Coolspring Spotlight

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The Otto

Manufacturer: Schleicher, Schumm & Co., Philadelphia,
Year: Circa 1885
HP: 2 HP

Organized by James and Adolph Schleicher and Hermann
Schumm in 1880, Schleicher, Schumm & Co. was the United States
branch of the Otto Gas Engine Co. of Germany.

Operating under this name until 1894, the company built many
styles of Otto engines in sizes ranging from 1/2 to 50 HP.

Manufactured in Philadelphia under license from the inventor of
the 4-stroke engine, this engine embodies design features
considered revolutionary at the time. These include compression of
the fuel mixture prior to ignition by pilot flame contained within
a sliding block in the cylinder head, hit-miss flyball governing
and side-shaft actuation of valve and ignition mechanisms. It has a
4-inch bore and 9-inch stroke.

The early history of this particular engine, serial no. 954, is
not known. It was donated to the Henry Ford Museum by the Otto
Engine Works in 1928. It was purchased from the Ford Museum and
restored by the Antique Power Museum. It was brought to Coolspring
in 1992.

Contact the Coolspring Power Museum at: P.O. Box 19, Coolspring,
PA 15730; (814) 849-6883; e-mail:;

Gas Engine Magazine
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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines