Rusty veterans

Courtesy of Hisle Lutes, Winchester, Kentucky 40391.

Hisle Lutes

Content Tools

Kentucky 40391

In the five years that I have been interested in Antique gas Engines, and have been reading the G.E.M., I have not noticed any mention or pictures of one Hagan Gas Engine. Inasmuch as the Hagan is the favorite of my collection and was manufactured in the town I live in, and because of the unusual carburetor that distinguishes the Hagan from any other Gas Engine that I know of, prompts me to pass on to the readers of G.E.M. some information and pictures of this old relic.

The Hagan was manufactured here in Winchester. Ky., by the Hagan family first about 1898 by L. T. and C. Hagan, two brothers, and later under the name of The Hagan Gas Engine and Manufacturing Company until about the time of World War I. I don't know just how accurate my history on the Company is (dales and such) and so until and if I have better information on this, I will dwell on the mechanics of the engine itself.

Except for the carburetor the engine was of usual design for the times. Make and break ignition, not hit or miss but firing on every compression stroke of the piston, Fire furnished for starting by battery and to run by mag. and spark coil. The intake and exhaust valve were activated by a rocker arm horizontal to and under the center of the cylinder. The rocker arm shaft was activated and timed by a cam and cam shaft turned by a gear drive off the crank shaft.

Traction Engine from fourteen to fifty horsepower.

My efforts to recreate an old Hagan Gas Tractor.

The carburetor is something else. The pictures enclosed will help you lo visualize a cast iron carburetor body roughly cylindrical in shape, 4 in. in dia. outside, 5 in. long, one end bored and threaded for a 1? in. pipe nipple to thread into the side of the cylinder head. The opposite end of the carb. body had a bolted on cast iron cap, center drilled and fitted with a sleeve bearing to carry the carb. shaft, which on the outside has a fly weight governor and pulley wheel driven by belt from the crank shaft. The inner parts of the carburetor are made of brass (ports, etc.) a part of which turn with the carb. shaft, along with the aforementioned Governor assembly, the speed of which determines the size of the air intake ports of the carburetor to control the speed of the engine. Now attached to this assembly is a small brass pulley wheel which is shaped to take an endless length of chain, 24 in. or so. Now as the carb. shaft turns, the chain turns and drops down through an 1 x 3 in. opening in the bottom side of the main body of the carb. There is a cast iron cover for the chain with an opening at the top to fit the opening at the bottom of the carburetor, with no other opening except a small threaded hole at the bottom to accommodate a pipe from the gas tank. The gas tank is so arranged to maintain a quantity of gas in the bottom of the cover over the chain, so when the chain turns through the gasoline enough is carried up into the works of the carb. to make a combustible mixture. When the piston reaches intake stroke and draws air over the gasoline saturated parts of the carb., this mixture is in turn drawn into the cylinder head for compression -- fire -- power -- exhaust.

If this brief, rough description whits your interest but doesn't satisfy it, drop by and look me up some time and we will crank up the devilish thing and you can figure it out for yourself.

The Hagan Company also made a few gas traction engines. If there are any in existence yet, I know not where, but I do have a picture of one from an old Hagan catalogue. With one of Hagan engines as a start and the picture as a guide, I am in the process of making a replica of the Hagan Gas Traction Engine about 1/2 size. Note picture enclosed and a copy of the original for comparison. I intend to finish, complete with canopy.

I obtained wheels off manure spreader 40' dia. x 7 in. face, ringgear or bull gear off a grass seed stripper, front wheels off an old farm wagon. The front axle and chain steering are homemade. The frame, cooling systems and friction wheel drive off crank shaft are also homemade. I hope to have this in operation this coming summer.

Poem found in Hagan catalogue.

She Delights, with Blower Cutter To fill Silo's to the top, And the Boys must 'get a move on' Rush the Corn or Let Her Stop.

Cutting sorghum, shredding stover, Cutting Eighty or more shocks, With the HAGAN 6 Horse Power Hitched to 10 L. Blizzard Box

She will turn that Dreaded grind-stone When there's heavy work to do Let the small boy 'go a fishing' -- He needs Rest, I think, don't you?

Cuts the stove-wood without grumbling, Pumps the water every morn, And would, if she could, split kindling, Rush the cook, and blow the horn

Does your SHELLING, CRUSHING, GRINDING, DOUBLING VALUE OF YOUR FEED; Can you fail to 'see your finish' If you pass so great a need?

See your SMILE -- but can you wait, sir For an ENGINE, till that day When Carnegie's done with Books, sir And is GIVING THESE AWAY?

She was BUILT in old Kentucky, Where the meadow grass is blue, So her PEDIGREE is perfect And her RUNNING RECORD true.

She has BATTERY for starting, Sparking DYNAMO for run, And CHAIN FEED - all best equipments; Yes, she has them, every one.

Note her MODEL and CONSTRUCTION, See the OIL CUPS scattered o'er, Such large Bearings - BRASS AND BABBITT WILL LAST TWENTY YEARS or more.

Has no TRAPS nor TRIGGER FIXINGS To IMPEDE or to BESET, She is simply 'cleared for action,' And will ACT, 'don't you forget.'

On her CYLINDER no PACKING And no TRAP WORK that it hurts, Take your wrench and look her through, sir, She was BUILT for INEXPERTS.

So her REP. 'gets busy quick,' and 'Keep right on till work is done,' Is the card to WIN THE BUYERS, And it wins them 'one by one.'

Machine Department.

Plant of the Hagan Gas Engine Manufacturing Company.

Erecting Department.

Four, Six and Nine Horsepower Engine. Section Through Carburetor and Governor.

Governor and Interior Parts of Carburetor, showing the chain that feeds the gasoline, etc.

Governor and Interior Parts of Carburetor, showing the chain that feeds the gasoline, etc.

Credit for pictures goes to Sally and Paul Weber of Winchester, Kentucky, for making the photographic copies from old Hagan literature.


Richmond, Ky., Aug. 15, 1904 The Hagan Gas Engine & Mfg. Co. Winchester, Ky.

Gentlemen -- I purchased from D. B. Shackelford & Co. one of your 10 horsepower engines and one Deering Corn Shredder last Fall. The farmers were paying 15 cents per barrel to have their corn shucked, and could not get it done at that. I bought this outfit and husked 200 acres of corn and put it in crib, husked the corn and put the shredded fodder in barn for 7 cents per barrel. Why don't you farmers wake up and get modern labor and money saving machines like the Hagan engine? The engine is a marvel, and no fanner can I realize how much he has lost heretofore until he gets a good gasoline engine. I would rather be without my team of mules than my engine. I am well posted on the subject of gas engines, and of all my experience the Hagan has them all beat in every way, and the few of the particular ways are: First, reliability; second, small consumption of gasoline; third, more power than they claim; fourth, will run in cold weather as well as warm, which is the time when you want to do your work. I have seen some engines that you have trouble in cold weather to get them started, and I could name one hundred more such desirable features combined in the Hagan Engine. Now, wake up, farmers, and get the moss off your backs, and get rid of the old ideas that your great grandfathers handed down, and buy a Hagan engine so that you can cut your feed when the weather is good, and sit by the fire all winter, and lay up money in the bank, and have fatter cattle than your neighbor. Yours truly, Joe S. Boggs Ridgedale, Tenn., June 15,1904 The Hagan Gas Engine & Mfg. Co. Winchester, Ky.

Dear Sirs -- Yours, of sometime since, received. In reply will say that I have had your engine two years and it has given me entire satisfaction. You are at liberty to say any good thing for your engine that you please. The only charge is that you send me one of your new catalogues. My engine is a 3? horsepower, and am running a Ferris Wheel with it.

Wishing you success, I am. Yours respectfully, Z. T. Book