12-Horsepower Krueger-Atlas Engine at Texas A&M University

| April/May 1994

Department of Agricultural Engineering College Station, Texas 77845

This beautifully restored 12 horsepower Krueger-Atlas gasoline engine belongs to the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University. The engine was given to the Department in the early 1900s, and was used in the departmental engine laboratory until the late 1950s. The Krueger-Atlas engine was manufactured in San Antonio, Texas, by the San Antonio Machine and Supply Company, also known as SAMSCO.

The earliest known mention of this engine is found in the 1915 Catalog of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). The section of this catalog dealing with the Agricultural Engineering Department states, in part, that, 'The farm motors laboratory is equipped with twenty different types of stationary gas engines, including Gil-son, R. & V., and Krueger Atlas portable engines, seven different types of traction engines . . .'

In the early 1900s, the use of internal combustion engines on the farm was becoming a major emphasis in the curriculum for agricultural engineers at Texas A&M. These engines, with their open crankcases, were used to demonstrate the principles of operation of an internal combustion engine. The Krueger-Atlas engine was also equipped with a 'prony brake,' an early means of measuring horsepower. The testing of farm engines was, and still is, a major function of agricultural engineers.

Away from the college, this type or engine could have been used for several tasks. It was equipped with a clutch-pulley which facilitated connection to the load. Some typical jobs for this size engine would be to power a small sawmill, an irrigation pump, a feed grinder or a small light plant.

As more modern engine designs were developed, the Krueger-Atlas engine was gradually removed from service. By the late 1950s it was used for demonstrations only, and in 1968 it was given a thick coat of red paint and placed in a warehouse for storage.