37/8/6: Magnet Gas Engine
Jimmy Alexander, 197 Albright Lane, Gallatin, TN 37066-8745,
sends in some photos of a Magnet engine, s/n 1022, horsepower
unknown. Jimmy says a Wico mounted on the right-hand side of the
water hopper supplied spark. This particular engine was found in a
yard in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, where it had been sitting for
32 years. According to Jimmy it had previously been working pulling
a shingle mill in South Gallies, Ontario, Canada.
The Magnet engine was built by Petrie Manufacturing Co. Ltd.,
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, but little is known about the company.
If any readers know more about the Magnet engine line, we’d
like to hear from them.
Q: I wonder if your readers could help me find
a wiring diagram for my Aerothrust. In the picture you can see the
lead to the advance/retard lever. Do I use a coil and 6-volt
battery to this magneto? My engine has no flywheel, and I’m
wondering if some were sold without a flywheel? Andrew Dolan, 7
Lynch St., Miramichi, NB, Canada E1N 5V3.
A: We don’t have any information on the
Aerothrust engine, but perhaps one of readers can contact Andrew
and help him out. Wendel’s American Gas Engines shows
Aerothrust Engine Co., La Port, Ind., as first marketing their
engine in 1916, but disappearing from the market after 1917.
Q: I’m enclosing a picture of my
Always-Ready 5 HP gas engine, s/n 510. I would like information on
the engine, and would like to know if anyone else has an
Always-Ready engine. I think it was sold by Montgomery Ward, and
possibly manufactured by Burtt Manufacturing in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Thanks in advance for any information. Roger Scrimsher, 2331 Sunset
Drive, Lewiston, ID 83501, (208) 743-0362.
A: You’re correct about the manufacturer
being Burtt Manufacturing Co., Kalamazoo, Mich., and about the
engine being sold by Montgomery Ward. Burtt began manufacture of
the Kalamazoo vertical, as they called it, in 1902. Montgomery Ward
evidently began selling their Always-Ready version at the same
time. Page 316 of American Gas Engines shows an old
advertisement photo of an engine marketed by Montgomery Ward and
nearly identical to yours.
A Closing Word
While attending the 25th Annual Alabama Jubilee in Decatur,
Ala., May 24-25, Perry R. Johnson, P.O. Box 363, Trinity, AL 35673,
showed me an old marine engine I’d never seen before.
A single-cylinder two-stoke, its nameplate identified it as a
Silent Dis-Pro, 3 HP Model D.1, s/n 2572, made by Disappearing
Propeller Boat Co., Toronto and Port Carling, Canada.
A look through various reference books failed to bring up any
citations on the company, but a search of the Internet found me at
the Web site (www.disappearingpropellerboat.com) for the current
incarnation of The Disappearing Propeller Boat Co.
Although still located in Port Carling, The Disappearing
Propeller Boat Co. no longer makes boats, focusing instead on the
restoration of original Dis-Pro boats and engines for customers
throughout Canada and into the U.S.
Perry Johnson’s circa 1920-1921 3 HP, two-stroke Dis-Pro
marine engine. Around 1,000 Model D.1 engines were built from 1920
to 1921 when it was replaced by the Model D.2, of which another
1,000 were built.
I had the pleasure of speaking with company owner Paul
Dodington, and Paul tells me he has most of the old company
records. According to him, Perry’s engine was built sometime
around 1920-1921. A uniquely small engine, it was built to power a
uniquely Canadian boat, the Dis-Pro, or ‘Dippy’ as they
were affectionaly called.
Paul tells me that hundreds of these boats were built between
the company’s start in 1916 and its eventual collapse (after
going through more than a few iterations) in 1956.
Their appeal lay in the use of a unique propeller shaft and
propeller that could be manually raised into a small box fitted
into the keel of the craft, allowing pilots of these boats to raise
the entire propeller assembly out of the water for shallow going or
when hauling the boat out of the water.
The earliest Dis-Pro engines, Model A.1, were built by the A.D.
Fisher Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Toronto, and according to Paul they
were nothing more than a copy of the Waterman engine built by Arrow
Motor & Machine, New York, N.Y. Page 33 of C.H. Wendel’s
American Gasoline Engines Since 1872 shows one of these,
and it looks almost identical to the Dis-Pro featured here.
Paul says some 2,000 Model D. 1 and D.2 engines were built in
the period between 1920 and 1924.
C.H. Wendel is a noted authority on antique engines and
tractors. His books constitute a vital reference resource for
collectors and hobbyists. If you have a query for C.H. Wendel, send
it along to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS