Answer To Mysterious Engine

Has this reader correctly identified a mysterious engine from a past issue?

article image

The following letter was previously published in the June/July 2021 issue of Gas Engine Magazine.


Hello and hope you are doing well. I am a long-time subscriber to Gas Engine Magazine, but this may be the first time I’ve emailed. I found what I consider to be a unique engine I’d like to share. I snapped these pics in Joshua Tree National Park, just outside of Twentynine Palms, California. This engine is part of an old-time gold ore stamping mill that includes a shaker table. The hopper on this engine is unique, and the entire engine seems to be of heavy construction. I am wondering if this engine is native to California and these desert communities.

Thank you,

Todd Stellhorn
Cherry Valley, CA

Top view of a brown gas engine.

Hi Todd,
I think I have the answer to your question. It looks to be a small rock crusher used mostly in assay offices. At least half a dozen companies made them in San Francisco. Very few of the small ones had a builder’s name on them. I don’t know why. Almost all the larger crushers have the foundry’s name on them.

Jim Limacher, via email

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum or your contact information for GEM Experts to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or email

  • Updated on Jun 29, 2021
  • Originally Published on Jun 22, 2021
Tagged with: Gas Engine, readers letters, rock crushers
Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines