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Coolspring Spotlight: 1883 10 hp Schleicher, Schumm & Co.

This Schleicher, Schumm at the Coolspring Power Museum was originally built for hydraulic elevator service.

| October/November 2017

  • 1883 10 hp Schleicher, Schumm & Co.
    Photo by the Gas Engine Magazine staff
  • 1883 10 hp Schleicher, Schumm & Co.
    Photo by the Gas Engine Magazine staff
  • The 1883 10 hp Schleicher, Schumm is a crosshead design with spur and bevel gears driving the sideshaft.
    Photo by the Gas Engine Magazine staff

1883 10 hp Schleicher, Schumm & Co.

Manufacturer: Schleicher, Schumm & Co., Philadelphia, PA
Serial Number: 1337
Horsepower: 10 hp
Bore & stroke: 8-1/2in x 14in
Ignition: Flame/slide valve
Governing: Hit-and-miss
Owner: William Grimley

Schleicher, Schumm & Co. started building 4-cycle slide-valve gas engines in 1878 as the official American licensee of Gasmotoren-Fabrik Deutz in Germany. It is one of only eight remaining horizontal examples and the only 10 hp version. 


This engine is a crosshead design, incorporating a linear connecting rod guide preventing side loading to the piston, a feature typically found on steam engines and on some of the earliest internal combustion engines. The combustion end of the cylinder features a slide valve, which is basically a gas tight, precision machined, sliding metal plate. Driven by a small connecting rod from the end of the sideshaft, its reciprocating motion controls the timing of intake air, fuel admission and ignition by an internal ignition flame. Exhaust is by a traditional poppet valve in a valve chest on the side of the cylinder.

This represents the second generation of this style built by Schleicher, Schumm. The slide cover and retaining system were upgraded from the previous six clamping studs to a retainer (called a “Lobster” in the original Schleicher, Schumm drawings) and just two studs. Each stud carries a strong spring and a knurled hand nut. Tightening the nuts makes the “Lobster” compress the slide valve between the cover and cylinder head. A belt-driven oiler supplies a continuous feed of oil to the slide valve to reduce friction and wear and ensure a gas-tight seal of the combustion chamber.

Another unique feature is the addition of a more compact “spur and bevel” gear arrangement driving the sideshaft. On earlier engines the governor-side crankshaft bearing was located far outboard to accommodate a pair of bevel gears to drive the sideshaft.

The 10 hp engine was built for a variety of applications and commonly equipped with two flywheels. On special request, it could be ordered with a single, extra heavy, lead-filled flywheel with integrated cable winch or back-geared piston water pump.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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