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Coolspring Spotlight: 1905 Either/Ajax engine

Author Photo
By Staff

Check out this unique circa 1905 Ajax/ Either convertible engine.

engine
Gas Engine staff
This circa 1905 Either convertible engine was used by the Washington Oil Company based in Taylorstown, Pa. Daily pumping could be done in the gas engine mode, while servicing the well such as pulling rods and tubing was done in the steam mode. The steam engine frame, along with the crosshead, connecting rod, crankshaft and flywheel, were built by Ajax of Corry, Pa.

Kougher Half Breed Pavilion Either / Ajax

Company: B.D. Northrup Co., Washington, PA

Year: Circa 1905

Engine cylinder: 86

Frame number: 2874

Horsepower: 15 or 20hp

Owner: Paul Harvey

This engine was manufactured by the B.D. Northrup Co. of Washington, Pennsylvania. Blancher Dix Northrup was an expert machinist and followed the oil boom to Washington, Pennsylvania. There, he set up shop to produce all kinds of oil field equipment. He was especially known for his precision regulator that was considered the best on the market. Although Gardner, also of Washington, had already built a successful gas or steam convertible engine, he introduced his “Either” engine. Of similar purpose, his was easier to change from one function to the other. It sold very well, and Nortrup absorbed Gardner in 1911.

closeup

Features

The engine is a converted engine, as the gas cylinder could be adapted to any steam engine frame. In this case, the steam engine frame, along with the crosshead, connecting rod, crankshaft and flywheel, were built by Ajax of Corry, Pennsylvania. The gas cylinder has three large valves to switch from gas engine to steam engine operation. It is interesting to note the extra weight attached to the wheel, and the oil field patch.

machine

History

This engine was used by the Washington Oil Co. based in Taylorstown, Pennsylvania. Daily pumping could be done in the gas engine mode, while servicing the well such as pulling rods and tubing was done in the steam mode. Long after the original boilers were gone, a portable boiler was moved to the site. It came to Coolspring in 1970.

machine

photo by: Gas Engine Magazine Staff

The gas
cylinder has three large valves to switch from gas engine to
steam engine operation.

wheel

photo by: Staff

Note the extra weight attached to the wheel


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Published on May 14, 2021

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines