Having run a short history of the Fuller & Johnson Company in an earlier issue of Gas Engine Magazine, I shall attempt to write what
I have been able to find out about the different types of engines
It is most fitting to start with the first types first, so I
will discuss the oil cooled, vertical hopper cooled, and the double
efficiency hopper cooled engines in this article.
I would like to say right away that I do not claim to know all
there is to know about F & J gas engines. Since I am not old enough
to have found out about these engines from experience, I have to
rely on what others can tell me, old catalogs, and the F & J
records which I have.
Again I would like to thank Mr. Sever Thingstead, (an old F
& J employee), Madison, Wisconsin; also, a special thanks to
Mr. T. H. Krueger of San Antonio, Texas, for the use of his early F
& J Catalog no. 10. It was from this catalog that I got much information for this article and many pictures.
In this article I shall attempt to give a rough estimate on the
number of each of the types built; an estimate only, because it
would be most impossible to find the exact number and would require
hours of searching thru the books.
The first engines F & J built were the oil cooled. These
first came out in 1901, but were then called the Madison Gas Engine
and were built by Gisholt Company. There were not very many of
these built. In 1904 F & J took over the gas engine business
and the engines were called F & J from then on. The oil cooled
engines were built in 2, 3, and 6 hp sizes. I would estimate that
about 3,000 to 4,000 oil cooled engines were built. The first ones
were probably shipped in 1901 and the last one I can find a record
of was a 2 hp engine, serial no. 1982, shipped 2-1-1910. This must have
been a leftover, because oil cooled engines with S numbers in the three
thousands were shipped before this one. It appears that over half
the engines sold were oil cooled until 1906, when the hopper cooled
Mr. Thingstead told me that many oil cooled engines were shipped
to the Dakotas and Minnesota to power grain elevators. These were
very popular for that purpose, as they did not give off steam to
mix with the grain as did hopper cooled engines.
Mr. Roland Buslaff, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, has the only oil
cooled engine which I know of. This is a 6 hp engine, S no. 397, which Mr. Buslaff thinks was built in 1904. I am quite sure that it
is that old. A picture of Mr.
Buslaff’s engine and one other the oil cooled are in a parts book I have, but it doesn’t show the whole engine very well.
I have all the engine record books of F & J that are known
to exist, but I am missing the first order book and I am afraid
that it is lost forever. The books that I have start with order no.
2219, which was shipped 7-5-1905.
F & J didn’t ship their engines in the order of their
Serial numbers. For example, I have found many cases where an
engine was shipped out and the following Serial number was not
shipped for six months, sometimes up to three years. Many of the
same size had been shipped in between these two, so the Serial
number does not mean too much about the shipping date. The only
way you can be sure is to look it up.
Being as I do not have these first orders I can’t be sure just
when the hopper cooled engines came out, but probably in 1905.
The first hopper cooled engine I will go into is the vertical,
as I believe it came out before the horizontal. I feel fortunate to
have one of these in my collection.
These vertical engines were built in 1 and 2 hp sizes. The
water hopper, head and block were cast all in one piece. They all
used an M & B Ignition with a low tension coil and batteries.
The fuel tank was also the cast iron base and used a fuel pump to
supply the mixer. There were more 1 HP engines built than the 2
The last vertical engine I could find in the records was shipped
9-24-1910 and was a 2 HP, S no. 1641. Here again the S no. was very
deceiving as some of these shipped in 1909 with a S no.
in the 4200’s. These were very popular from 1906 to 1908, but
after this fewer and fewer were shipped and they gave way to the
horizontal. I would estimate two to three thousand of these were
built in all. The oldest one which I have on file now is a 2 HP, S
no. 2422 owned by Art Wegner of Baraboo, Wisconsin–this engine was
The next engine to go into is, of course, the horizontal water
cooled–these were known as the “Double Efficiency.” I will
refer to these as DE engines.
The DE engines were built in two types and I shall discuss the
smaller one first. These were built on the same main frame as the
oil cooled; they just bolted on a different block with the water
hopper cast onto it. They were first rated as 3, 6, 8 and 10 hp,
but were later rerated; in later years F & J rated their engines with more hp by speeding them up.
They started shipping these engines before my records started,
but I believe it was around 1905. The last one of the smaller DE for which I have a shipping record was S no. 6596, which was
shipped 12-18-1916. This again is deceiving as some of these had been
shipped with Serial Numbers as high as 14,000 in 1914.
In 1912 the Type N came out. They built both the Type N and
the DE at the same time. By 1914 the Type N overtook the DE in
sales and from that time on there was less and less of the
DE’s. I would estimate they built about eight to ten thousand
of the DE.
The earliest one I have on my records is a 6 hp, S no. 3182,
which is owned by Mr. Howard Leaders, Omaha, Neb. Mr. Leaders was
good enough to send me a picture of his engine. He
has it running good, but not painted yet, and it has the original
factory trucks on it yet.
The last of the early F & J engines I will discuss is the
Large DE. These were built in 12,15,18, and 20 hp sizes. They were a
side-shaft engine and the only side-shaft F & J ever built. The
first one I have found in the records is a 12 hp, S no. 1331 and
was shipped 10-14-1905. I would estimate that about 2,000 of these
side-shaft engines were built. The last one I could find that was
shipped was an 18 hp, S no. 8962, which was shipped 9-10-1915. After
about 1913, the Type K (Kerosene) were selling more than the large
Type DE. These Type K went up to 25 hp, but I shall write more
about them later and also the Type N.
The largest side-shaft engine I have on file is a 20 hp, S no.
14061 shipped 4-7-1914. It is owned by Mr. Thomas C. Graves of
Tigard, Oregon. I have talked with Tom and he says it runs real
well and has it all restored. I’m sure this is quite a show
piece. I have only one other of these on file.
I am very sure that F & J never put out any tank cooled or
screen cooled engines.
Sometime this winter I hope to write a little about the famous F
& J Farm Pump Engine as there is much to be said about it.
After that I hope to write about the other types of F & J
If anyone should know any additional information on these early
F & J engines, or should have any corrections as to what I have
written, please let me know. As I said earlier,
I don’t claim to be an expert on this and am trying to learn
all I can about the F & J Company and their engines.
As I am trying to gather all the material possible on F & J
I would be interested in knowing if anyone has any F & J
instructions or parts books, catalogs, or any other material on the
company. I am willing to buy them for a fair price or trade them
for steam engine books or old car catalogs.