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January 2022

A Glimpse of Stover 2022

By Paul Harvey

D.C. Stover

January is rapidly slipping by, but what a month!  It started with some mild weather and then, WHAM!  A 12-inch snowfall followed by subzero nights.  Hmmm, Iím not liking this.  Now more snow!  But wait!  I noticed the days are quite a bit longer and that means spring is just around the corner.  Now that sounds very promising and is a good reason to now endure the cold and white stuff.

Pleasant thoughts now come to mind.  Hmm, Spring.  Gas engines and engine shows.  Yep, the CPM June Expo is not that far away, so better plan now.  Remember, 2022 is the year that we will feature Stover Engines and all related equipment.  So, polish up that old Stover sitting in the corner and run it for us in June.  Letís see how many we can get!  It will be a great show!  All Stover-related equipment is encouraged, and of course anything our exhibitors bring is always welcome.  Thatís what makes it so much fun.  Come and set up what you want, then sit back and enjoy.  What a better time to renew old friendships and make new ones.  With all your help, we will have a great show that can be pleasantly recalled as the snow falls next year!

The 2022 Bores and Strokes booklet has already been written and will soon go to the printer.  Norm Shade and I are the co-authors, with Norm writing the history of Dan Stover and his factory and with me detailing the chronology of his engines.  I think you will enjoy it, and now we will take a peek at my part.  Nope, I wonít show you too much!  Youíll just have to buy a copy at the museumís Gifts and Souvenirs Shop and take it home to read over your morning coffee.

Dan Stover was an inventive genius!  He had almost 80 patents to his name, just everything the farmer of the day needed to make his life easier.  He built a huge factory in Freeport, Illinois, to manufacture all his products and employed over 1,100 men in 1919.  Remarkable!  Norm will tell you more about that history in the booklet.

Stover Factory

Stover entered the gas engine market very early and was truly one of its pioneers in design.  His 1904 patent defined an engine that was to become the ďbasic farm engineĒ for all future makers.  His enthusiasm created over 277,000 engines, third only to International Harvester and Fairbanks Morse.  Here we see some of his workers posing around a fine, 1904 tank-cooled model.  Interesting attire!

Stover Workers

Stover produced so much for the farmer.  Barbed wire and wire making machines. Grain mills of all kinds.  Windmills.  He even made bicycles and buggies.  You just gotta love that guy for what he did!

Mop, anyone?  Yep, Stover made then by the thousands for the farmerís wife so she could keep the home clean and tidy.  Convenient then but it looks like hard work today.

Stover Mops

Here are some other products to help the farmer: a Stover engine running a buzz saw, and another running a log saw.  They look crude now but they did their work very faithfully and eliminated all the hours that one or two men spent doing the same work by hand.  They were popular items and sold well.

Stover Circular Saw

Stover Log Saw

Grain mills anyone???  Yep, Dan made them!  The top photo is an early one with horse sweep.  A plank was attached to the bracket and old Dobbin would walk in circles all day to grind the grain.  He probably got a bit of it for lunch.  The other mills are belt drive to be powered by a Stover (hopefully) engine.  They were very successful and many were sold.

Stover Mills

My favorite Stover?  I really like this tank-cooled model.  I just enjoy its smooth lines and fine appearance.  The mechanism is quite simple and it uses overhead valves.  Great machine in 1904!

Stover Horizontal Engine

Now we take a peek at the ďbasic farm engineĒ that I referred to earlier.  A picture of simplicity!  This little machine was entirely self-contained and light enough to be easily moved.  Note the water hopper cooling, the magneto ignition, the self-contained fuel tank, and portability.  Thousands were sold.

Stover Farm Engine

Engine development was progressing very rapidly during the first half of the twentieth century with a myriad of new designs and makers.  All fierce competition of Stover.  But he kept abreast of the tide with his own designs and modernization.  Some of the ventures failed, but many others proved successful.

Stover Single-Cylinder Engine   Stover Double Cylinder Engine

One could hardly guess that these were Stover engines, but indeed they were.  Small, portable, and electric starting on some.  Yep, this is what the farmer now wanted, and Stover made them.

Sadly, the end finally came.  The last Stover offering was this vertical diesel, built from 5 hp to 15 hp.  After investing much into the new engines, they were not well received and all engine production ceased in 1942.  The company continued for a few more years, then closed its doors forever.  The long Stover legacy had ended.

Stover Diesel Engine

This has been a short glimpse into the 2022 Stover Bores & Strokes.  It is hoped that the reader has enjoyed and will attend CPMís June Expo.  Get out all your Stover stuff, polish it up a bit, and we will have a great time in Coolspring.  See you then.

Bores & Strokes Cover


Text Copyright © by Coolspring Power Museum