The Last Russell To Leave the Factory!


| July/August 1993



Russell engine

Russell engine #01732 ready to be moved and lifted by the crane in the old Russell factory.

T. W. Diehl Restorations 101 S. Main St. Navarre, Ohio 44662

If you have been collecting or have an interest in old equipment, I am sure you have run into someone who claims to have, or to know of, the last item made by one company or another. This story, however, is about the last engine to leave the Russell factory. Yet more amazing is the date she left, July 16, 1992, and the fact that she was neither sold nor scrapped as is so often the case, but donated to The Massillon Museum by Hydro-Dyne, Inc. of Massillon, Ohio, present occupants of the former Russell factory.

Hydro-Dyne originally contacted John Klassen, director of the Massillon Museum, expressing a desire to dispose of the Russell stationary engine which had been in their building since they acquired it in 1967. In turn, John contacted us (as we had formerly restored a 12 HP Russell traction engine for the museum back in 1991), to see if we would be interested in doing another Russell for their collection.

My first meeting at the old Russell factory was disappointing. After presenting my evaluation of the situation and placing a value on the engine, the comment was made that Hydro-Dyne thought she was worth much more, and that they had hoped to sell her to the museum.

The second meeting was much more to my liking. I was pleased to meet Hydro-Dyne president Roseanne Dare and pleasantly surprised to learn of her interest in local history. Two weeks later it was official: Russell engine #01732 was donated to the Massillon Museum by Hydro-Dyne, Inc.

Hydro-Dyne president Roseanne Dare officially presents the Russell to Massillon Museum director John Klassen. Photo courtesy of The Independent.