When I was a kid, my parents would occasionally take me to the Schaghticoke
Fair here in NY State. At this fair, there was (and still is) always a
really nice display of running antique machinery, including stationary
farm engines. I remember being amazed at these engines- they
were like nothing I'd ever seen in my normal life. I remember
the erratic sounds of the hit and miss engines, and all the moving
visible parts. For YEARS I kept some
small souvenir log rounds that some kind guy gave to me after
cutting them with his antique saw. These great times remained in
my head, and I'm sure influenced my adult interest in these engines.
the longest time, I didn't know what these small engines were
called, and couldn't find out anything about them. Then one
day I stumbled on the phrase "farm engine", and from
there, "stationary engine" and "hit and
miss". Once I knew these key names, the Internet, and
even the public library provided LOTS of information.
fascinated by things that are ingeniously designed and work well,
and enjoy figuring out how things work. I like old hit and
miss engines because all the running parts are visible, quite unlike
the more familiar car or lawnmower engine, plus they fire the spark
only when they need to. I'm intrigued that
people a few generations ago lived their lives just fine without
"modern" conveniences and inventions, and enjoy learning
about the old way of doing things. The "Foxfire"
series of books make great reading.
This page was instantiated Oct. 14, 2004, and last
updated Oct. 16, 2004.
Text copyright 2004, Rick Inzero