Original Price List for Stover Gas Engines

By Staff
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Illustration of the design of the 6 to 12 HP horizontal full-base engines advertised in the 1904 Stover Engine Works Price List No. 1.
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Engine accessories in the 1904 Price List No. 1.

In this installment of Stover Stuff, I thought we’d take a look at the original prices for Stover’s gas engines and accessories.

The original Stover price list
Before the Stover Engine Works Price List No. 1 was published, it appears that the factory quoted engine prices more or less upon request. The first price list (or at least Price List No. 1) is not dated but it does contain glowing customer testimonials dated early in 1904, so it was probably issued in 1904 or 1905 at the latest. Number One not only has every engine model and many engine related accessories, but it is also illustrated. It is small in size and unimpressive in black and white, but the information packed within makes it a gem to Stover collectors and historians.

Dollars: 1904 vs. 2010
How much did the early Stover engines actually cost and how does that cost relate to today’s dollars? Seems like a fair enough question, but in the current economy it could be a moving target. With this thought in mind I went to the Internet. A simple search produced a fancy multicolored table that some economics genius dreamed up to camouflage the truth from a dumb layman like me. With a little head scratching and some mumbling (according to my wife) it turns out that the 1904 dollar is worth about 4 cents today. And since the dollar is dropping faster than a toboggan on a 90 percent grade, this may change by the time this article hits the newsstand.

Engine prices
Stover didn’t introduce a hopper-cooled engine until late 1909 or, officially, 1910. So, all the engines in the price list are either vertical or horizontal closed cooling system (tank or screen cooled) types. The vertical engines were only offered in 2, 3 and 5 HP at this time. The 2 and 3 HP upright could be had as a plain engine mounted on skids with a cooling tank or the same set up directly mounted to a rocking beam pumping unit. The 5 HP was sold as a plain engine. Separate pump jacks were also available. Fourteen horse power and larger engines came with an air starting pump. The records show the engines of this period mostly without a letter designation. They would be equivalent to the later A, B and C verticals, the 5 HP D, 8 HP E, 10 HP F, 12 and 14 HP J, 18 HP L, 22 HP M and 25 HP N heavy horizontal tank-cooled engines.

The smallest 2 HP plain vertical cost $110 ($2,750 today). The 25 HP horizontal was the largest engine Stover had to offer at this time and it cost $1,080. (All the prices are included on the enclosed chart.) That was quite a chunk of change at the time and calculates out to $28,125 in today’s money. It seems hard to compare because you could buy a good house in 1904 for $3,000. But a good horse also cost as much as a gas engine. The old fashion “new” oil well flywheel engines are still being made and sell for tens of thousands of dollars. So I guess the question is hard to answer because comparing the past with the present has so many variables. You decide.

Stover gas engine registry
There are almost 1,100 engines on the Stover registry which is updated on a PDF file at the www.gasenginemagazine.com/stover-registry. If you would like your engine on the registry, contact me by e-mail, regular mail or phone. Please include your general location for the records.

Until next time, keep your plugs dry and your igniters oiled.

1904 Stover Engine Works Engine Price List No. 1
2 HP
• Plain vertical – $110  
• Direct Connected Pumper – $120
• Ideal Pump Jack – $12
• Independent Pump Jack – $10
• Gas Bag Attachment – $12.50
3 HP 
• Plain Vertical – $160
• Direct Connected Pumper
– $190
• Walking Beam Attachment – $10
• Gas Bag Attachment – $12.50
5 HP
• Plain Vertical – $215
• Horizontal Full Base – $260
• Horizontal Half Base – $250
• Gas Bag Attachment – $13.50
6 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $340
• Horizontal Half Base – $330
8 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $420
• Horizontal Half Base – $405
10 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $470
• Horizontal Half Base – $455
12 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $550
• Horizontal Half Base – $535
14 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $625
• Horizontal Half Base – $610
16 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $700
• Horizontal Half Base – $685
20 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $850
• Horizontal Half Base – $830   25 HP
• Horizontal Full Base – $1,125
• Horizontal Half Base -$1,080

1904 Stover Engine Works Accessories Price List No. 1
Trucks
• Stover Wood, 6 HP Max – $40
• Bettendorf Truck #1, 14 HP Max – $60
• Bettendorf Truck #2, 25 HP Max – $70
Sawing Outfits
• Stover Portable – $65
Pulleys
• Friction Clutch 10×8 (smallest) – $20
• Friction Clutch 36×8 (largest) – $50
Feed Mills
• Ideal Duplex #5 mounted – $10
• Ideal Duplex #6 mounted – $15
Dynamos
• 16 Light Dynamo 2 HP (smallest) – $110
• 250 Light Dynamo 25 HP (largest) – $382
Saws 
• Ideal Steel Frame (smallest)  – $20
• Ideal Steel Frame (largest) – $26.50
• Ideal Wood Frame (smallest) – $22
• Ideal Wood Frame (largest) – $26.50
Other
• Auto Sparker (flywheel dyno)  – $25

Contact Joe Maurer at 797 S. Silberman Rd., Pearl City, IL 61062 • (815) 443-2223 • toadhill@aeroinc.net.

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