Coolspring Spotlight

The rare and the beautiful from the Coolspring Power Museum

| April 2008


The Otto

Manufacturer: Schleicher, Schumm & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
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:;