Letters and Miscellanies

McMullin Gas Engine

| July 2005

  • ViewsofaMcMullinEngine.jpg
    Views of a McMullin engine. Has anyone seen one or have sales information for the McMullin?

  • ViewsofaMcMullinEngine.jpg

Enclosed are a couple shots of my McMullin gas engine taken about 15 years ago. On the side of the water jacket in the middle is "The Little Mack." Under this is "McMullin, M.P.&C. Co., Chicago, Ill." The M.P.&C. Co. was a puzzle until I had a chance to visit the Chicago Historical Society about 10 years ago. They let me look in the books of commerce and industry, which are nowhere complete. Nothing shows up in 1906, but in 1907 and 1909 the McMullin Machinery Pump & Construction Co. is listed. Nothing later than 1910 was found.

The igniter screwed in instead of being held by two or three bolts. My father probably had a sleeve made that was threaded inside and out, and used a Champion X spark plug to change it. There is a hole with a pin on the timing gear to open a homemade set of points, and it is fired by a Model T coil. I used a couple of 6-volt railroad lantern batteries to fire it at the shows.

There are four cast iron bosses - but no holes - for what looks like mountings for a pump jack. It has a brass connecting rod and the threads are 1/2-inch by 10, instead of 13 like we know of today. I'm sure my granddad bought this engine new. The woodshed it was mounted in, on a cement base about 16 inches square and a foot high, matched the rest of the floor. Our family moved into their new house New Year's Day, 1900.

There was a homemade line shaft about 20 feet long on the corner of the windmill and the corner of the milk house with pullies dropping down to the pump jack or a cream separator in the milk house. I made a water hopper out of a semi air tank for cooling, as there had been an old, square 5-gallon can nailed on the wall with two muffler hoses for cooling. A 1-gallon can with a piece of tubing soldered at the bottom ran to the mixer for fuel.

This is the only McMullin I have ever seen in 50-plus years of going to shows in the Midwest. I had a man at the Sycamore, Ill., show 15 or 18 years ago tell me he had a piece of an advertisement for McMullin & Co. at home while I had it at their show that one year.

Has anyone ever seen another McMullin engine or any sales material?


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