PORTLAND 1999

Sights of the Show

The Portland show featured every type of engine, from the perfectly restored to the perfectly daft. This Bessemer is an example of the perfectly restored, as are these New Hollands. There was everything, including a little Stirling, to big screen-cooled engines such as this 6HP Springfield and home-built engines - I believe these are known as "junk yard dogs". This half-breed started life as a steam engine and was converted to run on petrol or oil. As we have a Fairbanks Morse Eclipse at home, we were attracted to the ones at the show - one very similar to ours, running a jack pump and a 2HP model, again with a pump. Of course, there were plenty of pumps to be seen. This stepped ratio jack pump was interesting to watch, as was this pumpjack engine.

My personal award for the most reliable engine had to go to this Atlas engine, which ran, along with the other two Atlases on the same trailer all day, every day, constantly producing smoke rings.

Maytags were of course, well represented. My personal favourites were this Fruitjar Maytag, the "Shotgun Maytag" (follow the flexible exhaust, into the black pipe - the smoke and bangs came out of the shotgun) and this ingenious Maytag muffler. To show those in the UK who don't know what a Maytag was for, this washing machine demonstrates how they were used. This engine powered washer was possibly a forerunner of the Maytags.

There was artistic decoration on engines such as "Sweet Putt", the cooling tank of this 1919 Reid and even on the trailer to transport the engines. For some reason, the hog-oilers seem to attract the artistic types, depicting glamourous pigs and a world on which the pigs could rub, as well as one which employed the help of a cuddly pig to demonstrate the idea. This meat kettle was especially well decorated.

Many model-makers had perfect replicas of the full-sized engines - particularly noticeable was the high standard of this Hagan (which went home with a certain List member!).

Aside from engines there was plenty to look at too. Does anyone have any idea how to put wooden arrows through bottles?

Plenty of antiques and collectibles surrounded the engines, some engine-related such as this "Yellow Dog" lamp, which would use any oil to burn to indicate the position of an engine in the woods.

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E-Mail: helen@insulate.co.uk

©FBI 1999