2806 – 5th Avenue, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
In this picture of electric machines are displayed a group of
antique dynamos and motors in miniature dating back to the
1880’s. Some of them might be classed as toys in their day and
are things of the past now, Knapp, Ken-drick & Davis, Ajax,
Volt-Amp, etc. Also this collection contains types that were used
in the field of service, some of which I modeled after Edison’s
early type lighting dynamos used in his first electric light plant
in New York City. Carbon filament lamps were used in those days for
lighting and resembled a redhot hair pin in a bottle. This type I
use in my lighting layout and are also things of the past. First in
line (left) is an old Auto-Sparker once used on an old sawmill
single cylinder large flywheel type gasoline engine, to furnish
electric current for the make and break ignition system. This was
friction driven from the big flywheel of the engine through a
pressure controlled fibre pulley on the shaft of the Auto-Sparker
regulating the speed of it and was adjustable by a thumb nut on the
governor arm. An interesting note is that back in about 1907 I
hooked this same machine on to my uncles’ Peerless steam
thresher engine, and I’ll bet that was the first electrically
lighted steam thresher engine. I had it fastened to the belt guide
roller bracket in front of the engine flywheel and drove it by the
friction pulley against the surface of the flywheel and regulated
the speed of the Auto-Sparker by its pressure governor so as to
give the correct voltage for the lamps we used in the head light,
the water and steam gauges as well as a light under the canopy.
Next in line is a model A Ford early type (power house) auto
generator and is a real work horse. These generators can be easily
converted into a 300 watt 110 volt AC generator. Also the early
Dodge 12 volt motor-generator can be so used and when properly
rewound will furnish 1000 watts 110 volt AC which is plenty for a
small plant for emergency lighting when driven by a 2? HP engine.
The next in line is A Robbins & Meyers 32 volt DC 500 Watt
generator made from a motor and is used to furnish DC to my
army-navy surplus radio communications Amateur radio equipment. The
second in line is a small 6 volt motor, a toy driven by dry cells.
The next is a model of an early Edison bipolar 12 volt motor made
by me. The next is magneto type generator made from an old Williams
Telephone Supply Co. ringer generator by rewinding the armature and
was used as a lighting generator.
Next in line is an old Bosch lighting dynamo which was used for
lighting on the Stewart trucks in the real early days of the auto.
It was 12 volts and was so wound to produce constant out-put. It
makes an excellent battery charger unit. Next in line is a larger
Bipolar Edison motor having been changed into a dynamo and will
deliver 500 watts at 110 volts DC with good regulation. The one in
third row forefront is small turbo-generator steam driven and will
furnish 1.5 volts at 1.5 amperes AC to around 10000 RPM. It has a
rotating magnetic field of a permanent magnet whirling between a
two pole stator by a turbine impeller at a high rate of speed and
sure will burn out flash light bulbs as fast as you can replace
them if the speed is not controlled properly. This little
turbine-generator I built up for furnishing electricity for the
head light on one of my live steam 1? scale locomotives, a Baldwin
4-4-0 of 1907 vintage and was used on the old. Huntingdon &
Broadtop R. R. as passenger engine number 30. Next in line is an
Ajax toy motor which I got in kit form and put it together,
armature winding and all when I was still in grade school.
53121 Wallis 20-30 – Certified – manufactured in Racine,
Wisconsin about 1930. I have about 150 gas engines from 1 H.P. to
20 H.P. – years 1892 to 1939 – all makes and 15 tractors – years
1912 to 1931 – various makes and sizes.
Next in line is a 2 phase 32 volt AC generator which I made from
some war army and navy surplus equipment. It will light 12 4cp
The next one is a small Western Electric 1/30 HP DC. motor which
is combined, series and shunt wound type. I use it as a load for
other dynamos. The last in line is a model of an old 1893
Westinghouse dynamo used as a lighting source of electric power. It
will only develop about 35 to 45 watts at 6 volts.
On the right of the picture is a Knapp dvnamo hooked up by belt
to an old side crank steam engine and can furnish 6-8 volts at 8 to
10 amps. These could at one time be bought on the market through
mail order catalogues.
Any one wishing more information concerning the above I will be
glad to help if they will write me.
‘Since We Never hear the subject mentioned, we doubt that
anybody is left who takes a cold bath in the morning.’
The engine in front is a 1? Hp. Galloway, No. 10414, make and
break ignitor, hit and miss governor, air cooled and ported
cylinder. It belongs to
Glenn Thomas and me. Would like to know what year it was made.
In back is my 1? Hp. Cushman, Model 21 Type X, Engine No. 5231.