The sounds of engines chugging away filled the air at the Creston Museum on Thursday, as members of the museum’s antique engine club got a few of the artifacts up and running — the first time in decades for some.
“These have been sitting here for 30 years,” said Ken Thom, who used to have his own collection of over 60.
The museum has 11 stationary engines — as well as a generator and three tractors — and several members of the club got a few running, including a 1920 pump engine manufactured in Brandon, Man., and engine made in Ottawa, Kansas. They were designed to power other machines, such as a fruit press, grain crusher or cream separator.
The last time the Ottawa engine was started up was over 10 years ago — longer for some of the others — said museum manager Tammy Hardwick, who is planning to combine an engine event with the annual quilt show in the fall.
Along with the museum’s engines, Thom brought a couple of his own, including a 1905 Oldsmobile engine — built in a time before the throttle was in use.
“This engine runs wide open,” he said.
The museum’s collection, Thom added, is an impressive one. Many engines that had no proven need were confiscated and melted down during the Second World War.
“They’ve got some really good engines here,” he said. “They’re really lucky to have them.”
(For more information on the Creston Museum’s engines, see Hardwick’s column from I Love Creston magazine.)