Coolspring Power Museum
Founded in 1985 - Celebrating Our 38th Year
Coolspring, Pennsylvania, USA
Our mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret historically significant and mechanically interesting early stationary internal combustion engines for the education and enjoyment of everyone.
Coolspring Power Museum presents an illuminating history of the evolution of internal combustion engine technology. The museum's collection includes hundreds of stationary engines housed in more than 35 buildings and outdoor displays.
Stationary gas hit and miss engines, throttle governed engines, flame ignition engines, hot tube ignition engines, and hot air engines are all among the permanent exhibits at the Coolspring Power Museum in Coolspring, Pennsylvania. Engines in the museum's collection range in size from fractional horsepower up to 600 horsepower. Please see our Exhibits page which includes a number of Virtual Tours of the exhibits in the museum's collection.
Coolspring Power Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1985. Please see our Organization page for information regarding our officers, Board of Directors, and coordinators.
Our vision is to be the foremost collection of early internal combustion technology presented in an educational and visitor-oriented manner. We strive to provide an organized and functional operation that will gain broad based support and generate substantial growth.
Visit Coolspring Power Museum - PLEASE SEE COVID-19
The museum is located in Coolspring, Pennsylvania, which is on Route 36 about halfway between Punxsutawney and Brookville. Our Visitor Info page provides travel information for planning your visit to Coolspring Power Museum. There you will find local driving directions, access to maps of the area, airport information, and listings of restaurant and lodging options.
Touring the museum is both an "indoor" and an "outdoor" experience. These resources provide information about the weather in our area:
- DuBois/Punxsutawney weather forecast
- National Weather Service radar (map is centered on the Coolspring area)
- LightningMaps lightning activity (map is centered on the Coolspring area)
Be sure to visit our Coolspring page which presents a brief history of the village that is home to our museum.
Open Days and Special Events at Coolspring Power Museum
Museum Open Days and Special Events are scheduled to coincide with the third Saturday of the month from April through October. Coolspring Power Museum is open for visitors during two days each month in April, May, July, August, and September. The museum is open for visitors during four days each month in June and October.
Please see our Events page for the schedule of Open Days and Special Events and for admission details. We offer special admission pricing for student groups, scout groups, and youth groups. Please contact the museum for more information about group admission pricing.
Open Days give you the opportunity to experience the museum's many exhibits through informative tours led by our volunteers. You may also create your own experience through a self-guided tour.
The museum hosts several Special Events during the year.
The Spring Exposition & Flea Market celebrates engines and related artifacts brought to the museum by many exhibitors. The Exposition occurs on June 13, 14, and 15, 2024. It also includes a flea market with an eclectic assortment of items for sale.
The theme for the Exposition will be the gas engines of the Foos Gas Engine Company. Foos was a very successful engine builder and offered a variety of types and sizes of efficient engines. We look forward to seeing all these fantastic engines at the Exposition.
The Antique Car, Truck & Tractor Show highlights classic cars, classic trucks, and antique tractors in an informal, casual day at the museum. History Day showcases the exhibits of the museum with tours, demonstrations, and plenty of engine runs. Both of these events occur on July 20, 2024.
The Fall Exposition & Swap Meet brings together engine exhibitors and enthusiasts for three days of engine runs, technical discussions, and a bit of swapping and shopping. The event occurs on October 17, 18, and 19, 2024.
The museum is currently closed for the winter. Our next Open Days will be April 20 and 21, 2024. If you have questions about the museum or need information during our off-season, please utilize our Contact Information, below.
Please see our Events page for information about our events in 2024.
COVID-19: The Officers of Coolspring Power Museum continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. We are following the recommendations of the current official Pennsylvania Department of Health Guidelines. As the situation continues to develop, we will review making changes to our practices to best adhere to current local, state, and national guidelines. We will keep the health of our visitors, volunteers, and community our top priority.
Carlisle & Finch, Volume 29 of our Bores & Strokes booklets, is available for over-the-counter purchase at the museum gift shop. Author Gary L. Stoner chronicles the history of the Carlisle & Finch Company, an early manufacturer of fractional horsepower engines. In addition to engines, Carlisle & Finch produced dynamos, search lights, and even toy trains.
Daniel Stover & His Wonderful Engines, Volume 28 of our Bores & Strokes booklets, is now available for mail order purchase. Please visit our Publications page for more information on the Bores & Strokes booklets.
When you visit Coolspring Power Museum consider making a short side trip to see the Greenberg Cadillac Museum, which houses a collection of more than 70 Cadillac automobiles.
E-Mail Updates From Coolspring Power Museum
Stay in touch with our many activities by joining our mailing list for E-mail updates from the museum. You will receive information about our upcoming events and our current and future projects. Please use our E-mail List Form to join. Museum membership is NOT required to join the list.
In Progress at Coolspring Power Museum
The Diesel Centrale CPM building now has the first interior
finishes applied while, elsewhere on the museum grounds, parts of the Graz engine are being readied for
The Diesel Centrale CPM building now has the first interior finishes applied while, elsewhere on the museum grounds, parts of the Graz engine are being readied for installation.
Now Available from Coolspring Power Museum
Flame Ignition: A Historical Account of Flame Ignition in the Internal Combustion Engine by Wayne S. Grenning. This book is a scholarly work describing flame ignition as applied to reciprocating engines, from early experiments to later successes such as the Deutz and Crossley versions of the four stroke cycle perfected by Otto in 1876. Wayne discusses problems encountered by the early entrants into the gas engine industry, highlighting solutions discovered by the various players. He also goes into more arcane subjects like the constant pressure cycle introduced by Brayton that survives today in the gas turbine engine, to a look at toy non-compression engines produced during the same early days as their full size brethren. In eight chapters, Wayne shows details of engines built by Clerk, Sombart, Forest and others, gives technical details on the construction and operating features unique to flame ignition engines, and highlights the struggles other manufacturers endured to avoid infringing the Otto patents. The section on the four-stroke-cycle engines is by itself over 300 pages long, covering 30 different companies. It has 67 pages describing the activities of Crossley Brothers in Manchester, England and another 53 pages dedicated to Gasmotoren Fabrik Deutz from Cologne, Germany.
Regular hard bound edition, 875 pages, $79.95 + shipping and handling. Special leather bound edition, $149.95 + shipping and handling. Limited printing. The book is printed in color on semi-gloss paper for enhanced picture reproduction. Book size is 8½ x 11 inches with dust jacket. Please see our Publications page for ordering information.
About the Author: Wayne Grenning has been interested in engines for decades and has restored many early engines, flame ignition and otherwise, as well as creating operating scale and full size models of a variety of early flame ignition and non-compressing engines. A fixture at Coolspring during the shows, Wayne has gathered all of his knowledge together into this book as a technical and historical reference to this important chapter in internal combustion engine history.
The Coolspring Power Museum Collection
Internal combustion engines revolutionized the world around the turn of the 20th century in much the same way that steam engines did a century before. One has only to imagine a coal-fired, steam-powered, airplane to realize how important internal combustion was to the industrialized world. While the early stationary gas engines were more expensive than the equivalent steam engines, they did not require a boiler and were cheaper to operate.
The Coolspring Power Museum collection documents the early history of the internal combustion revolution. Almost all of the critical components of today's engines have their origins in the period represented by the collection (as well as hundreds of innovations that are no longer used). Some of the engines represent real engineering progress. Others are more the product of inventive minds avoiding previous patents. All tell a story. There are few duplications in the collection and only a couple of manufacturers are represented by more than one or two examples.
The Coolspring Power Museum contains the largest collection of historically significant, early stationary gas engines in the country, if the not the world. With the exception of a few items in the collection that were driven by the engines, such as compressors, pumps, and generators, and a few steam and hot air engines shown for comparison purposes, the collection contains only stationary internal combustion engines.
The collection consists mainly of stationary gas engines used in industrial applications. There are only a few marine, automotive, and farm engines in the collection and the museum does not plan to expand its focus into those areas. Most of the museum's acquisitioning efforts (those that involve substantial expenditure of funds and volunteer time) have been focused on collecting important large stationary engines that most likely would be scrapped if the museum did not acquire them.
The museum's passive collecting efforts are directed at filling technological gaps in the collection by accepting donations from private collectors and occasionally other museums. The museum also maintains a substantial library and archive related to the objects in the collection and to the internal combustion engine in general. The Collection consists primarily of engines built in America because that is what was available to the museum. However, the technology on which they are based comes from both sides of the Atlantic.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers recognizes Coolspring Power Museum as a Mechanical Engineering Heritage Collection. Please see our History page for more information.
Cam-Ron Video Productions prepared an installment of their Kaleidoscope The Series program showcasing Coolspring Power Museum. This video gives a brief history of the museum, features a number of museum volunteers and visitors, and overviews a few of the museum's exhibits.
You may also view the video directly on YouTube.
Join the Coolspring Power Museum Friends Support Group
We encourage you to contribute to Coolspring Power Museum by becoming a member of our Friends Support Group. As a Friend Member, you will receive a number of benefits from the museum. We offer annual and lifetime Friend memberships. Please see our Contribute page for more information.
Contribute to Coolspring Power Museum
Please support Coolspring Power Museum by providing a contribution to the museum. Visit our Contribute page for more information. The museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and contributions are TAX DEDUCTIBLE to the extent allowed by law.
The Coolspring Power Museum volunteers are planning Diesel Centrale CPM, a new exhibit to feature our MAN/Augsburg DM-12 air-blast injection diesel engine, which was built in 1903 and is shown here.
Diesel Centrale CPM will also feature a 12 hp Graz diesel engine, built in 1904, and a 12 hp Benz, built in 1918. We need significant financial support to complete this project.
Our goal is to bring this historic engine back to running condition for the education and enjoyment of our visitors. Visit our Diesel Centrale CPM page for more information and to follow our progress. Please consider making a financial contribution to support the MAN project.
We plan to begin permanently mounting the engines in the building in the spring of 2023 and to have them operational for our June 2024 exposition. More than $240,000 has been raised for the project and the Coolspring Power Museum has loaned an additional $50,000 from operating funds. However, with inflation and delays caused by COVID-19, project costs have grown significantly beyond our available funds and an additional $135,000 (including the loan repayment) is needed to complete the project. In the near term, we need to raise at least $35,000 of that amount by March 2023 to commit to orders for the completion of the building exterior (doors, windows, brick, etc.).
Donations have been requested from several corporate entities, but the bulk of our funding comes from individuals. Any amount will be helpful and greatly appreciated! Several more 4- and 5-figure donations are needed to reach our goal. Donors will be recognized at the following giving levels on a plaque inside the finished building.
Diesel Centrale Level ($25,000)
Donations in excess of $25,000 will have their own special recognition plaque. Donor recognition will be based on cumulative (aggregate) donations to the project, so, for example, if you donated $1,000 previously and now donate another $1,500, you would advance from the Flywheel Level to the Air Blast Level. Please send donations to:
Coolspring Power Museum
The Coolspring Power Museum would be honored to add your name as a significant donor. If you have any questions relating to the project or donations, please contact Norm Shade, project coordinator (T: 713-206-9651 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Support the Diesel Centrale CPM project by purchasing Coolspring Power Museum beverage mugs, hats, and shirts. We have a number of items for sale online through our affiliation with Sew Vivid Designs.
Please visit the Sew Vivid Designs CPM Merchandise Page for information on products and to place orders.
The museum is offering for sale a professionally-produced photograph of our MAN engine at Coolspring Power Museum. The photograph is available on our MAN Photos page. Please join us in our enthusiasm for the Diesel Centrale CPM project, support the project, and follow our progress!
Volunteer at Coolspring Power Museum
Coolspring Power Museum is an all-volunteer organization. Our volunteers perform a wide variety of services at the museum and produce some truly amazing results. Be a part of our volunteer staff! We need your help during our June, July, and October Special Events and during our Open Days. Please see our Volunteers page for more information about our volunteers program. Also, see our Events page for the schedule of Open Days and Special Events at the museum. Please contact us at 814-849-6883 or at email@example.com to volunteer.
Shop at Coolspring Power Museum
Be sure to stop at our Museum Gifts and Souvenirs Shop when you visit Coolspring Power Museum. The gift shop offers a nice selection of Coolspring Power Museum apparel, print and video publications, and souvenirs.
We also offer a number of Coolspring Power Museum publications for sale by mail order. In addition to the Flame Ignition book described above, we are offering The Snow Engine, a booklet that describes the history of Snow engines and gives a short history of Worthington engines. We have reprints of The Ball Gas Engine catalog and we have copies of Cooper-Bessemer: 165 Years of Engine & Compressor Innovation, by W. Norman Shade. In addition, we are offering back issues of our Bores & Strokes booklets. Please see our Publications page for further information.
Proceeds from the gift shop and from our mail order sales provide valuable financial support for the museum's activities.
Coolspring Power Museum
179 Coolspring Road
Coolspring, PA 15730
Museum Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
is welcome to photograph, film, or
Copyright © by Coolspring Power Museum