Thanks Jim, for getting something going here. I believe I've missed the deadline for the show poster but, I think I can still get stuff on facebook if I can ever get in contact with Crystal again. Keven and I have made a decision for the gas engine button. I've got a design for a T-shirt that I need to send to Angie and I'm waiting for a good pic of a certain engine for the oil can.
We do have commitment on a few engines coming including a working log saw display. There are quite a few soft commitments to bring stuff and my dad is still schmoozing a couple so we will see what happens there.
And now to let the cat out of the bag... Although not a Witte engine, we have commitment from the owner of a freshly restored 1882 Crossley slide valve engine coming to be shown this year. Some of you may have seen this engine on another forum and now you will have the opportunity to see it in person. This engine is the 4th oldest 4 cycle engine in North America and should be a real treat for all to see!
"4th oldest 4 cycle engine in North America" This is quite a selling point to advertise an engine. If someone askes, "Why should I come to Rollag this year?" this is an excellent answer. I suppose this engine will not be displayed at Rollag every year, it sounds like it is coming from a distiance.
If someone askes, "Why should I bother to see a Witte Engine?", what is a good reply? In other words, what makes a Witte special or unique?
WMSTR should be honored that the 1862 Crossley will come to Rollag on it's way home, for years WMSTR was home to the next generation Crossley and may be back. Which was a pre 1900 engine. A very detailed report on rebuild of this engine can be seen on SMOKSTAK.
As to the question of WITTE'S, WITTE produce a very wide range of engines large and small hitnmis, throttled goveroned ,Side shaft, hopper cooled and tank cooled, log saw's or as known to as drag saw's, it is our hope that the public will be able to see examples of these at the show.
You may see a 10 hp that was run on the prony brake when Mr Rickman was still with us, That is the RED BRAKE, I may try it on the BLUE Brake, or as know as Jane's brake.
Each year the gas engine area has a featured engine this year it is WITTE, next year it will be EMERSON BRANTINGHAM and in 2018 it will be GALLOWAY, last year a very nice collection on GALLOWAYS made WMSTR it's home.
We will just have to wait till show time to see good examples of WITTE engines.
See you at show time.
James L. Johnson aka MR NEWWAY.
Jerry, also the distinction of being the 4th oldest 4 cycle engine in North America is rare indeed. To earn that distinction, imagine how many other engines had to be scrapped, how much history had to be lost. This engine is a magnificent piece of our worlds industrial history!
Now about Witte. You pose the questions "why should I bother to see a Witte engine" and "what makes them special or unique". Well the same could be asked of why should one bother to see Rollag? And the answer is history. Every piece of old iron is history and while some have a great story that is known, others don't. Does that make them any less important? I don't think so. Rollag is all about history. A living museum if you will. We do expos and features hoping to display something different and bring in displays, collectors to show and spectators as best we can. So what specifically makes a Witte special or unique? The short answer is nothing. To most it is just another engine just like to some it's a pack of yellow tractors. Seen one you seen them all.
Here is a little Witte history. I believe someone else is writing a history for the show book so I won't go too in depth here.
Witte began production of engines sometime in the 1890s and I believe produced into the '50s. I would say Witte was one of the more prolific producers of gas engines. As Jim said they produced a variety of engines. A lot of these engines were bought on credit through the mail. The early ones are rare and quite beautiful, maybe sought after as much as an Otto by some, and later ones are common and more utilitarian. They were simple and reliable much like Fairbanks Morse or IHC.
The Crossley will not be staying at Rollag. It is currently in New York state. It will make it's public debut at the show in Coolspring,PA in June. It will make it's home in Kansas. I do not know what other stops it will make between Coolspring and Rollag but most likely none. The owner has also brought another flame ignition engine to Rollag during the first Otto Expo in 1988. The first one ever. And he brought that one again in 2005 for Otto expo. As was mentioned earlier, there was a extensive thread about the restoration of this engine on Smokstak. I followed it intensely partly because it was extremely interesting but also because I believe my dad and Keven were dealing on this at one time. As soon as I saw it running I sent an email to the owner inviting it to Rollag. A few emails to the owner and the restorer and it was done. This is truly a special treat and should be treated as a BIG deal. Because it is. Enjoy.
The owner of the 2 largest known side shaft Witte engines, being 30hp and 40hp confirmed today that he is planning on bringing these to our show. The 40hp still needs a bit of work as far as castings and machine work but his goal is to have it ready.
Spoke to another guy today that reconfirmed that there would be an 8hp sideshaft Witte and a 25hp head type throttler coming. The 25hp will under go a derestoration to remove a horrible paint job and will be put on new skids before making its appearance.
I would like to say Thank You to all that helped make our Witte gas engine feature a success!!! While there were a couple of engines I had really hoped to see show up that couldn't make it for one reason or another we still had some great representation of a couple of the Witte lines. We ended up with 30 engines. Of the sideshaft models we didn't get any of the smaller engines but we did get a 7hp, 8hp, 9hp, 15hp, 20hp, 30hp, and a 40hp. Missing from that lineup was a 12hp and 25hp. I located and invited them but they were not able to attend. The 40hp hadn't run before the show but it left the show a running engine thanks to the father/son team of Henry and Michael Simons who got it going for the owner. Of the headless design we had every size headless except for a 4hp and a 30hp. I think the 4 was one that just got overlooked. There are only 3 30hp known. One in Texas in it's original installation, 1 in Ohio and 1 in North Dakota. The one in ND was planning on showing but they ran out of time to get it ready. I think they needed to make a flywheel. Maybe next year they'll show it. We also had a 4hp upright Witte Star, I believe one of three known. We had an upright Witte pump jack engine, one of just a few known. We had a 6hp Meco which was produced by Witte. We had a 1 1/2hp type U, one of just a couple known. We had 5 log saws. One without the saw attachment and 3 sawing logs. And we had a 25hp style B throttler that had been invited a year ago but still had it's awful blue, red and yellow paint job 2 weeks before the show. A beautiful effort and engine. A special thank you goes out to Henry and Michael Simons and family. They brought 9 engines to fill out the display. One of their engines was on the poster, I believe another on our exhibitor oil can and they provided a nice article for the show book. We had 4 engines made their way to Rollag with 4 guys from Missouri. They had never even been to Rollag before and were quite impressed. We had a father/son bring in a 9hp sideshaft and a 1 1/2hp type U knowing they wouldn't be able to be able to be at the show as one of them had surgery that Thursday. I am truly amazed at the effort put forth to be a part of this.
I would also like to say we had a good show in the gas engine area in general also. I hope that all of you got to venture into the woods to the feature building and see the 1882 Crossley slide valve engine. It was truly a treat to see and watch run. The owner was more than happy to be here and appreciated the awesome hospitality. We also had a few other great things happen in the gas engine area with a couple new exhibitors. One group had a very nice display with a 16hp Jacobson sideshaft and a 4 1/2hp Jacobson sideshaft. They are planning on showing more in the future. We had another new guy with a small Stover engine running a cream seperator display. Our young guys with the Maytag display expanded their display. And the guys with the corn shelling/grinding display are planning on expanding their display next year. It is so popular with the kids.
I know that if I start naming names I will miss a few but Ron Frigstad was a wonderful helper with getting the gas engine area cleaned up and with helping get the feature building ready for guests. I would like to thank my brother Keven and Jim Johnson for all they always do to take care of some of the details it takes to put on a show in the gas engine area. And I want to thank my son Jeremy. He did a lot in trying to get the Witte feature all pulled together and get the gas engine area cleaned up and take care of stuff in our display areas. And the biggest thanks of all to Jeremy for being willing to do anything that I needed him to do including unloading and loading visitor engines even when it was causing high anxiety.
Again, thanks to all. The gas engine area looked better than it has the last few years. Here's to making it happen again next year. I will be tuning up my grill and food service area for next year. Jeff