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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home


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  #1  
Old 07-24-2011, 02:18:24 PM
Jeff and Maria Smith's Avatar
Jeff and Maria Smith Jeff and Maria Smith is offline
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Default 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Hey everyone,

I wanted to show everyone the 10 hp Bessemer that I got home last Sunday. There is a pretty good story that goes with this engine.

I've known about this engine for several years, and tried to get it several times. The man that had it was a good friend of mine, but never would sell it. Everytime I asked, I got the same reply. "You can buy it at my estate sale". Every time I was around his place I would aggrivate him about the engine, more jokingly than anything. At some point, I started asking him about the engine, when he got it, where it came from, ect.. His answer about KNOCKED ME OVER. The engine had come from my wife's relatives farm, not too many miles from where we live. He had bought the engine sometime prior to 1989, and took it off the farm himself. The engine had run the grist mill and feed mill on the farm.

Well, as you can imagine, I REALLY wanted the engine now. Over the years my wife and I had done quite a bit of research on both our families, including gathering old family photos. We had gathered quite a large amount of photos and information on the farm and the owners.

Earlier this year, Mark decided to sell the engine. We bought the engine in April, but just got it home last week. The engine has always been in the dry. Mark took it out of the original mill house, and although he never put it together or started it, he kept it in the dry.

The engine is in pretty good condition and I have eveything that goes with it except the hot tube chimney and burner, and a cooling tank. I have to get them and some skids before I can try to get it going. I have no experience with a hot tube engine, so I'm gonna need some help.

Thanks to Roland (site member) and Phillip for helping me get it loaded and to Mark for saving it for me and not selling it to someone OUTSIDE the family.

I have several photos to post of the engine as I found it, loading it, and the original owners and the farm it came from.
.................................................. ....................................

1st photo - the way I found the engine at Mark's
2nd photo - got it jacked up and the flywheels off the ground
3rd photo - oiled it up and found out that it was not stuck
4th photo - me and Jeremiah with the Bessemer
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2011, 03:10:55 PM
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Jeff and Maria Smith Jeff and Maria Smith is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

These are photos of the farm that the engine came from and the original owners.

This farm was established shortly after the Civil War by George Washington Hardman Jr. and his wife Diana Virginia (Burdette) Hardman. The "Manor House" was built in 1868 and is still standing and being used, although it is not in good condition. George and Diana had 6 children, with only one surviving childhood, a son named after George Jr.'s brother, Allen.

Allie Hardman lived on the Hardman Farm his entire life and raised his family there. He married Narcissus (Barr) and had two daughter, Thelma and Leila.

George Hardman Jr. ran the family holdings until his death in 1929, at which time it was taken over by Allie. Allie continued as his father had until his death in 1957. After allie's passing in 1957, the farm passed to his daughter Leila (Hardman) Vandale. After Leila's death, the farm passed to her children June, Charles, and George (who Mark bought the engine from). From this point, a small portion of the farm was sold to an individual, but most of the vast holding were sold to a land company.

In its heyday, while being operated by George Jr. and Allie Hardman, this farm was a giant operation for a small place like Calhoun Co., WV. While most farms were small family farms where people carved out a living, this was a thriving successful business operation, making the Hardmans a very influential family in the business and political settings. The Hardmans employed several dozens of people on the farm, some of which lived on farms within the Hardman's holding. Family tradition tells of the Manor House having an enormous dining area and table, which seated 20 to 30 farm hands at a time for their noon meal, which they were fed every day that they worked.

I'm only guessing, but I would say that this engine has ground many thousand pounds of corn to help feed this family and their workers.
.................................................. ....................................

1st photo - The Hardman "Manor House" and buildings.
2nd photo - George W. Hardman and Diana V. (Burdette) Hardman
3rd photo - Allie and Narcissus (Barr) Hardman, with daughters Thelma (Hardman) Smith and Leila (Hardman) Vandale
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:16:44 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Here are some photos of us moving the engine out of Mark's building.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:19:08 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Loading it on my trailer
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:21:33 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

The Hardman Bessemer and and some other things almost ready to go home.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:24:17 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

The Hardman Bessemer, back home in Calhoun County with relatives of the original owners (my beautiful family). A good day!
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:50:39 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Didn't do much today. After church I made a couple calls and tracked down some skid materials. When we put the little ones down for a nap, I couldn't wait any longer. I was dying to see what was waiting under all the grease and dirt. WOW! It looks like all the years of being inside and the coating of grease were pretty kind to this engine. I'm guessing it has 75+% of the original paint left.

Took a few pics to show what I found. The plan is to clean it up, wipe it down with Auto trans fluid, and leave it as is. I think it will look great.

I wasn't sure what to use, so I decided to try something I thought would be pretty gentle, Dawn dishwashing liquid, a plastic bristle brush, plastic putty knife type scraper, rags, and clear water to rinse with. I think it worked pretty easy and good. Has anyone every tried this? Is there any chance of this hurting the original paint? Any advise/opinions appreciated.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2011, 12:37:07 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

If washed and allowed to dry on the paint, without an immediate rinse off, dishwash detergent will fade the paint. Even exposure to sunlight, with the detergent on, can cause fading. You would be better of using a commercial auto cleaner, rather then dish detergent. Wiping down with ATF will bring back some of the color, but will attract dust, and will dull the paint over time. I believe that cleaning thoroughly, and giving a coat of boiled linseed oil and turpentine - 50-50 mix, will preserve the color and patina of the paint. You have to keep it in a relatively dust free environment for a week or so, to allow it to dry thoroughly.

Andrew
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:56:31 PM
HBurk HBurk is online now
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

What's the OTHER engine on the treller? For those that don't know. TRELLER, is West Virginian for trailer.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:22:59 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

The other engine is a Fairbanks Morse FM 7. I've never heard of it and evidently neither has anyone else. I post something about this engine about three years ago, and got no info on it.

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48834

After posting this, I checked the engine over and it is DEFINATELY a Fairbanks Morse FM 7. It is similar to a 118, but there are some definate differences. I don't know if it is newer or older than the 118's. I took some good photos of the tag and different things, which I'll post in the original thread.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:50:22 PM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

That is a very good story!! I am glad it came back to the same family farm,where it will be cherished by the little ones that grow up in a hurry and hope they pass this all along to there little ones and so on... I was born in 1958 and my Grandpa sold his 1903 M Rumley steam engine in 1955 and was always told he wish he had never sold that,Mom and Dad traced it and heard it went to a museum in Canada some where, then heard the boiler went bad and was scrapped.Some day I am going to get the serial no from her and see if it would show up some where on here, we still have the bill of sale and (ownwers manual I think)and my uncle has the whistle off of it too,would just like to have a picture of it . It fed the family and kept the farm in the 29 depression along with a sawmill.The very early Mogul tractor they had went to WW-2 Scrap iron drive as it was pretty well shot.Nice Story......
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:54:32 AM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home


After several days of trying to start it by hand, we borrowed the starting motor with a solid rubber wheel and got it going. I wanted to let it run for a while, but couldn't, due to a downpour and it being so late in the day. We plan on doing it again this coming Monday. Hopefully we can get it going again and just let it run for a few hours.

After it ran for about an hour, we tried to start it by hand, but never got it going. Still need to work some things out, but it will run.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:20:02 PM
Pete Nichols Pete Nichols is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Jeff,
The Bessemer sounds pretty good ! Thats a pretty big grin on your face !!!!!

Roland ,
You had better watch ,you'll get your feet tangled up and hurt yourself .

I just knew that it would run !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:26:36 PM
Rick Horton Rick Horton is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Jeff---What kind of gristmill did the engine pull? Any pictures of it?
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:58:28 PM
W.P.Klein W.P.Klein is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Sound pretty good Jeff! Congratulations. How about posting some pics of the starting motor. I have been thinking about building such a thing. Bill Klein
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:11:54 AM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

this is the exact starter moter designed by Pete Nichols....

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Old 09-21-2012, 07:02:03 AM
Mike Patterson Mike Patterson is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Very neat engine and it’s great that you have the history on its use, the family connection makes it even better. Too often as the engines are found and brought back to life the history of them has been lost and their original purpose is often only guessed at.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:17:53 AM
vinceostapowich vinceostapowich is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Great to see it going again.
When was the last time it actually ran?
I could see the feeling of accomplishment all over you,gotta be a super feeling
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:39:10 AM
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Thanks Everyone,

Rick Horton,
The grist mill was a cast iron mill, not sure what kind. It was in the local museum here in Spencer, but at the last engine show, it wasn't there. I would like to have it also, but probably can't get it.

W. P. Klein,
That is the starting motor that we used. We took it off of Pete's engine and used it on mine. Thanks for posting that Steve.

I'm not positive, but Allie Hardman died in 1957. The farm was inherited by his daughter Leila. I think she may have kept the farm going for a short while, but not long. If the engine was used after Allie's death, it probably wasn't used much. I can only guess that it's been about 55 years since the engine was used.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:02:37 PM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
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Default Re: 10 hp Bessemer, finally comes home

Jeff,

What I find interesting is that they would buy a Bessemer to operate the mill and not a typical gas engine for farm use. Would you happen to know why? Some of my thoughts are that the area was covered with well field engines and they could find local help that would know how to work on the engine, or maybe they had oil wells on their land already and that assisted with their decision, or maybe they had free natural gas.

I find that picture of the old farm to be very interesting because that had to be one awesome estate to have a residence the size in that picture for that region of the country because it was more of a multitude of smaller farms as you stated above.

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