Canfield brothers Dave and Steve Cox enjoyed this year's Canfield Fair by tending to their antique gas engines in the steam and tractor display.
"We have both been collecting for the past 30 years," Dave said. "We are helping keep history alive because the younger generation don't even know what these engines are or what they do."
The brothers frequent engine shows and sometimes buy one or two. They said they love getting the actual history of the engines, which make for good conversation to those observing one in action.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Dave Cox and Steve Cox of Canfield, showed their antique gas engines at the fair last week, then after a short rest, were off to the next show in New Athens this weekend.
At the fair, the brothers displayed a 1916 Economy engine and a 1928 Jaeger Machine Company model. The Economy engine is called a hit-and-miss engine that has a specific type of operating mode. Dave said the flywheel keeps it spinning and when it begins to slow, it fires the spark plug to keep the revolutions per minute at a set rate. The 1928 Jaeger has a continuous firing sequence to maintain operation.
"The Economy engine runs eight hours on a gallon of fuel," Dave said.
Both engines are equipped with a water tank that helps keep it cool. For oiling, there are small reservoirs that have to be kept full of oil.
Dave said the usefulness of the engines is what gives them historic significance.
"The Economy engine was used to power an old water pump that used to be hand operated," Steve said. "The Jaeger was used to power an old cement mixer."
Steve said the engines are pretty tough and once they are rebuilt, they run forever as long as they are kept in good order.
The engines are outfitted with a pulley wheel that allows it to power things by using a long belt. Dave said the engines have been hooked up to devices like old stone grinders. He said the small engines have even been used to help start other vintage gas engines.
The brothers say they love their hobby and keep busy in it. Whenever there is a vintage engine show, they are sure to be making the trip. Following the fair, they packed up their two engines and prepared for a trip to the Stumptown Steam Tractor Show this weekend in New Athens.