How Your Hobby Started

Dominic S. and his Team

Content Tools

3904-47th Avenue, S., Seattle, Washington 98118

Mail order houses were competing for the surburban and rural business in various parts of this country in the early part of this century. They offered every possible commodity from babies long white dresses to farm machinery and even building materials.

If you want real startling proof of the inflation as it exists today, look at one of the mail order catalogs about 1910 to 1920 and if it makes you a little squirmish in your stomach, it will help you realize some of the prices on gasoline engines being sold by these companies in that era. Sears and Montgomery Ward had another formidable competitor in the northwestern part of the country.

From the 852 page, 1916 Catalog No. 29 of the M. W. Savage Factories, Inc., of 3rd and 2nd Ave., in Minneapolis, a company who admitted that their catalog may not be as large as some of the eastern houses, they advertised that it represents the most complete catalog ever gotten out for the section of the great northwest. They paid all transportation on all items of men's and women's apparel and items such as drugs and jewelry. Transportation costs were very inexpensive as compared with those of today. Their catalog lists parcel post rates and it was possible to ship ten pounds from Minneapolis to Seattle for $1.08. Today the cost would be three times that amount.

Just a few interesting items were priced at unbelievable amounts such as fine quality, all wool velour cashmere three piece men's suits for $10.75. Women's fine wool cloth coats at $6.98. 3 piece living room solid oak furniture with hide-away bed upholstered in genuine leather for $36.60 -- or a round oak dining room table set with six chairs for $21.95. Cabinet type sewing machines for $12.95. Buggies with top and shafts as low as $35.00. Superior malleable iron kitchen ranges for $51.25 and hard coal base burner heaters at $41.45. This brings us to their farm implements.

Their Leader Dan Patch special moulboard plow 12' size at $13.05. A riding Dan Patch sulky plow 12' on all steel frame for $36.15, or a disc harrow for $21.95 and a Dan Patch 6 foot cut steel hay mower at $34.50. New Savage Reliant 6 toot steel windmill at $18.20 and a 30 foot 4 post steel tower for $34.50. Pump jacks from $3.65 to $5.25. Wood tub power washing machine to be operated by an engine at $17.65.

Thousands of other items were offered as you thumb through this catalog, at equally low prices and then on page 681 will be found the Dan Patch line of stationary gasoline engines. They were offered in ratings from 1? hp. Dazzle Patch hopper-cooled and 1? hp. Dazzle Patch air-cooled machines to the larger ratings of 2? -- 5 -- 7 and 9 hp. Dan Patch engines.

These engines were well constructed with cylinder and main bearings with crankcase cast all in one piece. This simple design of these four-cycle, single, horizontal cylinder, hopper-cooled machines employed a hit and miss governor with weights mounted on the flywheel. The governor functioned from the centrifugal action of the weights to a sliding sleeve on the crankshaft. When the load was removed or lessened and the power generated in the cylinder became greater than the load requires, the governor weights spread apart, thus engaging the governor sleeve, which in turn locks the detent lever and thus holds the exhaust valve open, preventing the engine from taking more fuel when not required. Both gas and electric current were automatically cut off and the engine burns only the fuel according to the required load. A thumb screw regulated the rpm. while the engine was in operation.

I am plowing summer fallow with a 1928 John Deere Model D tractor and a 10 foot Massey Harris Wheatland Plow. This snap was taken July 1939 on my farm, fives miles west of Wibaux, Montana.

This shot was taken on my father's farm in 1924, four miles west of Wibaux, Montana. That is my Dad, Frank Job, on the twelve foot McCormick Header, He now lives at Hamilton, Montana.

I am sitting on the edge of the header box. I was then nine years old and drove the header box team.

Regular equipment consisted of the engine mounted on wood skids, with the battery box located at the cylinder head and the gasoline tank between the skids. These engines were nicely finished and striped and were painted a dark maroon color. The Dan Patch name was in large letters on the side of the water hoppers. For collectors wishing to decorate their engines, the small Dazzle Patch name was on two lines on the water hopper in straight black capital letters. On the larger engines, the word Dan Patch was in one line. Every Dan Patch engine was shipped on a 30 day free trial basis and carried a five year guarantee, so the Savage Company must have felt pretty proud of the engines they sold.

Combinations of engines, pump jacks, washing machines, feed grinders, and saws were available as complete outfits. Friction clutch pulleys and steel wheel trucks could be ordered for accessories, as well as Webster magnetos for ignition. Specifications of Dan Patch and Dazzle Patch engines are as follows:

SEE CHART A

An exceptional fine reproduction of the 1923 catalog of the Sandwich Excess Power Gasoline and Kerosene Engines by Preston Foster of Warren, Ohio, has made it possible to report on these engines built by this company at Sandwich, Illinois.

The Sandwich engines were well engineered and the design while being of the conventional style, it was the company's policy to build a very high quality product with complete standardization so all parts would be completely interchangeable. Generous proportions in size rated the engines with considerable overload capacity. All sizes were required to have a 10% overload performance. After two tests upon assembly in the factory and when they had met the required rating, they were then painted a rich brewster green and striped in gold and bright green.

Sandwich engines were 4 cycle, horizontal single cylinder machines. The engine bed was cast with bearing housings set at 30 degrees toward the cylinder to distribute the forward thrust against the bearing housing. Cylinders were water-cooled and cast separately in all sizes with the exception of the small model known as the 'Cub.' Cylinder heads, except the Cub were water-jacketed and poppet valves were located in the head. The Sandwich water hoppers were cast separately and bolted to the cylinder on all the larger size engines. The hopper was of a distinct shape, rounded front and rear and with a filling flange opening making it easy to distinguish these engines once you were familiar with these features.

CHART A

HP.

BORE & STROKE

R.P.M.

SHIP. WGT.

PULLEY SIZE

PRICE

1?

3? x 5

350-500

300

4 x 4

$ 27.75

1? A.C.

3? x 5

350-500

200

4 x 4

25.95

2?

4?  x 6

400

450

8 x 6

38.95

5

4 3/8 x 8

350

750

12 x 5

69.25

7

5? X 10

325

1300

14 x 8

98.25

9

6?  x 12

300

1850

16 x 8

131.75

Cylinders were bolted to the engine bed or crank end by studs extending inside the water hopper. A liberal extension of the forward end of the cylinder extended through the connecting flange on the engine bed to align the cylinder and give it support. The fuel tank was located under the engine and the mixing valve used on the gasoline engine was a simple butterfly valve, with a needle valve arranged to control the amount of gasoline admitted. The kerosene carburetor was quite elaborate having two priming reservoirs, one for gasoline and the other for kerosene. Then a hot air tube was fitted to the exhaust for warm air and a water valve which was automatic, permitted an increase of water as the load changed on engine and shut off entirely when the load decreased and the engine stopped.

Webster Oscillating magnetos were furnished as standard ignition. These were fitted with a retard and advance mechanism. They were mounted on the side of the engine near the cylinder head with a plug type igniter. A priming cup was arranged to prime the engine through the igniter.

The governor was of the hit and miss type consisting of a centrifugal spring weight connected to the flywheel. A sliding collar on the crankshaft connects by means of a flexible detent to a single side rod. When the load varied, the governor held open the exhaust valve; also closing and locking the inlet and cutting out the electric spark at the igniter. As the load picked up on the engine, the opposite action took place. The cam and cam roller which operate and time the action of the single side rod are hardened and ground.

A safety cover fits over the end of the crankshaft extension and protects the governor parts. Timing gears are located inside the crankcase and protected by the cast iron crankcase cover. Forged steel connecting rods and crankshaft were heat treated. Bearings on the 3 hp. rating and larger were bronze.

The governor on the engines that were built to operate on kerosene were of the flyball type. It was located between the flywheel and the crankcase and driven from a gear on the crankshaft. The governor unit was vertical with the driving gear at the top and the weights at the bottom. A center shaft in the governor actuated the side rod to the valves by an arm and a pull back spring.

Various types of engine and equipment combinations were available. Portable and semi-portable units were mounted on steel sub-bases, while the large portable types were assembled on steel trucks to be drawn by a team of horses.

The wood saw rigs were well made in sizes using the 4?-6-8 and 10 hp. engines according to the size of saw that was desired. Friction clutches were used for easy engine starting and a belt idler lay on the top belt to prevent slippage.

Cutting grain on the George and Henry Rothert farm, east of Petersburg, Illinois, with a 'Case' 10-20 tractor in 1918.

This is an original picture of the ARCO gas engine, 1? hp. The one in the background is a 5 hp. NEW HOLLAND, restored.

On the right hand side of this picture is a 8 hp. STAR, made in New York City. The serial number is 625. On the left is a 6 hp. STICKNEY, used to saw wood. Both engines run very well and still have all the original paint on them.

A vertical mounting belt drive was made for an overhanging swing saw outfit which permitted long poles to be cut without limiting the clearance on either side.

An engine-driven hay press combination outfit was built of all steel construction, with roller chain drive, friction clutch pulley in sizes ranging with 4?-6 and 8 hp. These were all self-contained and assembled on steel frame wagon trucks to be pulled by a team of horses.

A Sandwich diaphragm pump outfit consisting of a 1? hp. engine and a 4000 G.P. hr. gear driven pump was mounted on a small four wheel hand truck. The company also made pump jacks and Sandwich Economy feed grinders. Specifications of Sandwich Engines:

SEE CHART B

'Like father, like son' and it is always gratifying to see a boy take real interest in a personal project, even if it is a hobby. Much can be learned by following a hobby for a boy or an old retired senior citizen, such as your writer.

Dave Reed, 16, the son of Harold Reed of 1306 Kirkwood Hwy., Elsmere, Wilmington, Delaware 19805, collector of antique gasoline engines, wrote me asking for the names of gasoline engine manufacturers in his vicinity. He stated he wanted to look up some of the companies and write about them for a term paper in his school. The information was gladly furnished to Dave and he found an excellent source of engine histories of many manufacturers at the DuPont Company library at Elutherion Mills Historical Library near his home. From his interest in old gasoline engines, I am indebted for the information on the story of the following engines.

CHART B

HP.

DESCRIPTION

R.P.M.

BORE& STROKE

FLYWHEEL

FUEL TANK GALLONS

WEIGHT

1?

Skidded

550

3?x5

16 x 1?

1?

235

1?

Hand Portable

550

3?x5

16 x 1?

1?

280

1?

Skidded

500

3?x 5

16 x 2

1

369

1?

Hand Portable

500

3? x 5

16 x 2

1

449

3

Skidded

400

4?x6

26 x 2

2

655

3

Hand Portable

400

4?x6

26 x 2

2

733

4?

Skidded

375

5 1/8x7

30 x 2

6

916

4?

Full Base

375

5 1/8x7

30 x 2

6

1062

4?

Half Base

375

5 1/8x7

30 x 2

6

902

4?

Hand Portable

375

5 1/8x7

30 x 2

6

1090

Light 6

Skidded

400

5 5/8x7

30 x 2

6

947

Light 6

Full Base

400

5 5/8x7

30 x 2

6

1094

Light 6

Half Base

400

5 5/8x7

30 x 2

6

945

Light 6

Hand Portable

400

5 5/8x7

30 x 2

6

1104

Big 6

Skidded

350

6 1/16 x 9

35 x 2?

7/2

1474

Big 6

Full Base

350

61/16x9

35 x 2?

7?

1550

Big 6

Half Base

350

6 1/16x9

35 x 2?

7?

1434

Big 6

Hand Portable

350

6 1/16x9

35 x 2?

7?

1660

Big 6

Semi-Port. St.

350

61/16x9

35 x 2?

7?

1500

Big 6

Port. St. Sills

350

6 1/16x9

35 x 2?

7?

1991

8

Skidded

300

7 1/16x10

42 x 2?

12

2075

8

Full Base

300

7 1/16 x 10

42 x 2?

12

2494

8

Half Base

300

7 1/16x10

42 x 2?

12

2177

8

Semi-Port. St.

300

7 1/16x10

42 x 2?

12

2575

8

Portable

300

7 1/16x10

42 x 2?

12

2826

10

Full Base

300

7?x11

46 x 2?

12

3046

10

Half Base

300

7? X 11

46 x 2?

12

2714

10

Semi-Port. St.

300

7?X11

46 x 2?

12

3020

10

Portable

300

7? X 11

46 x 2?

12

3217

The Priestman & Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and with offices in London, Glascow and Hull, were manufacturers since 1888 of an unusual style of horizontal engine having an extended cast-iron base on which was cast a raised portion for mounting the cylinder, plunger type water pump and other fittings. The raised truncated type pyramidal base was used for the fuel tank which had an indicating gauge glass for visual determination of the level of the liquid contents. Forward of this cylinder base on the extended base were cast 2 cast-iron bearing supports. These were of sufficient height to permit the crankshaft and double flywheels support between the bearing supports to turn above the base. A very unusual set up, somewhat resembling engine pictured on page 7, under 'What Is It?' in the March-April 1971 issue of G.E.M. The timing gear was located on the crankshaft inside a longitudinal support connecting the side of the single cylinder and main bearing.

A flyball governor mounted near the cylinder head was belt driven from a small round belt sheave on the crankshaft outside the left hand main bearing when facing the crank end. A horizontal exhaust valve was actuated by a push rod.

A large fuel mixing valve and a small tank was mounted under the closed type cylinder. Possibly this was an air warming device on the intake. The water-jacketed cylinder had an extended portion towards the crankshaft that was not water-cooled and acted as a support to the piston on the outer end of the stroke. The cylinder head was not water-cooled. Ignition was electrical and it was stated in the literature that these engines were approved by the Philadelphia Fire Underwriters. The specifications for the Priestman Engines are as follows:

SEE CHART C

Changes were made in the ratings and in the 1892 Catalog the following specifications of Priestman engines covered the machines that were offered at that time:

SEE CHART D

This footnote printed with their specifications is rather unusual as most manufacturers gave allowance for engine efficiency in rating their engines for sale.

Union Gasoline engines were popular in the early days and many are in present day collections. The source of these engines is from various manufacturers located in far distant cities in the U.S. It would be interesting to piece together the relationship of these builders and the different names under which the engines were sold. As mentioned in a previous installment, this company built gasoline engines on the Pacific Coast since 1885.

CHART C

HP.

R.P.M.

PULLEY SIZE

FLOOR SPACE

3

280

16 x 5

2'-10' x 4'-8''

7

240

20 x 7

4'-0' x 7'-0'

10

220

24 x 8

6'-1' x 7'-10'

13

210

30 x 9

5'-9' x 9'-0'

16

200

36 x 9

5'-9' x 9'-0'

Then from Roy W. Darden, R. R. 1, Cedar Hill, Tennessee 37032, comes the account of the Union Iron Works of Memphis, who built gas and gasoline engines under that name in 1910. This company was organized in 1895 by Perry H. Williams, H. G. Moore and Leon S. Doster and built engines, boilers and special machines. By 1902, the partners were gone and the company continued under the name of Williams and Company. In 1909 the company added other partners and the name was changed to the Union Foundry and Machine Company. They manufactured gas and gasoline engines.

The advertisement of the company pictured a vertical single cylinder engine with double flywheels and rather large size. According to the records this company built engines for about ten years, then Mr. Williams again changed the name of the Company to the Dixie Machine and Specialty Company.

In recent research by Dave Reed, two engines which are identical in appearance have come to light. One with a name plate cast in the sub-base bearing the name of 'Globe Gas Engine Co. of Philadelphia, Pa.' and on an identical cast-iron sub-base and name plate 'Union Gas Engine Co.-221 First St. S.F.' This apparently indicates that the same engine design was taken to San Francisco. There are a few fundamental differences in the catalog captions under the pictures of these engines. One states that it is a '6 hp. Horizontal Stationary Vapor Engine with vaporizer attached.' It appears that this fitting was a circular glass float chamber mounted near the cylinder head at the location of the intake valve and was possibly a rather oversized mixing valve.

CHART D

INDICATED HP.

BORE & STROKE INCHES

EFF. OF MACH.-% *

WEIGHT OF FLYWHEELS

CAP. OF FUEL IN HOURS

SHIPPING WGT. LBS.

5

6' x 8'

75

750

15

1600

10

9' x l2'

75

2000

20

4500

15

10?' x

75

3500

20

7500

14'

20

12' x 16'

75

4500

20

10500

*'While the indicated horsepower of engines is the customary method of rating in this country, we desire to call attention to the fact that in figuring for the work to be done by any engine, the percentage of efficiency should be the basis of calculation.'

The caption under the illustration of the Globe Gas Engine stated -- 'Horizontal engine for stationary power made in sizes 6-8-10-12-15 and 20 hp. Cast on the base was the word Union.'

Mechanically, these two engines were of the same general appearance with the horizontal main base cast separately on which was located the two main bearing housings together with the timing gears, governor mechanism and linkage to operate the valve push rod and hit and speed control. The valves were in a housing on the side of the cylinder, a mechanical exhaust and automatic in take, with a fitting to hold it open for speed control. These engines could be operated on gas or gasoline and the ignition was by battery and coil and an igniter in the cylinder head.

Still another manufacturer -- the Globe Iron Works of Minneapolis was previously mentioned in G.E.M. of July-August 1970.

The San Francisco built Union Engine was also described in G.E.M. of Jan.-Feb. 1971. These engines were similar in appearance with above Globe machines and somewhat more complicated in governoring and fuel vaporizer.

The Globe Gas Engine of 51 North Seventh St., Philadelphia Price List of October 12, 1893, quotes prices on the following types and sizes:

SEE CHART E

'With engines to be run on gasoline, we furnish a supply tank, and our patented vaporizer and heater, at the following extra charge added to above prices' -- on 1,2 and 3 hp. engines -- $15.00 extra. On 4, 6 and 8 hp. engines - $20.00 extra and on 10 to 20 hp. engines -- $25.00 extra.

It will be noted that a vertical Globe single cylinder appears in the above price list. Possibly, details of these small engines will be found in the future on which to give you a complete Globe-Union engine history.

CHART E
VERTICAL SINGLE CYLINDER ENGINESHORIZONTALENGINES
1 hp. Engine-$225.02 hp. Engine$275.00
3 hp. Engine- 350.006 hp. Engine600.00
4 hp. Engine-4508hp. Engine700.00
 10 hp. Engine800.00
 12 hp. Engine900.00
 15. hp. Engine1,200.00
 20 hp. Engine1,500.00