Perkins Model B with a Pedigree

The tale of a Perkins Model B that began its working life providing power for a doctor’s practice.

| June/July 2018

  • Built about 1908, this 1-1/2 hp vertical sideshaft Perkins Model B has been restored to working order while preserving its original patina.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • The build plate shows the engine's serial number, but its horsepower rating is blank. The "Perkin's" is curious: The company was founded by Palmer Perkins (no apostrophe) and incorporated as Perkins Windmill & Ax Co. in 1873.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • Still in its work clothes, with weather-worn paint and an unrestored cart, the Perkins is a fine looking engine from any angle.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • Tall muffler is unique, as is the fuel tank, mounted higher still at left and out of view in this photograph.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • The Perkins as purchased at Regis Becker's estate auction.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • The sideshaft and replacement igniter (the engine had been converted to spark plug) during restoration.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • The cylinder and base getting attention.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • The cylinder head going back together with a correct igniter and a newly cast mixer to replace the incorrect carburetor that had been fitted.
    Photo by Joel Mosely
  • Larry Lucke (left) and Jared Janssen tending to the Perkins.
    Photo by Joel Mosely

Pedigree: derivation, origin, or history: The engines that can be traced from their original applications and owners to present day are in a distinct minority, but we recently pieced together an interesting story of an unusual little vertical sideshaft Perkins. Let me tell you the tale of a Perkins with a pedigree.

This particular Perkins has a well-established pedigree, as shown by its known timeline:

• Manufacture date (circa 1908) to approximately 1920: Owned by Dr. Samuel Murdock, Sabetha Kansas, founder of the present-day Sabetha Community Hospital, respected physician, surgeon, mayor and philanthropist.

• 1920 to approximately 1970: Owned by the Osterhaus family, farmers/stockmen, Oneida, Kansas.

• 1970 to 2017: Owned by Regis Becker, longtime engine collector, Seneca, Kansas.

• 2017 to present: Owned by Larry Lucke, prominent collector/restorer of rare and desirable engines, Lincoln, Nebraska, area.

6/12/2018 7:44:20 AM

The logo of PERKINS is a diamond (a losenge) with 4 circles. In each circle there was an animal symbolising a particular quality. There was the camel for economy, the elephant for strength... I do not remember the 2 other animals. Could you help me? Best regards. Jean-Paul