How Your Hobby Started Part VI

| January/February 1970

3904 47th Ave. S., Seattle, Washington 98118

During the last ten years before the turn of the century, the excitement over the demand for the new type of engine came into practical utilization. The applications for power in 1900 were many times the uses found back at the event of the steam era -- around 1875.

As we contemplate this event of the coming of gasoline engine power from our present vantage point, the initiation of this new source of power can be compared to the diesel engine and atomic power era of our present times. It was a major turning point in the history of all nations. Its perfection led to an entirely new concept in the mode of transportation -- the manufacture of the automobile. It also gave great impetus to all types of mobile machinery in agriculture, construction and marine markets.

This new source of power encouraged small manufacturers of every kind of merchandise. It meant that in many fields of manufacturing a business could be started with a reasonable investment for the power required. As the business grew and it was necessary to expand to supply the demand of the product, all that was necessary to increase the power capacity, was to buy a second engine, or a larger one, to furnish power for a plant of twice the original output. All this, without the cost of additional boilers, buildings and overhead. Businessmen soon learned they could save considerably on labor in the cost of power, because the gasoline engines could in many cases, be operated by a regular member of their personnel.

So the demand for dependable and economical gasoline engines came to the attention of many well established machinery manufacturers desiring to build engines. One of these manufacturers was Fairbanks, Morse & Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Charles Hosmer Morse, one of America's pioneers in business, started as a young man selling scales for his uncle, Thadius Fairbanks, who invented the platform scale in 1833.