Big Daddy - The Venn - Severin!

| March/April 1971

Route 3, Box 800, Antioch, Illinois 60002

I first noticed the engine at Richards Stone Cutters on Illinois 176 near Lake Bluff, Illinois, in November 1969. I stopped in and met the owner, Harry Richards, whom I had several conversations with over the next few weeks.

This is the story of how I became the owner of a Venn-Severin Oil Engine. The nameplate reads 80 hp., 275 R.P.M., S.N. 2799. The bore is 12' x 18' stroke, 2 cylinder, 2 cycle, rotary valve air intake, chain oiled main bearings, and a Madison-Kipp oiler for the cylinder. The flywheel is 52 inches in diameter with a 10' face and a 4 inch thick rim.

A large clutch came with the engine, which had been removed several years ago. The Venn-Severin and clutch weigh 5? tons without manifolds, air tank, or cooling system. The Venn-Severin Engine Company was located in Chicago on Elston Avenue and this engine was built in 1913. Venn-Severin Engines were blue-green in color with a lot of gold and red striping. The engine originally had had an engineer's deck about crankshaft height with a ladder on both sides. The earlier models were screen-cooled, the later ones, tank or service water. All fittings are bronze and the whole unit was quite a showpiece of the early engine builder's skill and care.

The net results of my visits with Harry Richards was, although he appreciated my desire to own and restore the Venn-Severin, he couldn't bring himself to part with the engine after owning it all these years.

I promised to keep in touch and to invite him to the Antique Farm Exhibit at the Kenosha County Fair (Wisconsin) in August 1970.


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