Sta Rite There
Donnie gave me a tour of some of the antique engines that will show at the Antique Engine Show for Buckeye Oktoberfest Saturday, October 12th at the Buckeye, Arena, 802 North First Street or Miller Road in Buckeye, Arizona. Redd Stanberry and Donnie Gideon not only work together at Arizona Gin Supply but are extremely knowledgeable and passionate collectors and mechanics of antique engines. Donnie Gideon says Redd’s been collecting anything that could spit at you since the late 1960’s. They even restored a 1914 Dempster windmill. Like any collector, Redd and Donnie not only like to get old engines running but also see how slow they can run, it is a THING with antique engine collectors.
Since cast metal engines weigh several tons, Redd and Donnie make custom steel carts with wheels on the bottom with a handle to pull.
Currently on the lift are Sta Rite’s twin engines, one from 1908 and the other from 1926 both 3 horse power. 110 years ago they were in the factory together coming out at the same time which is pretty rare to find. These Sta Rites are highly sought after because they are really well built engines. Racine was a company around in 1906. The company moved from Racine to Lacrosse so they only made a few engines. They folded under soon after moving to Lacrosse. There is a registry that collectors refer to that confirms they were in business and made only 100 engines. “When we got the engine, we tore it apart and have been rebuilding some things that were a little messed up”, says Donnie.
Gertrude is the nick name for a rare Sta Rite from 1910. Many collectors seek this cast metal rarity. Donnie says she has a clutch pulley used to engage a belt and run a corn grinder, water pump, drill or whatever early pioneers needed to use.
Gertrude runs off a magneto which means it has it’s own box that creates a spark, kind of like an alternator in your car. This is one of the first magnetos ever made. Originally it wasn’t built right. “It took us about 2 years to go through it with some help from other mechanics to figure out how to make it work right”, said Donnie. Redd found ways to improve it without messing with the engine. There is only one other like Gertrude and it is in Oregon. They are so rare, there is no paper work on these.
Redd has an engine that is pre John Deere. John Deere bought out the Waterloo Boy Tractor Company in 1918 in Waterloo, Iowa. Alot of these companies didn’t necessarily make their own engines. One company would make the engine and sell it to other companies which would slap their own label on the engine and sell it. These photos just don’t do these engines justice. You must go to the Antique Engine Show October 12th at the Buckeye Arena. Gates open at 9:00 a.m.