1917 50hp Miller

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Photo by Gas Engine Magazine staff
Type SE (Special Electric) engines employ oversized flywheels (top, next page) for the close speed regulation necessary in the generation of electric power.
  • Company: Miller Improved Gas Engine Co. Springfield, Ohio
  • Year: 1917
  • Serial Number: 1706
  • Horsepower: 50
  • Bore: 13 in
  • Stroke: 20in
  • Weight: 70,000lb
  • Ignition: Dual spark plug with magneto and battery and coil
  • Governing: Throttle
  • Owner: Reid and Ellis Wellman

Founded by Charles A. Miller in 1897, the Miller Gas Engine Company was located in Springfield, OH. Around 1901, the name was changed to the Miller Improved Gas Engine Company. Miller’s production ceased in 1939.

Engine features

Introduced after 1910, the single-cylinder Miller was offered in a 13×20-inch cylinder or a 15×20-inch cylinder. This particular unit features a pressure-balanced exhaust valve, a feature common to all sizes of Miller engines after 1903. The second major feature is the extended frame to allow installation of the compressor cylinder. This design was introduced in 1915.


This unit was purchased by the Village of Scio, OH. It was installed in the village waterworks in March 1917. Compressed air was injected into a water well to raise water to the surface. Purchased to increase the capacity of the waterworks during World War I and to provide water for the nearby railroad, the engine saw little use.Its last run was in the early 1950s and it was removed by John Wilcox in 1963. John began restoration in 2005 and continued until his death in 2010. The unit was then purchased in 2010 by Reid Wellman and its restoration was completed in 2012.

Learn about this engine and 38 others in Coolspring: Discovering America’s Finest Antique Engine Museum, Vol. 2. Order your copy at our Gas Engine Magazine bookstore.

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