A real humdinger was not a problem for the Carter Pump Company

By Staff
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by Gas Engine Magazine Staff

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.

  • Updated on Jun 16, 2022
  • Originally Published on Jan 1, 2001
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