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They Collect Old Water Pumps
If you have an old pump sitting around, Kelly Schaus and Chris Gamble may be interested. The brother and sister have 15 hand pumps and at least that many powered pumps. The collection is a natural offshoot of the Dohm Well Drilling business started by their grandfather and now employing 6 grandchildren and other family members.
“We started with one and got carried away,” says Schaus. “Some were from jobs we did and a couple from a scrap pile of a retiring well driller.”
The collection features pumps of different designs. It includes a Gould force pump with a shower head and towel rack. The pump can be seen in an 1864 catalogue. Production ended in 1924.
Hand pumps are a favorite of Gamble, and she has restored and repainted most of those in the collection, as well as cistern and well pumps. Schaus prefers powered pumps, especially Flint & Walling pumps from nearby Kendallville, Ind. The company was founded in 1866 and continues in operation 154 years later.
“A couple of weeks ago I picked up a Flint & Walling from 1926 that had never been installed,” says Schaus. “I also have a Red Jacket pump from the 1930’s that was never installed. It sat in a barn and still had the shipping tags on it.”
Some of the pumps in the collection have been restored to running condition, while others are restored just for their looks.
One of the pumps in the collection was built by U.S. Well Supply Co., Valparaiso, Ind. Originally it was powered by a windmill to fill an elevated tank that supplied water to 5 cabins. When the wind wasn’t blowing, the pump was powered by a 6 hp. Sears hit and miss engine.
“Most windmill-powered pumps also had a handle for hand pumping,” notes Schaus. “If you find one without a handle, you’ll see that it was removed.”
Schaus and Gamble are also in the market for antique motors. They have several old hit and miss engines, including a 2 1/2 hp. United that is mounted on wheels, a stationary John Deere, and a Monitor. The latter 2 are still in the restoration process. Schaus would like to find a Woodpecker or one of several other hit and miss engines made just for the Flint & Walling pumps.
“We would like to get a 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 hp. engine and mount it to power a number of pumps on a display trailer,” says Schaus. “We’re also looking for a 1930’s-era pickup truck that can be set up like an old service truck. It only has to run, not look pretty.”
Schaus hopes to add some piston pumps to his collection and other unusual pumps and engines. “We would love to hear from FARM SHOW readers with old pumps and hit and miss engines,” he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dohm Well Drilling, 55100 M 51 N, Dowagiac, Mich. 49047 (ph 269 782-5818) or Kelly Schaus (ph 269 655-5844; voyager2700@yahoo.com) or Chris Gamble (ph 269 591-1188; cgamble2918@yahoo.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2