Stover Company Dinner Bell

By Staff
article image
by Gas Engine Magazine Staff
Stover #4 dinner bell in the back of a 1918 Dodge pickup truck. Stover made industrial, agricultural, recreational and household products.

If you do a search back on the Gas Engine Magazine website or go to some of your old issues of the magazine, you will find various articles on the Stover Company. Daniel Stover was a mechanical and financial genius, and he made all sorts of interesting stuff. When he died in 1908, he held more than 100 patents and was the richest man in Freeport. Pictures of Stover engines, tools and machinery have been published over the years, and his various products show up for sale quite often.

However, a Stover dinner bell does not show up for sale very often. Now I know that you would probably rather see an engine but remember: If you’re always hungry like me, you don’t want to be late for dinner while you’re running your engines. Can’t think of an engine that is louder than this bell. I only know of two Stover bells and the second bell just recently came to light. There is something about a dinner bell that appeals to an old engine nut. Guess it’s because the bell has motion and makes a lot of noise.

Stover engine

In the Image Gallery is a photo of a 1907 5 HP Stover type DO tank-cooled horizontal. This is identical to the 5 HP in 5 HP Stover Engine & the Case of Dynamite from the April/May 2012 issue, and ironically the rare engines are located only a few miles apart. Since Stover didn’t introduce a hopper-cooled engine until late 1909, all their engines prior to that time used a closed cooling system. Typically, the engine could be cooled by tank, screen or an external water system.

Stover gas engine registry

Requests for Stover information just keep coming with around 1,564 engines on the registry. I find an occasional mistake, mostly duplication, but if you find a mistake or know of an engine that has changed hands, please send me the corrections.

I’ll gladly look your engine up for you if you have the serial number. If your tag is gone on an early engine, you can check the end of the crankshaft or the face of the flywheels. Some of the very early engines also had the number stamped on the cylinder head. It’s a stroke of luck to find a serial number on an early Stover that doesn’t have the ID tag. The post 1921 K and CT series had the serial number stamped in the block just above the cylinder head. In any case, please double-check your serial number because I get many requests with the wrong number and have to look up the information again.

I prefer using email but snail mail or a phone call will also work. If you don’t hear back from me in two or three weeks, please call because I may not have received your request.

Visit Stover Gas Engine Registry to view the registry online. You will need to click on the PDF file to get to the registry. If you don’t have a computer, your local librarian can look it up for you.

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

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

  • Updated on Jun 3, 2022
  • Originally Published on Apr 3, 2012
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