Roberts Motor Company Sandusky, Ohio

By Staff
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Cover of a Roberts Catalog Harold Edwards inherited from his father. Illustrations are taken from this catalog.
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216 Carpenter Road New Hartford, Connecticut, 06057

My father, as a boy, lived right next to the Mineola Air Field
on Long Island, New York, and consequently spent much of his time
there watching the birth of aviation, yes, and also a few

The raving testimonial in the letter that follows, from Vice
President E. W. Roberts of the Roberts Motor Company in the early
1900s, shows just how far aviation has advanced in the lifespan of
just one generation.

I would like to share this with the other engine collectors and
restorers out there.

The text of the Roberts letter:

I have just returned from the Mineola Aviation Field where we
shipped one of our 4-X motors about two weeks ago. The installation
had just been completed when I arrived, in a large Farman type
biplane of forty-five feet spread which we understand to be the
largest aeroplane in the United States today, weighing with one
operator, 1000 pounds.

The machine left the ground at the first attempt without using
the full power of the engine. It also carried a passenger without
difficulty. I never saw such enthusiasm over a piece of machinery
in my life. I was assured by every aviator on the ground that the
Roberts Motor is far ahead of anything that has ever been on the
Mineola Aviation Field.

Captain Thomas S. Baldwin especially was so enthusiastic over
the motor that he stopped me almost every time he passed me to tell
me what a fine machine it was. He said, ‘It is positively the
smoothest running motor I ever saw. I don’t believe there is
two ounces difference in the compression of any of the cylinders as
the exhaust is so even. My! Doesn’t she get up and

With the machine resting its weight on its skids, the engine
pulled 335 lbs. We did not bother to put it on rollers as everybody
said that was enough. They were convinced.

In consequence of our good showing in Mineola, we are now
getting telegrams every day asking for deliveries, and we are sure
to be behind on our orders before long. If you expect to be in the
market soon, we suggest that you get your order in promptly for two
reasons. First, in order that you get your motor in time, and when
you want it, and second because we expect to raise the price in the
next few weeks.

In the meantime, we will hold your quotation open for a short
time until we can hear from you. We will be glad to hear how you
are progressing with your plan and just how soon you will be in the
market for an engine. Write us anyway, even a postal card will

Wishing you all the success in the world, we are,

Yours very truly,


E. W. Roberts, Vice Pres.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines