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Ohio father and son share love of antique machinery
By DOUG GRAVES
Ohio Correspondent

MORROW, Ohio — Seldom does a son follow the exact footsteps of his father, especially when it comes to the love of machinery. That cannot be said of Pete Mueller and his son, Pete Mueller Jr.

Both are engineers, both work at the same company, and both share a love of antique farm machinery. The Muellers, both of Morrow, tend to six antique engines.

“We own six Fairbanks-Morris engines (1943, 1947 and 1948),” said Pete Jr. “I got interested in these when we visited my grandparents, who lived in Kansas. “These things were out in the field and I eventually brought them home. We got our first engine in 1999. It’s fun. We bought them when the price of oil was low. They run all day, all weekend at these shows.”

The pair attend six shows per year, recently at a show in Portland, Ind. and the last being the Antique Machinery Show the end of September.

“My dad retired as an aircraft engine engineer from General Electric, and I work in that company’s drafting department now,” Pete Jr. said. “They’re simple, mechanically, and you don’t have to be a mechanical wizard. This is not for profit, just as a hobby. I got hooked as a kid, so it’s all sentimental. It would be fun to have more; but logistically, we just don’t have the space.”

The father-son duo was among approximately 150 exhibitors at the 22nd annual Fort Ancient Restoration Machinery Club event in Morrow, Ohio recently.

Some exhibitors, like Paul Michener of Waynesville, are into collecting tractors and other farm implements. Michener owns a 1946 Model G Allis-Chalmers tractor and a barn ventilator dated 1928.

“I got this ventilator from a barn which caught fire near Xenia,” he said. “I bought one, and wish I had purchased them all. I’ve always admired barns of all kinds.”

Michener spotted a rusting tractor near a fencerow between his lot and a neighbor’s.

“The number of these relics is increasing because people are going out in fields and getting the contraptions out of the weather and making them like new,” Michener said. “All you need is two people who want it. It’s hard to set a price on these things but mine would fetch $3,000.”

Michener, a retired high school shop teacher, has attended such shows in South Dakota, Iowa and Indiana.

“This country will miss the family farm,” Michener said. “Farmers built things they needed and a lot of inventions came from the farm.”

This farm news was published in the Oct. 11, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

10/10/2006