A Brief Word

| June/July 1996

For this writer, one of the most interesting figures in the gas engine business was William Galloway. In fact, we met his eldest son several years ago, and had a most interesting discussion with him. Bill Galloway was, in many ways, far ahead of his time. He possessed an innate sense of what farmers wanted, and what they would need next in the trek toward mechanized farming. Particularly as documented in our book, American Gas Engines, the Galloway engine line was destined to be very popular.

A Galloway catalog of about 1912 illustrates and describes Galloway's 'Boss-of-the-Farm' engine of 1 HP. A brief glance notes that this engine was available in air-cooled or water-cooled versions, as preferred. Numerous attachments were available, including a special reducing gear for use with cream separators and the like. A pump jack version was also available, and the complete pump jack was available for another $6.50 over the cost of the engine. A belt pulley was furnished with the engine for use with corn shellers and other small machines.

Reading the advertisement closely leads to the inevitable conclusion that Galloway was the consummate sales-man. This charismatic individual was above all, a salesman with few equals. Although some of the statements within this early advertisement would have been hard to prove, they were nevertheless directed at farmers who were already very sensitive to 'the Trust' and similar situations of the day. 'Trust' or 'The Trust' was a reference to the problems International Harvester had with the U. S. Government due to the merger creating the company. IHC and the U. S. Government fought each other in the courts for years, and many smaller competitors used. this as negative advertising to their own benefit.

Although the Galloway engines were machined and assembled in Galloway's own factory at Waterloo, Galloway did not have a foundry. This work was farmed out to the Hedford Foundry in Waterloo, and perhaps to some other outlying foundries. Galloway's manufacturing seems to have concentrated on engines, manure spreaders, tractors, and small farm items. However, many of the items in the Galloway catalog were built by others and marketed under the Galloway name.

Another interesting sidelight is that the Galloway, Associated, Waterloo Boy, and some other Waterloo-based gas engines had threads of a common ancestry. Perhaps this explains why many of the Waterloo-built engines have striking similarities. As engineers and workmen moved from one company to another they carried along their own ideas, and some of these were manifested in the form of gray iron castings. However, these were all separate and competing companies. Each of them made their own unique and substantial contribution to mechanized farming.

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