Pictures from the Past

Author Photo
By Staff

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The photo shows the machine shop and erection bay of the former
Blaisdell Machinery Co., South Bradford, Pa.

The Blaisdell Machinery Co. was formed about 1903 and was a
well-known manufacturer of steam, gas and belt-driven compressors
and vacuum pumps for industrial and oil field use. The firm also
manufactured sewage ejection systems and central vacuum cleaning
systems for large buildings. Gas and oil engines of single- and
double-acting types were made along with components for
hydroelectric turbines.

Machine tool enthusiasts may recognize many types of tools in
this black-and-white photo, including lathes, boring mills, planers
and key seaters. The engine in the foreground on the test stand is
a Class GOV combination gas engine and vacuum pump. Those flywheels
stacked up in the background are 7 feet in diameter. Erie Railroad
cars also loaded in the same area. Note the cluttered working
conditions prevalent all over the photo. OSHA inspectors would have
had a field day writing up violations.

In 1918, the company was renamed the United States and Cuban
Allied Works Engineering Corp., with general offices in New York. I
have been researching the name change, but I have not been
successful so far. Also at this period in time, the company began
building ‘Krajewski’ sugar cane mills that were shipped to

United States and Cuban lasted into the early 1920s, when Hanley
Ceramics bought the plant and used it for manufacturing
brick-making equipment. After Hanley, the building was taken over
by Georgia-Pacific to make corrugated containers, which continues
to this day.

An interesting side note to the old Blaisdell Co. is that
company founder Philo Blaisdell’s son, George Blaisdell, was
the inventor of the famous Zippo lighter.

The photo above shows the building as it exists today as a
Georgia-Pacific corrugated container plant. The building sits west
of Route 219 in South Bradford, Pa.

Contact engine enthusiast Michael Fuoco at: 656 W. Washington
St., Bradford, PA 16701.

Pictures from the Past

Author Photo
By Michael Fuoco

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These photos show a standard drilling rig utilizing a
single-cylinder, two-stroke gas engine manufactured by Bovaird
& Seyfang Manufacturing Co., Bradford, Pa. The rig was located
in the Bradford Oil Field, and the photos were probably taken in
the late 1920s or early 1930s. These photos are from the archives
of the Coolspring Power Museum.

This particular Bovaird & Seyfang engine is a 40 HP Class AJ
and has a 12-1/2-inch bore by 14-inch stroke. It was fitted with
the lighter 900-pound flywheels used for drilling. The pumping
engines used 1,200-pound flywheels. The flywheel diameter was 66

The engine was self-oiling, with the exception of the cylinder,
which was equipped with a Manzel mechanical lubricator. Ignition
was either by a Wico magneto or hot tube. Like most early Class
AJ’s, the water pump was a plunger type. Also, no governor was
used: The speed was controlled by a telegraph wheel and line to the
derrick floor. The forge blower was run by a friction wheel that
contacted the clutch side flywheel face. The clutch was of the
reversing type.

The rig clearly shows the engine in operation, and one can only
imagine the sound coming out of that straight 6-inch exhaust stack
pointing at the ground. Note the clutter around the rig. This was
typical when the early oil fields were being developed.

Contact engine enthusiast Michael Fuoco at: 656 W.
Washington St., Bradford, PA 16701.

Pictures from the Past

Author Photo
By Staff

Gade Bros. Manufacturing Co., Iowa Falls, Iowa, was an important
manufacturer of gas engines in the early 1900s. In February 1910
part of the factory burned to the ground. This photograph, taken a
day or two after the tragedy, shows that only about a third of the
building was left. Shattered window panes indicate that it got
pretty hot.

Note the workmen sifting through the ruins at back – a flywheel
is just visible. At the front dozens of engine cylinders are
stacked up, along with barrels full of parts that were probably
heaved out of the building in a hurry. Photo courtesy the Iowa
Falls Historical Society.

Contact engine enthusiast C. H. Wendel at: Box 257, Amana, IA

Published on Mar 1, 2004

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines