By Paul Harvey
For a bright start in the new year, the
As this is being written, Winter is certainly here in full force with the wind and snow blowing cold outside. However, we can reflect back upon a successful 2010 season. Good weather was enjoyed for both shows and the attendance certainly reflected this. Museum shows so often seem to produce rain, mud and cold. Let us hope that 2011 again favors great weather.
Last year saw some significant improvements for the museum. Our new restroom facility received in exterior red bricks making it not only pleasant for our visitors, but an attractive addition to the grounds. The Deane water pump for the 175 hp Otto gas engine, originally from Brookville Water Works, is now operating and makes a very pleasant display. This is the largest single-cylinder gas engine in existence, and now powers the largest water pump that Deane built. The 125 hp twin Klein engine has been remounted after so many years of not running. It now makes a very welcome sight to our visitors to watch it operate. The Annex to the Power House building has been completely re-arranged and now has many very rare and interesting engines that run so very well. There have been so many other improvements that are too numerous to mention.
But perhaps the most remarkable development has been the 80 hp Bessemer project. This engine compressed air to pump oil wells in the Kane, PA area and had been idle for many years. Last Spring, the engine, building, and all accessories were donated to the museum for preservation. Headed by our untiring volunteer, Ben Egloff, and helped by all the museum volunteers, the entirety has been moved to Coolspring and re-erected. This includes the Bessemer engine compressor unit which weighs 20 tons and the building. It will be operating at the June 2011 Show and will look exactly as it did in the original location. We are happy to preserve this portion of history and make it available for all to see as it originally was.
Looking forward into 2011, the museum has some very exciting plans and projects. The most important will be the erection of two new 40 foot by 80 foot display buildings. The first will be named Patís Place and is being donated by Pat Wilcox, wife of the late Dr. John Wilcox, co-founder of the museum. As the part of his collection located in Ohio was being sold, many buyers wished to bring the engines to the museum. Patty graciously donated some of the proceeds of the sale to make this possible and it will be happening this Summer! This building and the engines it will contain will certainly be a great addition. The second building will be the Engine Condo. This concept is headed by our member Kevin Kusel and will sell space to collectors who wish to bring their significant engines to the museum and have a permanent area for them. So far, the response has been very favorable and we are excited to see so many unusual and interesting engines that will be here and operating.
Each year the museum features a special engine or group of engines for the Shows. This year the feature will be Engines Built in the State of New York. There was such a diversity of equipment built there ranging from the oil field technology in the southwestern part of the state, the industrial engines of the Buffalo area, and the very old ones from the New York City area. A special presentation will be given in the Oliver Township fire hall Friday evening of the show and a booklet will be available. Details will be in future issues of the Flywheel. We are anxious to see what all will be displayed here for the June Show as there are always some unusual and interesting surprises.
The museum will awaken from the Winter for its first open weekend on April 16 & 17, 2011. However, that does not mean that the volunteer crew will not be working all Winter of various projects! Our June Exposition will be June 16, 17 & 18, 2011 and this is the big show of the year. There will be a field full of exhibitors displaying their prizes, a flea market, and plenty of good food. We hope to see everyone there!!!
For more information please call 814-849-6883 and usually Gail, our untiring secretary, will answer. And, of course, please watch these publications for more information on The Flywheel.
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