Coolspring Spotlight: Circa-1905 10 hp Klein Model 5

This Klein Model 5 runs hit-and-miss controlled by a pendulum governor, unlike earlier Transit engines.

| February/March 2018

Circa-1905 10 hp Klein Model 5

Manufacturer: National Transit Pump & Machine, Oil City, PA
Year: Circa 1905
Serial no.: 527
Horsepower: 10 hp
Bore & stroke: 9in x 12in
Owner: Steve Tachoir

This engine was built by the National Transit pision of the huge Standard Oil monopoly. Transit controlled all the crude oil pipelines, and also produced all the equipment needed to operate them. It made heavy, dependable engines and pumps, and did not offer them for sale on the market. John Klein was the “genius” chief engineer for Transit and designed a line of engines for them. However, he passed away in 1902, and this engine was likely designed after his untimely passing.


All the earlier Transit engines had long frames with a crosshead connecting the piston to the crankshaft. This is absent on this engine, which saved some money in production. It has typical Transit lines and flywheels, giving a pleasant appearance. Unlike the earlier engines, this one runs hit-and-miss controlled by a pendulum governor. It has a ported cylinder with an ungainly and uncooled valve box on the side. Ignition is by electric igniter. Evidence strongly suggests that John Klein did not design this model.


Along the east bank of the Allegheny River south of Franklin, Pennsylvania, were three small stations pumping the local crude oil to the large Kennerdell Station. The middle station was Indian God Rock, home of this engine. It powered a 3x8 vertical Transit triplex pump. The rock, noted in Indian lore, still exists along the bank of the river, and has inscriptions dating to the early 1800s. Paul Harvey removed the engine in 1969 on his 1946 REO truck.