Showing posts with label make and break engines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label make and break engines. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bread, boats, papers and pillow tops: The ICH Update for August

In this month's edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador, we present a review of the ICH workshop held in North West River, Labrador; our summer intern Joelle Carey reviews the Make and Break Festival in Bonavista; we introduce our occasional papers publication series; and Nicole Penney discusses the sewing of pillow tops by men working in the lumber woods, and how it served as a means of group socialization.

The occasional papers in ICH referenced in the newsletter can be downloaded from

Contributors: Dale Jarvis, Joelle Carey, Nicole Penney.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Make and Break Festival, Heritage Plaques, UNESCO and Bay Roberts

It has been a busy few months for the ICH office at the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL), and we are gearing up for a very busy summer.  In this edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update, there are a few big announcements, including the accreditation of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador by UNESCO, and the launch of our 2012 Folklife Festival, which this year will take place in Bonavista on August 4th, with a celebration of Newfoundland’s iconic make and break boat engine. We also go looking for supernatural stories and local songs in Bay Roberts, and gather information about HFNL's historic plaque program.

Download the newsletter in pdf format.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Attention all Newfoundland Make & Break Engine Enthusiasts

Joelle Carey, our public folklore intern for this summer, has been hard at work spreading the word about our Make and Break Flotilla and Parts Swap in Bonavista this August.

You can check out the new Newfoundland Make and Break Engine Enthusiasts page on Facebook, and check out the interview she did with Ted Blades on CBC radio about the project. If you know of a working engine, email her at 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Make and Break Engines: Running the Past Into the Future

- The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador -
- recognizes iconic marine engines in 2012 Provincial Folklife Festival - 

There is a sound that was once ubiquitous to the waters in Newfoundland that has sparked the interest of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL). Putt-putt; putt-putt – the sound of Make and Break engines once filled the skies from dawn to dusk as busy fisherman worked to sustain their families and their island.

This summer HFNL wants to restore the interest that Newfoundlanders once had in these rhythmic engines. A series of oral history interviews, to be conducted throughout the island, will lead up to the 2012 Provincial Folklife Festival in Bonavista, which will focus on the iconic marine engines. Events for the festival will be held on Saturday, August 4 in Bonavista, as part of the town’s inaugural Church Street Festival.

Joelle Carey is a public folklore intern with HFNL and a graduate student in Memorial University’s Department of Folklore.

“By working on this project we hope to promote the marine history of the province,” says Carey. “It’s a great opportunity to get people talking about these engines that are such an important part of life in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The oral history project will take the form of interviews conducted by Carey throughout the summer months. These interviews, along with pictures of the motors found, will then be added to Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative. This archive will be accessible to the public online.

The Heritage Foundation has secured the partnership of Parks Canada through association with Ryan Premises National Historic Site in Bonavista.

“Through the many conversations I have had in organizing this event, I am repeatedly inspired by the glazed-eyes that come over people and the small smiles that appear on their faces as they recall their particular fond memories of times spent on or near the water,” says Pat Carroll, with Parks Canada.

“The Ryan Premises National Historic Site of Canada is honoured to be a part of this event,” says Carroll, “and to have a role in the celebration and rejuvenation of one of the resounding traditions of Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Canada and of the whole of Canada.”

The festival events will take place in Bonavista on August 4 and will include a Make and Break flotilla and a parts swap.

HFNL would like to hear from anyone with memories or an interest in Make and Break engines. If you are interested in getting involved by sharing your stories or if you have an engine, please email or call, toll free, 1-888-739-1892 ext. 5.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Putt-Putt-Putt-Putt: Looking for memories of "Make and Break" Engines

There is a distinct sound that can be heard on the waters around Newfoundland and Labrador, putt-putt, putt-putt; the sounds of an antique “make and break” engine cuts through the air. At one time this sound was ubiquitous to small fishing communities throughout the province, but now the rhythmic chugging of the make and break is to be cherished when heard.

Make and break inboard motors were among the first technological advances to help revolutionize fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. They allowed fishermen to save their strength for fishing, not wasting it on paddling or hauling sails as they had done before. Most often installed in trap skiffs, the hull was first cut to accommodate water intake and output, which helped cool the engine. The large motor was then bolted to the inside of the boat, usually in a motor house, with the propeller advancing through the stern, driving the vessel forward. These dependable, sturdy, single cylinder, gasoline engines have been called many names, and while make and break is the most common, putt-putt engine, one-liners, or pik-a-puk, are all used to describe the same type of engine.

Do you, or someone you know, have a make and break engine? If so, we would love to hear from you! The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is looking for running engines and stories from their owners. If you have an engine or a memory to share, please email or call, toll free, 1-888-739-1892 ext. 5.