Click on the links above to watch the video links about the engines in motion!
Junk to Jewel: Chase Manufacturing Engine #49
Despite only being 30 miles from where it was originally built, this antique brass engine has had an interesting journey to get to where it is today. These antique engines were used for a wide range of tasks on farms in the early 20th century, smaller engines could power a butter churner, while larger engines like this one could power wood saws, feed grinders and more. This machine was 7 horsepower, which made it quite the powerhouse in its day. The gasoline engine began a new era because now work on small farms could be done by something other than muscle power alone.
Sometime after it had outlived practical use, this engine was written off as junk, and stuffed away, not resurfacing until it was auctioned off with other unloved items at a farm auction. After being purchased by accident, engine #49 was loaned to the Franklin County Historical Society by the Martin Jones Family, where it lived peacefully, its true worth unbeknownst to all, despite its rarity, until a fateful meeting with a collector.
Roger M. White, a well-traveled antique engine collector, heard about our engine from a fellow collector at an antique show, and stopped by our museum to visit engine #49. He offered to purchase it from the museum collection, but as it is on loan, Chase Manufacturing Company Engine #49 will stay at the museum, available for any antique aficionado to come visit.
The Chase Manufacturing Company, Mason City, Iowa was in business from 1913 to 1916.
It was one of several manufacturing companies making the “hit and miss” engine in the early 1900’s.