15HP T.W. Phillips/Farrar & Trefts

A collaboration of early twentieth century minds.

article image
by Gas Engine Magazine Staff

Spotlighting this rare and beautiful Coolspring Power Museum find made by Phillips Manufacturing Co. during the early twentieth century.

Kougher Half-Breed Pavilion: 15hp T.W. Phillips/Farrar & Trefts

Company: The T.W. Phillips Manufacturing Co, Butler, PA

Year: Circa 1915

Horsepower: 15

Engine: 451

Frame Number: 1007

Owner: Paul Harvey

Thomas W. Phillips was a judge in Butler County, and had already acquired vast tracts of land for oil and gas production. His venture into producing engines and oil field equipment was just another part of his empire. His firm produced the power cylinder. Much earlier, C. M. Farrar and John Trefts, of Buffalo, New York, partnered in 1864 to produce the best steam engine available. The company foresaw the coming oil boom, and soon there were literally thousands of their engines in use. Farrar and Trefts made the frame, crank shaft, and flywheel of this engine.


The Phillips engine cylinder is unique in that it employs a uniflow design. Using the 1908 patent of Arthur F. Clarke, the cylinder passes the charge through a side passage, opening a pressure operated poppet valve, and then the charge moves into the head end of the cylinder. This increased the engine’s efficiency. Noted for its familiar “trough” frame, this design was rigid and strong. The wheel is the typical 6-spiral spoke design. Farrar and Trefts provided everything but the cylinder and the entire engine was quite successful.


The Harvey engine shown pumped a single oil well near Chicora, Pennsylvania. It came here in the mid 1970s. The well still pumps with an electric pump jack.

Review the entire Coolspring Power Museum collection with Coolspring, Volumes 1 & 2! The Coolspring Power Museum houses the world’s finest collection of early and historically significant internal combustion engines. Read about 40 historic engines from the museum profiled in Volume 1, as well as the newest displayed engines in Volume 2! This set is available at the Gas Engine Magazine store or by calling 800-888-9098. Item #10049.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines