lick and a promise'.



In the farm papers engine manufacturers were beginning to advertise. A gasoline engine was something to dream about until Dad went to the State Fair in 1907 and saw one set up and working! He examined it closely and after starting and stopping it

several times, ordered one. While waiting for its arrival at the home farm, a concrete base with hold down bolts was built in the barn, and a place outside readied for the gas tank.














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