Rick's Engine Bio

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About me:

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.

For 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.

I'm very 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