A couple of miles south of Freeport, IL, there is a scenic road that meanders through an idyllic, snow covered valley called Cranes Grove. The road climbs out of the glade, turns and follows the valley ridge south where a handful of farms overlook Cranes Creek. Two Stover engine collectors have adjacent farms on this road and I thought the description would add a little local color to the story. These fellows have a couple of engines that offer us another dose of Stover engine history.
A very early 1 HP Type K
Dave Meyer owns Stover engine No. 1K17378, shipped to Kufohl Hardware in Wheaton, KS, on Jan. 5, 1910. This engine is the 16th 1 HP Type K hopper-cooled engine recorded by Stover. We say Type K because there was a small batch of 1 HP hopper-cooled engines called Type 1A that preceded and intermingled with the earliest Type Ks.
We assume the Type A was the pattern for the famous Type K. At this time, there is no Type 1A engine on the Stover engine registry (not to be confused with the earlier 2 HP Type A vertical Stover) although I have heard rumors of one in existence. There are less than 100 listed in the records.
While establishing where Dave’s Type K engine fit in the records, the Type 1A started showing up. In other words, Stover was shipping the Type A and Type K engines simultaneously.
The first Type A, No. 16719 was shipped to T.H. Pilter of Paris, France, on Nov. 2, 1909 and the first Type K, No. 17210 was shipped to Lindsay Bros, Minneapolis, MN, on Dec. 30, 1909. So in truth, Stover introduced their hopper-cooled engines in 1909. These numbers differ from some previously published data but since all the records have come together at the Silver Creek Museum in Freeport, more information has become available for research.
A very early 1-1/2 HP Type K
Troy Rudy lives on the first farm south of Dave Meyer. Oh, by the way, they are brothers-in-law.
Troy has the 15th 1-1/2 HP Type K Stover shipped. Number 49136 was sent to LaMoille Implement Co. in LaMoille, IL, on May 10, 1913. Troy’s engine also has some unique Stover history to tell: this engine has the original paint and decals.
The first things you notice are the decals. The early style round decals have been covered by the well-known “Stover’s Good Engine” square decals. The square decal isn’t big enough to fully cover the round decal. So it would appear that Stover changed their decals at or near the time the K was changed from 1 to 1-1/2 HP. The photos below left aren’t the best but they tell the story.
There are some fellows working on reproducing the early style Stover decals and hopefully they will be on the market soon.
The Stover Registry
The Stover Registry just keeps growing with more than 1,150 engines listed. If you would like to know the date and to whom your Stover was shipped, send me the serial number by e-mail, regular mail or phone. Please send your general location for the records. Check out the registry at www.gasenginemagazine.com/stover-registry. I would like to thank the Gas Engine Magazine for listing the registry on their Web site and especially thank the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club for the access to the Stover shipping records.
Until next time, keep your plugs dry and your igniters oiled.
Contact Joe Maurer at 797 S. Silberman Rd., Pearl City, IL 61062 • (815) 443-2223 • toadhill@