By Staff


We’ve been patiently waiting for this tome to be produced
and C. H. Wendel has just completedAmerican Gasoline
Engines Since 1872
for Crestline Publishers. This
comprehensive encyclopedia covers manufacturers from Abenaque to W.
J. Young in a whopping 584 fact-filled pages.

Wendel, who is well known to collectors as the author of
Encyclopedia of the American Farm Tractor and 250 Years of
International Harvester, spent over two years on this project. Over
2,000 photographs appear in the volume, each with a detailed
caption-all darkroom work was performed by Wendel himself.

Much of the information in the book came in response to an ad
which Wendel placed some time ago in theGas Engine
requesting data and information on early engine
builders. In addition to the many individuals who assisted were
universities and historical societies who responded to the quest
for information.

Owning this reference allows a new or experienced collector
ready access to answers to many of the questions we see so
frequently asked in ourSmoke Rings column! Of course, the
amount of information for each manufacturer varies according to the
length and breadth of their production, but an effort has been made
to include all known companies which produced (or even attempted to
produce) gas, gasoline, alcohol, naptha, oil or diesel engines in
the United States and Canada.

One finds several pages on familiar companies such as Fairbanks
Morse, Olds, Otto and IHC, but also included is information on
obscure firms such as the Henry C. Hart Manufacturing Company of
Detroit, Michigan or the Foster Motor Company of New Haven
Connecticut. In both of the latter cases, drawings and patents are
all that remain for engines which may never have reached the
prototype stage.

This book also goes far to clear up confusions easily caused by
spelling, such as the difference between the Lazier Gas Engine
Company of Buffalo, New York, and the Lozier Motor Company of New
York City.

Wendel notes in his foreward that a great deal of the time
involved in the book’s compilation was spent in searching his
complete run of thePatent Office Gazette, which provided
irrefutable sources for patent filing dates. As he says, frequently
the lag time in actual granting of a patent was so long, that the
company may have ceased production by that time, and that the
filing date was generally simultaneous to the start of

One of the immense challenges of a project such as this one, is
that information continues to flow in- evidence of new companies or
additional models, etc.-after the author has completed his initial
manuscript. At some point, new additions have to be saved for new
editions. While Mr. Wendel credits his publisher with taking new
information long past the usual stage, he continues to have an
interest in obtaining additional information. After collectors have
purchased and digested this volume, they should send such
information to C. H. Wendel, R.R. 1, Box 28-A, Atkins, Iowa

American Gasoline Engines Since 1872 has a
publication date of September 1st and will retail for $34.95.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines