| February/March 1996

By Lester G. Bowman

2440 Thomas Street, Ceres, California 95307

When gas engines were first built in Stockton, California, no one really knows. However, records show as early as 1884, a score of gas engines were built by Matteson and Williamson Machine Works during the winter of 1884/85, to pump out flooded basements.

Stockton, California, is rich in agricultural and machine history. During the California gold rush, it was the hub-city that supplied miners with tools and equipment. This is where Holt developed his track layer. This is where Harris built their harvesters. Here is where the Samson gas engine was manufactured.

July 6, 1869, John M. Kroyer was born in Denmark. When he was seventeen years old, he emigrated to America. He settled in Chicago and secured a position with Crane Company, manufacturers of valves and piping. He learned the machinist trade. Later he moved to California and settled in Chico, where he worked for Chico Iron Works. (Is it possible he helped develop the 'Mery Gas Engine,' also built by this foundry?)

In the spring of 1889 he moved to Stockton, California, and went to work for Holt Manufacturing. He moved from there to Globe Iron Works, manufacturers of mining equipment. Later, he worked for Matteson and Williamson Machine Works, and from there he moved to Haines and Covey Company, where he was put in charge of the gas engine department.

8/9/2016 3:55:08 PM

i was just given quite a few hit and miss engines from a really cool old man i met a few weeks ago among them are a 3 hp Stover one i can't identify a Fairbanks-Morse one converted to an air compressor lots of parts and tools and pieces and last but not least a 5 hp Samson all repainted and pin stripped etc. but disassembled. i'm not a hit and miss guy i will sell a good part of the collection and keep the Samson and ? maybe 1. more. any help and your knowledge would be appreciated. thx, mark.


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