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Is This the Oldest Surviving 5 HP Fairbanks-Morse?

Fairbanks Morse and Company

I am sending along a few photos of my grandfather Elmer Sega’s early 5 HP Fairbanks-Morse engine, serial no. 419. This engine originally powered a factory in Springfield, Mass. When electricity was introduced to the area, the engine was taken out of commission and boxed up. It has been in the hands of several collectors and now resides in Connecticut.

This is a very early example of a Fairbanks engine because of the low serial number and the patent dates no later than 1892. We date this engine to 1893-1894. There are a few other features of this engine that are different from the later standard Fairbanks engines.

On this engine, the base from the back of the cylinder to the main bearings is flat, where as with engines a little later there is an upward slant toward the main bearings. Also, the governor weights on this engine are square as opposed to later round ones. This engine also lacks the intake valve latch that is seen on later engines. It shares a resemblance to the Charter engines.

My grandfather would like to talk to anyone who might have information on earlier Fairbanks engines, as this is the oldest we have been able to locate. His email is Thanks for the great magazine.

Brian Sega, (860) 384-2071;

5 HP Fairbanks Morse

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