From 'Unknown' to C.H. & E.


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2621 West 400 North Warsaw, Indiana 46582

In November 1998, my son Larry Holderman and I purchased an engine with a 'Mud Pump.' This was at an auction sale at a local marina. During the sale, several interested persons were speculating as to what make this single flywheel engine was. There were several suggestions as to its origin, but no one knew what to call it. The only tag on the pump was tin and badly rusted and unreadable.

After the purchase, the engine with the attached pump, and what appeared to be the original cart, was loaded and transferred to my pole building for further study. The usual 'before' photos were taken and we then began carefully checking the engine for numbers, letters, symbols, or anything else to identify the engine and pump. Nothing was gained at that time. My son put a photo of the engine on his web page on the Internet and waited for a response. Several replies were received, but no one could make an identification. This went on until the 1999 Portland Show, where we found a gentleman from Virginia who had an identical engine without the pump and cart. He stated that his was a C.H. & E. engine and had been manufactured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A few days later, my son also received an e-mail from a man by the name of Joe Pringle from Wisconsin. He advised that the engine was a C.H. & E. and that he had a couple of double flywheel types. He also advised that the company was still in business.

Up to this point, we had not started the restoration as we had been working on the restoration of a 1946 Chevrolet two ton truck. When we got the engine and pump unit into the shop, we found that someone, as a probable field expedient, had installed a Bosch DU4 magneto on the engine and had simply grounded out three terminals and operated the engine on the remaining terminal.

I then contacted the C.H. & E. Company, in particular Chief Engineer Thomas Frost, who was most helpful in the full restoration of the unit. He sent us complete machinist drawings of the engine, pump and cart. Also received were copies of the parts and operating manuals and a host of other valuable information. I can't thank him enough for his help in the restoration of this unit.

During the restoration, an Eiseman magneto was obtained from 'Ed Strain Magnetos,' to match one of the three types of magnetos that was used as original equipment. Also, ironically, the diaphragm on the pump unit is the same that is available today from C.H. & E. The entire unit was completely dismantled, sandblasted, and repainted the same shade of gray that was found under the rusty tag on the pump.

Although I do not have an actual date of manufacture, the drawings we received from Mr. Frost were dated 1915-1916. The advertising flyer shows the engine to be a 2 HP with a 4' inlet and a pumping capacity of 6,000 gallons per hour. According to the brass tag on the wood cart, the unit was apparently sold by the Channon Machine Company of Chicago. The cart needed the wood replaced and was also completely restored.

The unit is now in operating condition and what makes this one special to me is the wealth of information that was obtained from C.H. & E. Company. My son and I have over forty restored engines of various makes and we and our families enjoy showing them at many shows each year. This one, which started as an 'unknown,' has become a fully restored C.H. and E. Direct Connected Bilge Pump and is a great addition to our display.