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Hard Core Accumulator

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Old 01-11-2000, 09:18:25 PM
Alan Rudd
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Default Hard Core Accumulator

I don't call myself a collector, I look at myself a an accumulator. I figure a collector buys and sells, and tries to make a profit at what he is doing. Personally I rarely ever sell, and almost never make a profit, I just keep adding to my pile of stuff. I accumulate flywheel engines, steam engines, and most anything related to this junk. "Hard core" maybe. No, it's not realy junk.
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Old 01-11-2000, 10:20:44 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Hard Core Accumulator

sounds just like someone I know. Hes gotta have stuff.
Old 01-12-2000, 04:27:00 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Accumulators

I hope you have made provisions for your accumulation. A friend of my grandfather's was one of the first engine "collectors" in this part of Pa., he started picking up engines, and machinery in the early '50's. At one point his collection included a 9HP Russell traction engine, about 20 small stationary steam engines, a lot of horse drawn equipment, a coin operated player piano with about 100 rolls, several automobiles, including a leather fendered Cadillac touring car, and well over 150 DIFFERENT gas engines. All of these were "restored" according to the standard of the time, (ie. they were running and repainted.) The "accumulation" took up 3 large buildings, and the overflow were kept tarped in his orchard. If someone took an earnest interest in something, he would sell it to them for a reasonable price. A lot of people were introduced to the hobby by him.

Back about '77 this old fellow took sick and died. He left everything to his oldest son.

His son doesn't take care of the stuff, and the pieces in the orchard are now so overgrown that you really can't recognise them. One, a 5HP Economy, I think, has an apple sapling (6" around) growing up through the flywheel spokes. He won't sell any of it.

He had grand plans of "someday" opening a museum in memory of his dad, the grandson is the same way, only a bit worse. The whole thing is pretty sad. It has been almost a quarter century that this has been going on.

The people who remember the old man have tried to talk with the son, to tell him that this is not what his father would have wanted, and to at least keep the engines up. The result? Hard words and bitter feelings.

Everyone knows that the "museum" is a pipe dream, I think even the son does, and that these engines will sit there until they are rusted away. But, "What's mine is mine, and you can't have it!".....
Old 01-12-2000, 04:45:03 AM
Russ Hughes
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Accumulators

There is a field full of very old cars alongside Highway 97 near Wapato Washington. I have been told by several people over the years that the person who owns these vehicles won't sell any of them. They are sitting out in the weather rusting away much like the engines in the other story.

While I have to respect a persons property right, at the same time it kind of reminds me of a man beating a horse because he owns it and can. There are probably some old engines and other items in this collection but you can't see any from the roadway.

It's a shame, but there all his to do with them as he see's fit, however sad as that may be.
Old 01-12-2000, 09:56:32 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Used to be there

When I first started out at the tender age of 18 or so, *anything* connected with steam engines or machine shop equipment was "fair game" for my collecting.

Initially I was indiscrimate in my collecting. Broken items, items remotely connected, "attractive items" (not connected but "old") were all brought in on my forays to flea markets.

Through the years the collection has grown by small leaps and bounds.

I remember wanting a "brass rimmed pressure gauge" so bad I could taste it. Now I have a display board in my shop "covered" with them.

Also, steam related and machine things have developed a habit of "migrating" to my shop. Friends and acquaintences are now bringing me their cast offs because they know I like them and will give them "house room."

A short while ago, I kind of "took measure" of my position. I decided at approximately "mid life" that I had the shop I wanted and I didn't want to acquire anything more and I would try to "hold the line" on my collections and machinery. What I needed worse than the things themselves was "time" necessary to do the restorations and for "playing."

What prompted this was reading "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominguez. In it he discusses the fact that "things" can impede our freedom and choices as much as anything else in our lives.

I'd rather be free than tied to an existence of "maintenance" or maintainer for my "things." This is my choice. Now I'm slowly but surely doing some "selective dispersal" of my collection and concentrating on what is really important.

I still have a lot of stuff. Some of it I'll keep to the end. Some of it I won't, and I won't regret the time I've had with it. Meanwhile, somebody else will have the pleasure (and the responsibility) of ownership of something that interests them.

One thought.

Best regards, Joe "Yankee Mechanic"
Old 01-13-2000, 10:15:31 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Hard Core Accumulator

My father has been gathering engines since 1962. I have been exposed to gathering since I was born in 1970. I don't know if we are collectors or accumulators. We used to gather everything we could get related to engines. In the past 5 years or so, I have made a choice to trade the engines that I am not as interested in, and get what I really want and make it really nice. I feel that I am more happy with the few engines that I have then the multitude of engines that my father has. The funny thing is, my father has never taken the same engine to the same show in the show ring that he travels. The other collectors get a kick out of seeing what he brings because they know it won't be the same thing they saw last month. People who know me, know that they can find me at the sawmill or on a traction engine.


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