2016 Coolspring Engine Show

A brief rundown of some of the unusual engines that made an appearance at the Coolspring Engine Show this past June.


| October/November 2016



tractor

Tractor displayed by Nick Rowland and his father, Ed.

Photo by Paul Harvey

The June 2016 Coolspring Engine Show was perfect! The weather was great, and despite an evening shower we did not have the usual mud and dismal skies. Our theme this year was “One of a Kind Engines.” There were many unusual and unique designs. I certainly learned a lot, seeing machines I had never been aware of. This is just a sample of what was on hand.

This amazing tractor (Photo 1) was displayed by Nick Rowland and his dad, Ed. Built by the Sexauer brothers of Sulfur Springs, Ohio, about 1904, it shows both extremely crude as well as very sophisticated design. Its main use was to buzz saw wood. It could be driven to its work location, and then back home again. The Rowlands found it preserved in a corn crib, where it had rested for many years. The engine is Sexauer’s own design and features desmodromic valve motion, meaning the valves are both opened and closed mechanically. Ignition is by a Goodson magneto and spark plug, and it operates beautifully.

Most of us are familiar with the Bates & Edmonds line, made in Lansing, Michigan, but this one (Photo 2) owned by Woody Sins is most unusual. It has an overhung power cylinder and flywheel crank shaft. Many familiar features are seen on close inspection. It actually makes sense, being a compact design for small power applications, and most all parts are easily accessed for repair and adjustment.

Stiles Bradley brought his diminutive 1-1/2 hp inverted Webster (Photo 3). It features two sets of timing gears: one to operate the exhaust valve and the other to power the igniter. It ran great and attracted a lot of attention.

Photo 4 is a squat little engine that has to be described as “cute.” It is a 4-cycle made as a stationary engine, but has an appearance suggesting marine usage. It was built by Gleason & Bailey & Sciple of Seneca Falls, New York. Yes, the name plate has an “&” between each name! Note that the head, cylinder and base are all one casting – a machinist’s nightmare!

Charles Stickney built many unusual engines, and Photo 5 is no exception. This little engine was built to power a water pump. Notice the forked rod that lifted the well plunger up and down. It features an overhung cylinder and all the complicated valve motion that was typical of Stickney. Note the gasoline tank mounted on the very top of the engine.