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August 2016

June Show Report

By Paul Harvey


The June 2016 Engine Show was perfect!  The weather was great and, despite a shower after dark, we did not have the usual mud and dismal skies.  Everyone seemed relaxed and happy to enjoy the engines they exhibited in the show areas and also happy to enjoy all the museum's engines.  There was plenty of good food and a great flea market.  I hope such a great experience can happen again.

Our theme this year was "One-of-a-Kind Engines," and so many were exhibited here.  I certainly learned a lot by seeing machines that I had never been aware of before.  The engines exhibited in the show field represented many unusual and unique designs. It was a joy to tour.

Proceeding with the photo tour of the show, Photo 1 shows Steve Tachoir's 30 hp Olin placed in the new engine pavilion.  This was the first engine installed there.  It is a beautiful, old style Olin and now runs.  It had been a static display on the front side of the John P. Wilcox Power House for about 40 years.  The original location was a South Penn oil lease near Warren, Pennsylvania.  Reportedly, it last ran in 1967.

Photo 2 shows Chris Austin's 20 hp Bradford Improved engine still waiting to be unloaded and operated.  Built by the Combination Engine and Compressor company of Bradford, Pennsylvania, it is the only one existing.  It is a four-cycle engine with an enclosed crankcase and pendulum governor.  Most unique, it is a straight engine, without the compressor cylinder, and operated a rod line pumping power just north of Bradford, PA.

A little vertical engine, built by the American Motor Company of New York City, is seen in Photo 3.  Manufactured in the 1890s, it features a unique "V" arrangement of the valves.  Rated at one horsepower, it weighs a mere 50 pounds.  Air cooling was accomplished with wire wrapped around the pegs on the cylinder.  It is based on the 1889 patent of Lyman McNeth, number 407,961.

Don Worley always brings a pleasant surprise and this air cooled, old style Jacobson was no exception.  Note Photo 4.  Its precision cylinder fins for air cooling are actually cast and not machined.  It has the side shaft governor and electric igniter.

Homemade "one-of-a-kinds" are always interesting, as Vince Barber proves with his engine.  Shown in Photo 5, it features a very long and graceful connecting rod, and is a joy to watch run.  Looking closely, I can see pipe fittings and other items found around his shop.  Creativity was certainly the beginning of the gas engine.

Photo 6 is a massively built engine identified as The Michigan.  Displayed by Bob and Steve Upham, it has graceful curved lines on the head and valve chest.  It runs, nicely of course, hit and miss with an electric igniter.  A placard denotes that it is shown in memory of Richard Doty.

Most of us are familiar with the Bates and Edmonds line of engines, made in Lansing, Michigan.  But this one,  Photo 7,  owned by Woody Sins, is most unusual.  It has an overhung power cylinder and flywheel crank shaft.  Many familiar features are seen on close inspection.  It actually makes sense, being a compact design for small power applications.  Most all parts are easily accessed for repair and adjustment.

Stiles Bradley brought his diminutive 1½ horsepower, inverted Webster, as seen in Photo 8.  It features two sets of timing gears, one to operate the exhaust valve, and the other to power the igniter.  It ran great and attracted a lot of attention.

Photo 9 is a squat little engine that has to be described as "cute."  It is four-cycle and made as a stationary engine, but has the appearance suggesting marine usage.  It was built by Gleason & Bailey & Sciple of Seneca Falls, New York.  Yes, the name plate has an "&" between each name!  Note that the head, cylinder, and base are all one casting.  A machinist's nightmare!

Charles Stickney built many unusual engines and Photo 10 is no exception.  This little engine was built to power a water pump; notice the forked rod that lifted the well plunger up and down.  It features an overhung cylinder and all the complicated valve motion that was typical of  Stickney.  Note the gasoline tank is mounted on the very top of the engine.

This amazing tractor, Photo 11, was displayed by Nick Rowland and his dad, Ed.  Built by the Sexauer Brothers of Sulfur Springs, Ohio, it shows both extremely crude, as well as very sophisticated, design.   Circa 1904, its main use was to buzz saw wood.  It could easily drive to the location of the saw, do its work, and then drive back home again.  Fortunately, they found it preserved in a corn crib where it had rested for many years.  The engine is Sexauer's own design and features desmodromic valve motion; meaning that the valves are both opened and closed under power.  Ignition is by a Goodson magneto and plug, and it operates beautifully.

Photo 12 is an engine with an oscillating cylinder to permit the intake and exhaust functions.  Displayed by Dave Deardorff, it is absolutely fascinating to watch run, with the cylinder oscillating back and forth in its mountings.  This design was used in steam engines, but never before have I seen it in gas engines.  It was made by Henry Philomen LaTour of Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada, for marine use.

The Lutz opposed piston engine is shown in Photo 13.  It was built by Thomas J. Lutz of Mansfield, Ohio, as a model to obtain his 1906 patent.  It appears crude at first glance, but it is very intricate and operates beautifully.  He did obtain the patent but never produced any of the engines for sale.  This one powered his small machine shop faithfully for many years.

Photo 14 depicts a single-cylinder Caterpillar test engine built in 1938.  It is displayed by Gene Shepherd of Shelter Island, New York.  The engine is single-cylinder with a 5¾ inch bore and 8 inch stroke producing 25 hp at 900 RPM.  Major companies commonly built test engines to try their new designs, but they were usually scrapped after the testing to prevent the competition from using them.  It is great that one has survived and lives again.

Although not a "one-of-a-kind," a shingle mill always is popular with our guests.  Photo 15 shows Phil St. Jean chatting with a couple of visitors while standing behind his 1912 Chase Shingle Mill.  Built in Orange, Massachusetts, these amazing machines cut tapered wooden shingles from pieces of logs.  Phil made several hundred shingles during the show.  To the right is 15-year-old Denali John who is branding each shingle with the Coolspring Power Museum logo.  The branding iron must be reheated in the propane furnace for each shingle!  The mill is powered by my 1952 John Deere "R" diesel tractor.  Branded and milled shingles were available to the visitors for a $1.00 donation.

Photo 16 shows a nice little 4 hp engine that was labeled as "unknown."  I had no idea of its identity, either.  It is a vertical with a rounded but open crankcase and hit and miss governor.  Since then, it has been identified as a Witte vertical made for them by the Star Mfg. Company.  I am still looking for more information.

"The Earl" is a very pleasantly proportioned side shaft engine with a vertical governor.  It is shown in Photo 17.  It was built by the Earl Machine Works of Burlington, New Jersey.  Noted as 6 hp, it is serial number 37.  I wonder how many were built?

An unusual four-cylinder marine engine is seen in Photo 18.  Displayed by Dieter Lund, it was built by the Standard Motor Construction Company of Jersey City, New Jersey.  It has a unique valve motion, as well as electric igniters.  Note the reversing clutch on the left side.  Standards are very rare, and this is the first large one that I have seen.

This beautifully restored Dodge Power Wagon brings back memories of the trucks used in the former days of the oil field.  See Photo 19.  Indeed, this one is owned by Ray and Linda Stiglitz of the Pembrooke Oil and Gas company.  It look like it is ready to work in all the mud and grease!

Finally, Photo 20 shows a little engine displayed by Ron McClellan. It is designed to operate as a steam engine or a gas engine.  Initially thinking that it was built by Riddle Machine of Claintonville, Pennsylvania, I have since found a patent that it is a Victor Palm from Butler, Pennsylvania.  It now resides in Coolspring and it will be interesting to further investigate its history and operation.

I hope the reader will enjoy this tour of Coolspring's 2016 June Show and a few of the great engines displayed.  There were so many more. 

 Next month, we will tour back memory lane to view some of the late Dr. John Wilcox's early photos.  Recently converted to digital format, they will bring back many memories.

First Engine in New Pavilion

Photo 1:  A 30 hp Olin is the first engine in the new pavilion

Bradfor Improved Engine

Photo 2: Bradford Improved 20 hp engine

American Motor Comapny Engine

Photo 3: American Motor Company vertical engine

Air Cooled Jacobson Engine

Photo 4: Air Cooled old style Jacobson engine

Homemade Engine

Photo 5: Homemade engine

Michigan Engine

Photo 6: Michigan engine

Bates and Edmonds Engine

Photo 7: Bates and Edmonds engine

Inverted Webster Engine

Photo 8: Inverted Webster engine

Gleason & Bailey & Sciple Engine

Photo 9: Gleason & Bailey & Sciple engine

Stickney Engine

Photo 10: Stickney engine

Sexauer Brothers Tractor

Photo 11: Sexauer Brothers tractor

Henry Philomen LaTour Engine

Photo 12: Henry Philomen LaTour oscillating cylinder engine

Lutz Opposed Piston Engine

Photo 13: Lutz opposed piston engine

Single-Cylinder Caterpillar Test Engine

Photo 14: Single-cylinder Caterpillar test engine

1912 Chase Shingle Mill

Photo 15: 1912 Chase shingle mill

Witte Vertical Engine

Photo 16: Witte vertical engine made by Star Manufacturing

The Earl Engine

Photo 17: The Earl engine

Standard Marine Engine

Photo 18: Marine engine by Standard Motor Construction Company

Dodge Power Wagon

Photo 19: Dodge Power Wagon

Victor Palm Engine

Photo 20: Victor Palm engine


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