1906 90 HP Bruce-Macbeth

Coolspring Spotlight: This 1906 90 HP Bruce-Macbeth has a conventional design but was considered fairly modern in its day, with its enclosed crankcase and splash lubrication.

| October/November 2014

This is a wonderfully running 4-cylinder vertical 90 HP gas engine made by the Bruce-Macbeth Engine Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

Bruce-Macbeth started out as the Meriam-Abbott Co., patenting engine designs around 1901-1903. In 1907, they operated as the Bruce-Meriam-Abbott Co. In 1909 part of that enterprise was bought out by the Macbeth Iron Co. and from then on it operated as the Bruce-Macbeth Engine Co. They produced 2- and 4-cylinder engines like this in a wide range of sizes up until the early 1950s.

The engine is somewhat conventional in design but was fairly modern in its day, having an enclosed crankcase and splash lubrication. There’s a vertical flyball governor mounted between the two cylinders driven off a shaft in the crankcase, and the governor shaft, in turn, goes up and drives an overhead camshaft — kind of a modern feature in its day — which then operates rather conventional cylinder valves through rocker arms.

This engine and 11 like it were installed in the Pierce Glass Corp., Port Allegheny, Pennsylvania. The engines drove low-pressure, direct connected to air compressors, and the compressed air was used to blow molten glass into bottle molds.

Learn more about this engine and 38 others in Coolspring: Discovering America’s Finest Antique Engine Museum and see them run on the Coolspring Museum DVD. Visit Coolspring Power Museum online.