Livingstone 6 Hill Stree t Leichhardt 2040 NSW Australia pml@bigpond. com
I have been collecting engines since I was 10 years old, and as with most collectors, my collection has grown and shrunk a number of times. My engines were stored for 12 years due to university, work, and moving to the city, until last year when I came across the ATIS engine list on the Internet. My enthusiasm was restored and my engines started to be uncovered and brought back into the world. In the last year I have gone to a number of shows, joined a club (Sydney Antique Machinery Club), and bought and restored more engines. I have a mix of U.S., Canadian, Australian, and English engines, Some of which I will talk about in this article.
My first engine was bought at an auction for $7.00. It is a Fairbanks-Morse No.1 Eclipse, engine no. A5093 and is still my favorite engine. As far as I have been able to discover, this engine was probably built fairly early in the production run, as it has a number of features different from later engines. The most notable difference is that the engine does not have 'Fairbanks-Morse' or '1' cast on the barrel of the engine, as most seem to have. I have an original 1914 catalogue for the Eclipse engines, which shows both versions of this casting. The photos show the earlier type with just 'Eclipse' cast on the barrel, while the diagrams show the barrel with 'Fairbanks-Morse' cast on it. According to the catalog, the No.1 Eclipse without pumpjack has a shipping weight of 185 pounds and has a 14' flywheel.
My Eclipse never seems to have had a pumpjack attached and as I bought it from an old dairy, I presume it had been used to power various dairy machines.
You will note in the photo that it has a magneto. All the Australian Eclipses I have seen have magnetos attached. My engine has an early Bosch driven by a chain off the crankshaft. The magneto sits on a plate bolted to the crankcase. Many of the Eclipses here have a much better made setup and the magneto is driven with gears and attaches to a much more solid plate. The engine also has the original factory extension hopper. This increases water capacity by one gallon (according to the manual).
My Eclipse was missing the governor, crank handle, and silencer when I bought it, but all other parts are original. I have now either acquired or had the missing parts made. The Eclipse will happily run all day at a show and is an easy starting engine. It is starting to look a bit shabby, as it was restored 20 years ago and has been to every engine show I have taken engines to. When there is a big enough break between shows, I will repaint the Eclipse.
I now have a beautiful half size model of the Eclipse made by Reg Ingold. It is an easy starting, great running, little engine and the full size and half size engines attract a lot of attention at shows. Reg is a true craftsman and I am very proud to have one of his models.
My biggest engine (at the moment) is a 5 HP Austral Oil Engine. This was made by Ronaldson Bros, and Tippett in Ballarat Victoria, Australia, in September 1917. It is a lamp-start sideshaft engine. I have yet to restore this engine, as it was acquired shortly before my engines went into storage. I have had it running and it is a sweet sounding engine. I have had a set of new valves made and fitted, as the originals were very worn. This particular engine was originally a stationary engine which drove a Chinese laundry in Young, NSW. I swapped a 1928 Fordson Tractor my father and I had restored for the Austral. I recently acquired an original Austral transporter, which I hope to soon move the Austral onto, as the transporter it is currently on is not correct. I hope to be able to start showing this engine this year, restored or unrestored.
My next largest engine is a 4-5 HP Massey Harris Type 2.1 have been unable to date this engine, but it is a later model engine, as it has a cast crank cover. The parts book lists the full crank shield first being used in 1925. My engine was recovered from an outside toilet where it has sat for at least 20 years. It had been used to drive a water pump and other equipment. After getting it home, I gave the valves a quick grind, which gave the engine good compression, and it started first try, after not being run in 20 years. It has only had a cosmetic restoration so far, as most of the parts are in good order. I have yet to install the main fuel tank, as I was missing the check valve assembly, but it will run for about 30 minutes on the carb reservoir. I have recently acquired the check valve assembly and piping from Edd Payne, so I will soon put the main tank back in. This engine starts so easily, it is unbelievable. It will start with a single click of the Wico EK (which has never been touched), with only a slow turn of the flywheels. The Massey-Harris is mounted on a Sunshine transporter with the 4 HP Buzacott, as it makes it a bit easier to move these heavy engines.
The next largest engine is my 4 HP Buzacott. This is a an Australian copy of the Fuller and Johnson model K. It was made by the Rosebery Engine Works in Sydney and badged as The Buzacott Oil Engine. It is a throttle governed engine with rotary magneto, in this case a Wico A, which is not the original but it works. These engines were also sold with the Wico EK. I found this engine lying in some long grass with only the flywheels showing. Nothing was missing off this engine, the original Lewis oiler was in place and the crank handle was still in the hopper. Lying in the grass next to it were all the parts of the shearing plant it had once driven. The engine was not stuck, but the shearing gear was (and still is) rusted solid.
While on Buzacotts, possibly one of the more unusual engines is my 'The Little Kangaroo' shearing plant. The engine is a 2 HP Buzacott 2B. This is also a copy of the Fuller and Johnson engine. The Buzacott 2A is a hit and miss governed engine, while the 2B is throttle governed. Most use a Wico EK, but I have seen some with rotary mags. The 2B is quite rare here. The shearing gear was built by G. Munro Pty. Ltd. in Ballarat Victoria. It is all mounted on an original transporter and is a great looking little unit. I acquired this unit some years ago and put it to the back of the shed, as it was stuck solid and the carb had been broken off at the head. Last year I decided to have a go at restoring it. Reg Ingold applied his expertise and well equipped workshop to the task of getting the piston out, which was tight all the way as it was stuck near the top of the stroke. The bore was in good condition, as was the piston. Only one ring was broken, so a replacement was obtained from Edd Payne. Edd also rebuilt the Wico EK, as it was a complete wreck. Every part and every nut and bolt were difficult to get apart, but once apart all the bits were in good condition. Reg also repaired the broken carburetor and made me a nice crank handle, which is a bit shorter than normal due to the close proximity of the flywheels to the transporter wheels. The engine will start with a flip of the flywheels, but as it is a recent restoration I am still ironing out the bugs. Next project is to repaint the transporter. The engine runs very well with quite a distinct exhaust note sounding more like the 4HP K than the nearly identical hit and miss 2As.
Also lurking in the collection is an early Fuller and Johnson Farm Pumper. It has a blank flywheel, except for the direction arrow, a Dixie magneto on the side, and the spark plug in the barrel. I found this engine lying on its side on a farm scrap heap. My father and I brought the engine home, filled the fuel tank, and it started almost first try. It is 100% complete, including original oiler and I have not had it apart. I now have a complete pump jack for it which will eventually be attached when the engine is restored. I have not had the heart to pull it apart for restoration as it is such a good running engine. Well, it runs as well as Farm Pumpers can.
One of the nicest engines I have picked up is a Boulton and Paul 'Electrolite' lighting plant. This was made in Norwich, England, in 1928. It is 110V DC and is 100% complete except for the battery set. I am the second owner of this engine, having recovered it from its original installation where it had provided power for a large homestead before the coming of mains power. It is very heavy, as the large generator and petrol/kerosene engine are mounted on a common cast base.
The first engine I bought when I returned to the hobby last year was a Cooper CT-2. This is identical to the Stover engine, except for having disk flywheels with no name cast in them. It is unknown if the local CT-2s are rebadged Stovers or locally made engines. These engines were still being sold here long after the demise of Stover. My engine is a throttle governed, petrol start, kerosene fueled engine. It is rated at 2HP to 2.5 HP at 575rpm. The Cooper CT-2 was available as hit and miss or throttle governed, the throttle governed being the slightly less common engine. I bought this engine at a swap meet and quickly restored it, but it has only been to one show so far.
Also in the collection are a few small Ronaldson-Tippet petrol engines, a small Wolsley, a couple of vertical Buzacotts, and who knows what other bits and pieces. My smaller engines live here in the city with me. while my large engines stay in my father's shed in the country, lurking behind his old cars.
The only engine I allow my father to claim ownership of is his 'Little Monitor.' It is not known if this engine is a Baker Mfg. Co. engine or if it is a locally made Chandler. It has a few things slightly different from the Baker engines, the most notable being the lack of 'Monitor' cast in the fuel tank, and a slightly different magneto mount. You might question a magneto on a Monitor, but all engines exported to Australia had a magneto mount cast into the fuel tank and a Dixie magneto fitted.
This is the first article I have ever written, so I hope I have not rabbited on too much. I hope to share some more of my down under engine experiences with you again.