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Circa-1896 3 HP Olds

Author Photo
By Preston Foster | Jul 23, 2010

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The circa-1896 3 HP Olds antique gas engine on display at the Coolspring Power Museum in Coolspring, Pa.
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Circa-1896 3 HP Olds
Manufacturer:
 Olds Gasoline Engine Works, Lansing, Mich.
Year: Circa 1896
Horsepower: 3

This circa-1896 3 HP Olds antique gas engine with the pleasantly open crankcase and gasoline-fired hot tube ignition was designed by Ransom E. Olds, and built in his father’s shop in Lansing, Mich. Olds is better known for his Oldsmobile automobiles and Reo trucks.

Several early 4-stroke engine designers used various clever alternatives to timing gears and cams, seeking a quieter and more robust mechanism. Olds favored a ratchet wheel that is advanced one tooth during each revolution of the crankshaft. The notches in the wheel cause the exhaust valve to open every other revolution. A pendulum governor acts by holding the exhaust valve open.

This engine is on loan to Coolspring Power Museum and displayed in memory of Nathan Lillibridge by his wife Carol.

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines