Nova Scotia Marine Engines

Acadia catalog

Acadia catalog cover.

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7964 Oakwood Park Ct. St. Michaels, Md 21663.

I enjoyed the article by John Cunninghan in the May Gas Engine Magazine, 'The One Lungers: Acadia's Gas Engines Made Marine History.' A large share of their output was of marine engines, though his accompanying picture was of their stationary engines. The article got me to thinking about our vacation trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in 1987.

In 1987 there were no longer any of the old one lunges in use in Nova Scotia, though there were a few in Newfoundland. The important Nova Scotia marine engine makes had been Acadia and Atlantic. Mr. Cunningham told the story of Acadia very well, but I can add a few facts. Acadia Gas Engines Ltd. went bankrupt in 1979. The buildings have since been razed to build condominiums. In 1987, the drawings and most of the patterns were owned by John Meisner, Sr. of ABCO in Lunenburg. The drawings were filed at ABCO and the patterns were stored at Mahone Bay. A few patterns were owned by an engine collector named Hawes in Wolfsville (pronounced Wolful). Mr. Meisner could supply most Acadia parts. He also stated that he would like to sell the Acadia drawings and patterns. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic had an excellent exhibit of Acadia engines and memorabilia, loaned by Mr. Meisner, according to him.

Atlantic engines were, and still are, built by Lunenburg Foundry in Lunenburg. In the old days, 60% of their output went to Newfoundland and they had branch service and sales facilities in St. John's. The patterns and tooling were still in the Lunenburg factory and they can still build a two-cycle make and break engine if you could pay for it. We watched a new 'double four' (two cylinder, 8 HP) run on the same test stand they used for decades. A duplicate would cost $3645 Canadian ($2800 US). They made all the parts, including an excellent clone of the Schebler model D carburetor.

Lloyd Conrad, sales manager, believed there were still 5000 one lungers in use in Newfoundland, Quebec, and the French Islands (off the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland). We traveled all over Newfoundland and concluded that his estimate was high.

Lunenburg Foundry built a retractable propeller arrangement. Mr. Conrad said those were still in use in dories on the French Islands.

We saw a few other Nova Scotia makes. Stored at the Fisheries Museum was a Haw-bolt, built in Chester. We made inquiries in Chester and found that the Hawbolt factory still existed, making hydraulic equipment. The present owners knew nothing about the end of engine production.

We saw two Lloyd stationary engines. On the nameplate of one was 'Lloyd Manufacturing Company, Kentville, NS, Marine & Stationary Gas Engines, Sawmill Machines, Etc.' That statement indicates that they built marine engines. In a small museum we saw two interesting marine engines. The first one bore no name but was a Fraser, according to the donor. There was once a Fraser Machine & Motor Co. in New Glasgow. This one was a single-cylinder two-cycle engine with an unspoked flywheel, jump spark and a Schebler carburetor. The crankcase was made so that the main bearing caps were exposed; main bearings could be taken up without disturbing anything else. The second engine was a two-cycle make &. break with Fairbanks-Morse on the cylinder and C F Co. of the side cover with the 'F' in an inverted delta. We wondered whether it was a Canadian Fairbanks-Morse.

I should mention how pleased I was to learn that the Fisheries Museum keeps glycol in the jackets of their engines that have run in salt water. That is very important to prevent destructive rusting.