About Gasoline Engines

| September/October 1975

Kettlersville, Ohio 45336

Beginning in 1878, the construction of the first successful Gasoline Engine built in the United States was the Otto of Germany. Montgomery Ward was the first mail order house to sell Gasoline Engines and sold the Otto. Listed in their 1894-1895 catalog these engines were high priced as a dollar was a lot of money at that time. This is the price list of, the Otto engines in 1894-95:

H.PWeight Price
41250 420
61/2 1650 540
81725 600
102825 740
13600 810
17 4500 1025
237500 1437
298000 1687
3612300 2363
2 H.P. air cooled$580.00
2 H.P. hopper cooled 578.00
3  H.P. hopper cooled764.00
4  H.P. hopper cooled816.00
6 H.P. hopper cooled958.00
10 H.P. hopper cooled1407.00
15-20 H.P. hopper cooled2907.00

From 1878 to 1910 in 32 years time, hundreds of different factories came into being. Competition became so strong that prices came tumbling down so that in 1910 I bought a 12 H.P. United Engine for $125.00 and a 6 H.P. for $58.00 which I still have. It still runs like new. Over 1300 factories came into being building engines at one time, then they began going out of business. Finally there was only one left that built a full line of these open crank two flywheel Hopper Cooled Engines and that is the Arcadia Gas Engine Company of Nova Scotia, Canada. I have their price list for 1965 for the Cleveland, Ohio catalog where the Wilson Supply Company were the agents for the U.S.A. F.O.B. Cleveland, Ohio.

As these engines were not selling they discontinued the full line of these engines some time between 1967 and 1970. They still make the 10 H.P. size on order for the Canadian Government or anyone else who wanted one. The price is $1500.00 plus $500.00 duty and freight. Mr. Wilson, president of Wilson Supply Company bought one of the 15-20 H.P. size for his farm and likes it very much. For sixty years most farmers at some time had two engines, a small one to run the washing machine, pump water, run meat grinder, and a larger one for wood buzzing, feed grinding, and shredding. When rural electric came in and farmers were getting tractors these engines became obsolete. At that time I was operating a used implement and junk yard. I wrecked some 200 of these engines, all sizes, from 1 H.P. to 15 H.P. There also were a lot of Delco Electric light plants wrecked. These engines ran nicely. I sure wish I had some of the nice engines now. At that time all they were used for was scraps. These engines were all made of the best of cast iron which had the highest market value of that time.


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