The Chapman Engine & Manufacturing Company, Ltd.


| January/February 1998


48 Beausejour Street, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada J8T-5V6

In August 1997, I acquired a 2 HP, Style 'A,' Canadian Chapman gasoline engine built in Dundas, Ontario. This engine is complete and everything is free on it. The farmer who sold me the engine told me that his father brought this Chapman home in the early forties, put it in one corner of the shed, where it was left undisturbed for over fifty years, just waiting for me to come around and get it. Unfortunately, nothing is known about this Chapman's prior working years.

The first thing I do before I start the restoration of an old engine, is to gather as much information as I can about the company that built the engine and about the engine itself. For more common engines like Fairbanks-Morse and IHC it is relatively easy to find old advertisement literature, instructions and parts manuals or books that describe them. It is a different story when you try to gather information on a small Canadian engine manufacturer from the turn of the century.

The first place I looked for information about the Chapman Engine & Manufacturing Company was in Wendel's American Gasoline Engines Since 1872 book. From it, I learned that Chapman totally designed and built their engines in Canada. It said that the Chapman Style 'A' was built only in the 2 HP size, the Chapman Style 'B' was built in the 4 HP size and the Chapman Style 'C' were built in 6, 8, 10, 12, and 16 HP sizes. I personally know of two 7 HP Chapman engines, so I think that the 7 HP was re-rated to 8 HP in the later years of Chapman's engine production.

Another good source of information on any engine is the brass nameplate on the engine. On my Chapman, it said: Made by 'Chapman Engine & Manufacturing Company Limited,' Dundas, Ontario, Canada for the 'Ontario Wind Engine & Pump Company, Limited,' Toronto-Winnipeg-Calgary. The tag also shows that my Chapman is a 2 HP, Style 'A,' with a serial number 12177.

A few words about the Ontario Wind Engine & Pump Company (OWE & PCo.) would be in order here. OWE & PCo. never built any engines, but there are reports that they sold Stickney engines as early as 1910. I can also attest that they sold Nelson Bros, engines in the 1920s, as I own a 'Little Jumbo' that has an OWE & PCo. name-plate on it. Some people have reported to me that OWE & PCo. also sold some Goold, Shapley & Muir engines at one time. Around 1910, Mr. Stephen H. Chapman was the president of the Ontario Wind Engine & Pump Company Limited, and he soon became one of the owners of the Chapman Engine & Manufacturing Company of Dundas, Ontario thus the close relationship between the two companies.