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The History of Ingeco Engines

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By Staff

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Advertisement for Ingeco from February 1912 with a picture of their tank-cooled sideshaft engine.
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Chris Jerue with his all original 1913 4 HP Ingeco Type AL.
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October 1912 advertisement with a picture of the very rare hopper-cooled sideshaft.
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Ingeco engine advertisement from August 1916 reflecting the new Worthington name.
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December 1917 advertisement for the two-cycle engine.
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February 1917 advertisement for Ingeco Type W engines.
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September 1918 advertisement for the Type W engine.
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January 1921 advertisement for Worthington’s new line of stationary engines.
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The following information is what I have found out about Ingeco engines throughout my many hours of research. I hope this article helps some of you out and helps satisfy your own curiosity about Ingeco engines.

The origins of Ingeco

To start, we need a brief introduction into the International Steam Pump Co. since the International Gas Engine Co. (Ingeco) was one of their subsidiary branches.

In 1899 the International Steam Pump Co. was formed. It was made up of a number of other smaller steam pump companies including Blake & Knowles Steam Pump Works of Cambridge, Mass.; Deane Steam Pump Works of Holyoke, Mass.; Henry R. Worthington Co. of Harrison, N.J.; Laidlaw-Dunn-Gordon Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio; Snow Steam Pump Works of Buffalo, N.Y.; Holly Manufacturing Co. of Buffalo, N.Y.; Clayton Air Compressor Works of Brooklyn, N.Y.; as well as the Power and Mining Machinery Co. of Cudahy, Wis.

At the time, this accounted for 90 percent of the steam pump industry in the United States. The reports for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 1906 showed profits for the company at $2,255,312  compared with $1,617,435 in 1905, showing that the company was on the right track. As with many big companies that try to expand faster than they should, they got themselves into trouble. In 1909, the International Steam Pump Co. issued $8,500,000 in bonds to refund their debt of $4,500,000 and retire a floating indebtedness of $1,498,000 in notes. They also provided cash for the payment on a new factory, as well as improvements.

In 1910, the company’s capital stock was $39,000,000 and Mr. John Wesley Dunn was president; the company seemed to have recovered.

Ingeco engines

The International Gas Engine Co. (Ingeco), of Cudahy Wis., appeared in the gas engine community in early 1912 with a vast line of stationary engines, including pushrod style farm engines, sideshaft engines and vertical engines. The vertical and horizontal engines were available as hopper-cooled as well as tank cooled. Ingeco built a horizontal air-cooled engine as well. The diversity of fuel usage in this line of engines included gas, gasoline, oil and producer gas. The company featured horsepower ratings to fit the needs of almost anyone, including sizes from 1-1/2 to 350 horsepower.

By mid-1913 the Ingeco line included the following: a horizontal, hopper-cooled farm engine that was built in sizes 1-1/2, 2-1/2, 4, and 6 HP, and available in either hit-and-miss or throttle governing; a horizontal hopper-cooled sideshaft engine built in the sizes 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 HP; a tank-cooled sideshaft engine built in 12 sizes ranging from 6 to 60 HP; hopper-cooled and tank-cooled vertical engines built in the 2, 4 and 6 HP sizes; and much larger tank-cooled multi-cylinder vertical engines up to 350 HP. The horizontal air-cooled engine was built only in the 1-1/2 HP size.

All of these engines were available with the option for a Wizard magneto. Before mid-1913, a rotary friction-drive Wizard magneto was offered.

By July of 1914 advertisements began to show the throttle-governed version of the farm engine that was also advertised as being able to run on kerosene, and the hit-and-miss style farm engine was not talked about as much.

Also sometime in 1914, the hopper-cooled sideshaft engine was dropped from the line. By early to mid-1915, Ingeco had developed a two-cycle crude oil engine to run on diesel. Ingeco came out with a tractor that used their two cylinder, horizontal opposed engine; this tractor was also produced in the beginning of 1916.

Bought by Worthington 

The Worthington Co. was incorporated in Virginia on April 20, 1916 and by May 18, 1916 the deal was finalized and the era of International Gas Engine Co. came to an end. The International Gas Engine Co., which had been one of the subsidiary companies owned by the International Steam Pump Co., as well as all other properties owned by them, was merged into one general company, the Worthington Pump & Machinery Corp. The new company took over all the properties and assets mentioned on page 14 in addition to the Fred M. Prescott Steam Pump Co. of Milwaukee, Wis., and Jeanesville Iron Works Co. of Hazleton, Pa. The company also acted as sales agent for Henry R. Worthington under the direction of the Worthington Pump & Machinery Corp. At that time the capitalization of the new corporation was $36,000,000.

Business as usual 

The sales manager of the International Gas Engine Co., Mr. W. H. Day, stated that the gas engine branch of the business would continue the same as before but on a much larger scale producing gas, gasoline and oil engines from 1-1/2 to 60 HP under the “Ingeco” trademark.

After Worthington took over, advertisements began to show the smaller farm engines running light plants, which became a strong advertising area. At the end of 1916, Worthington was still producing the same engines that Ingeco had been, possibly to use up parts that were left over.

By early 1917, the Ingeco line only included farm engines of the throttle- governed type from 1-1/2 to 15 HP. These engines were known as the “Ingeco Type W Throttling Governor Kerosene Engines” and a Wizard magneto was provided as standard equipment where as before it was optional.

At some point toward the end of 1919, a Webster magneto set up was offered on these Ingeco-style engines as standard equipment and the Wizard was dropped. Also in 1917, the horsepower line you could buy ranged from the 1-3/4 HP up to only 160 HP. By the middle of 1917, Worthington was advertising a small 1 HP Ingeco engine in their line as well.

Toward the end of 1917, Worthington came out with a new engine under the Ingeco name, basically the same as the one Ingeco built in 1915. This engine was of the semi-diesel, two-cycle and crude oil design. It was built in sizes ranging from 10 to 120 HP in single and twin cylinder designs. The main design of this engine and the ideas put into it are the same as the engines Ingeco designed two years earlier; Worthington just made them bigger.

By late 1920 Worthington had developed its own line of stationary engines, dropping the “Ingeco” trademark as well as the Ingeco design. The new line of engines included sizes ranging from 1-1/2 HP kerosene engines all the way up to 2,000 HP diesel marine engines. All of the sizes from 1-1/2 to 25 HP were of the throttle governor type and ran on kerosene. On this new line of engine a Webster magneto was standard equipment to provide the spark. This line was available in stationary, portable and sawing models.

Also in late 1920, Worthington built what they stated as being the largest engine ever produced in this country. It was a six-cylinder vertical diesel marine oil engine of 2,400 HP. This engine topped their line of vertical multi-cylinder diesel engines. Worthington also built some horizontal diesel type engines in sizes from 100 to 1000 HP, and in late 1920 it was also working on establishing a line of vertical multiple oil engines to include the lower range of horsepower.

By January 1, 1921, the Worthington Pump & Machinery Corp. was in charge of eight works located in East Cambridge, Mass., Holyoke, Mass., Hazleton, Pa., Pittsburg, Pa., Buffalo, N.Y., Elmwood Place, Ohio, Cudahy, Wis., and Harrison, N.J.  The factories covered 143,154 acres of land and approximately 3,134,494 feet of square footage with 7,738 employees including management.

The Cudahy, Wis., plant, home of the Ingeco engine, covered  30,554 acres with 555,235 square feet of factory floor and employed 755 workers. Production in this factory included gas engines, lathes, mining equipment and machinery. The Buffalo, N.Y., plant covered 27,717 acres with 339,090 square feet of floor space and employed 560 workers. That plant produced gas engines, oil engines, lathes and presses.  In 1920 Worthington’s assets totaled $36,157,479.

Worthington also had subsidies in six different countries with the oldest being organized in 1892 in the United States and France. In 1892, the New York branch was taken over by the New Jersey branch. The New York branch had been established in 1845 and manufactured steam pumps, meters and other hydraulic machinery.

This concludes the Ingeco story for now; hopefully I was able to teach some of you something new and interesting. I didn’t want to go too far into Worthington information; there’s plenty of it for me to save for another article someday.

In Part 2 in the October/November 2011 issue of GEM, Chris takes a closer look at the various models offered under the Ingeco name.

Contact Chris Jerue at P.O. Box 307, Cheney, WA 99004 • cjerue@hotmail.com.

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