Eddie Tout is a charter member of Branch 54, which was established in 1994. He served as Vice-President in 2003-4. He was elected President in 2005-6. Prior to 2003 he was a member of the Board of Director’s and subsequently served on the Board as immediate past president from 2007-9. He is a strong supporter of EDGE&TA and has attended regional shows when they are held within a reasonable driving distance of his home in Moscow ID.
If the dictionary had a definition for EARLY DAY GAS ENGINE & TRACTOR COLLECTOR Eddie’s name could well be used, as an example, in the definition. Words are not adequate to describe the extensiveness of his collection of engines and tractors! One has to “experience” his collection to fully appreciate it. In addition to engines and tractors his collection includes just about everything found on farms and ranches during the first half of the 20th century. I’m convinced that it would be possible to find examples of most everything contained in the hardware section of early day Sears and Roebuck Catalogues in his collection.
You know you are in for a treat when you arrive at Eddie’s farm southeast of Moscow ID. You are greeted by a welcome sign and an early steel wheeled Fordson tractor hitched to a pull type road grader serving as yard art.
The following are direct quote from the member that replaced Eddie as president in 2007:
“Yes, I had some BIG shoes to fill, and he was definitely a good teacher and leader.”
“It was a pleasure to follow and learn from him.”
“He was always ready to talk and give guidance, as well as leadership.”
“He also helped with old iron problems and solutions.”
“I am still amazed at the broad scope of his knowledge and willingness to share his knowledge.”
“The diversity of his collection is truly broad range – even the size of the overalls he has hanging in his shop/storage building – surely glad I didn’t have to try and fill them.”
“His involvement in “old-iron” goes beyond our club, and his personal interest, and is always ready to help others.” “His wife Lana is a true supporter and is certainly involved with him – maybe not in turning wrenches, but in the many otger ways that allows Eddie to pursue his passion.”
“I also like to think of Eddie as a man that likes to start things off with a BANG – as his Field Marshall tractor is a definite crowd pleaser and he is more than happy to share it with many others – even outside the club.”
Eddie is a true collector as opposed to a trader type collector. Her rarely sells or trades his treasures. The following comments of support for Eddie’s application came to me from another past president:
“For many years Eddie’s was the sole old engine display at the Latah County Fair in Moscow ID.” “For sure, in his community Eddie is mr Engine.” “Never one to let an old engine opportunity go to waste, Eddie wrangled deals to salvage old iron whose water hoppers had been converted to planters.” “Before he finished with them, they looked and ran as good as new.” “He even went so far as to use salvaged cast-iron sanitary pipe to replace missing sections of engine cylinders.” “Frozen and burst Hardie pump cylinders? – No problem for Eddie.” His ingenious application of hose clamps converted the impossible wreck into an eye-catching and crowd-pleasing fair display.”
“Eddie’s restorations border on perfection. When he re-build the mostly wooden cab of his vintage Chevrolet truck, he sized up the results and not being satisfied, he started all over and built it a second time. His finished product would make the most talented cabinetmaker proud. He is that good!”
As already stated, Eddie’s collection of engines and tractors is extensive. His collection includes many of the engines pictured and listed in W H Wendel’s book on American Gasoline Engines Since 1872. Whether an engine be an early Monarch, made by Nelson Brothers, or a Fairmont railroad speeder engine, Eddie can tell you all about them and what it took to get them restored and running. The same goes of his tractors which includes a standard tread CO-OP No. 2 and a British made Field Marshal. As a testament to the quality of his restorations, several of his tractors have appeared on calendars to include his Field Marshall.
Aside from his engine and tractor hobby he has several vintage cars and trucks. Currently he is restoring a “basket case” 1923 or 24 year model REO truck. His resourcefulness tracking down parts is legendary. So what if a pair of cylinders and a distributor are missing, Eddie can track down parts! In an earlier restoration of a Model T Ford dump truck the dump bed was missing. Wouldn’t you know he found one in a dump somewhere in North Idaho!