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A Real ‘HUMDINGER’

Author Photo
By Staff

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1108 Emery Lane Clarksville, Indiana 47129

Unless you have at least sixty years of life experiences under
your belt you probably are unfamiliar with the word,
‘humdinger.’ However, a real humdinger was a very popular
phrase during the 70s and ’30s. It was used to describe
anything that was ‘better than average,’ from a team of
mules to a farm tractor. Unfortunately, this manner of describing
numerous items and situations dwindled into obscurity along with
the gas engine in the late 1940s. The phrase ‘a real
humdinger’ was not a problem for the Carter Pump Company of
Hackensack, New Jersey, as they ‘dubbed’ their small water
pumping outfit (see photo #1) as a ‘humdinger.’ Research
does not reveal exactly how many years these pumps were
manufactured and sold.

Photo 1: This photo provides an excellent view of the pump side
of the ‘Humdinger.’ You will note the decal and the company
name embossed in the inspection plate. The plate and the decal are
original.

Photo 2: As you can see in this photo, the brass tag does not
reveal any information on the Briggs engine, however, it does give
the model and the serial number of the ‘Carter’ pump. The
only indication the engine is a ‘Briggs’ are the initials
‘B.S.’ embossed in the side-cover.

The same power source (see photo #2) you will no doubt recognize
as a Briggs &. Stratton. It is rather strange, as there is not
a ‘Briggs’ tag on the engine. How this happened is a
mystery. The brass tag on the cover gives all the pertinent
information on the ‘Carter’ pump. The pump is identified as
a model 5’/2 M, and the serial number is 73127B. The Briggs in
the photo is of the rope start variety. It starts and runs great
and the Carter really pumps water. This should have been a very
successful piece of machinery. No doubt a work-saver for both the
farmer and city dweller of that particular time period.

Note: Also noteworthy is this fact, the Briggs does not have a
decal.

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines