108 Purcell Drive Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Having been an engine collector several years, I am always on the lookout for those which are strange and different. While prowling around a secondhand store near home this summer, I spotted an engine under a bench surrounded by other 'junk.' When I looked closer it turned out to be a 1HP 'Mogul, Jr.' These engines seem to be especially collectible because they were made only from 1915 to 1917 and are small and easy to handle. After consulting with my engine buddies, it seemed to be a worthwhile addition to my collection, in spite of the fact that it had a strange ignition system, and had been modified to use a spark plug instead of an ignitor (Picture #1). After some haggling, waving of hands and head shaking, a price was agreed upon and I hauled it home. The seller said it was complete and had run.
The next evening, I called two of my buddies, Dick Durig and Jim Cline to come over and look at my 'new' old gem (and by the way, help me to get it going). Dick said he had never seen such a strange ignition arrangement on an old engine (which meant that it was pretty cobbled up). The picture (#2) shows why. Apparently, a long time ago, someone had taken an aluminum flywheel with imbedded magnets like those used on small newer 4-cycle engines, cut off the cooling fins and mounted it inside the left flywheel. The coils and armature core were mounted on a bracket under the crankshaft. The original magneto drive gear on the crankshaft was replacd by a single detented cam which operates a set of automobile points to give the proper timing. The whole arrangement is very simple and efficient. After some point gap tweaking by Jim Cline (the best mechanic anywhere around here) we choked her and by golly, she ran!
I have cleaned up the engine and taken it to some shows where it always gets attention. It may not be a 'factory original' restoration, but it sure is different. This ignition system could probably be added to any small hit and miss to get it running. The best part is the cost is almost nil, and it doesn't look too bad (if you don't look too close). It always helps to have good mechanics as friends.