Coolspring Spotlight

The rare and the beautiful from the Coolspring Power Museum

| October 2006

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The Star

Manufacturer: Star Gas
Engine?Co., New York
Year: circa 1904
Horsepower: 5
Serial number: 950
Bore: 5-1/2-inch
Stroke: 10-inch
Cycle: 4-stroke

The Star Gas Engine?Co. was known as a high quality builder. Their engines had an East Coast look and lines similar to White & Middleton and Backus engines.

Star was one of the early engine builders using a shelf-mounted cylinder with high-pedestal bearing blocks. Early engines used a hot tube: This engine has an igniter to ignite the fuel charge and a vertical flyball governor.

This engine ran a machine shop in Barbertown, N.J., and was used to support World War II, producing parts for the government. Butch Johnson of Baptistown, N.J., removed it from service in 1974. This Star is on loan to the Coolspring Power Museum from the collection of Preston Foster.

What Wendel says:

"Star horizontal engines were built in several sizes ranging from 1 to 25 HP. As with the vertical style, production of each size probably never exceeded a few hundred units at best, although at least one Star horizontal engine is still known to exist.

"Star's horizontal series used either a flyball governor or a pendulum governor at various times, and employed an angular slot on the intake valve seat, thus giving it the dual role of gas valve and intake valve. By placing the hot tube on the cylinder itself, the cylinder head could be removed without disturbing any of the engine attachments.