A Small Australian Collection

| July/August 2000

Eclipse Model

Eclipse model.

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.