Westminster Abenaque Show Goes Annual

| June/July 1991

P.O. Box 6 Wilmington, Vermont 05363

To celebrate the coming 100th anniversary of the founding of the Abenaque Machine Works of Westminster Station, Vermont, manufacturer of the Abenaque Gasolene Engine, the Westminster Historical Society sponsored an engine show in August of 1985, featuring the Abenaque engines. This show was a huge success.

The Abenaque engines were manufactured from about 1894 until 1920, when the company was dissolved by bankruptcy. Some former employees of the company continued to make replacement parts in Marlborough, New Hampshire until the 1930's. Most of the company records have become lost or destroyed. The original brick machine shop now houses a metal culvert manufacturing company.

The Abenaque engines were made in 2 to 25 horsepower sizes. The engines were heavy for their size, and were of side shaft design. The mechanism was quite complicated, featuring a fuel injection system. Ignition was of the make and break type, utilizing a spark wire and wheel, operated by a pawl.

This ignition system proved to be troublesome. Later model engines were equipped with a Webster Tri-Polar Oscillator. Some of the original engines were converted to the Webster Oscillator, either at the factory, or in the field with a kit furnished by the factory.

A unique feature of the Abenaque engines was one to four sheet metal cooling tanks on top of the engine, in place of a conventional water hopper. Water hoppers were provided on some models at a later date. Most of the engines were so designed that either the tanks or a hopper could be installed. It was recommended by the factory that all engines used in heavy service be equipped with the cooling tanks. A disadvantage of the tanks was that they would collect leaves and other debris and rust out.