Coolspring Spotlight

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The Watkins

Manufacturer: F. M. Watkins Mfg. Co.,
Cincinnati

Year: circa 1898

This engine, as its nameplate states, was
manufactured expressly for Stephen B. Church of Seymour, Conn. It
is on loan from the collection of John Rex, Chelmsford, Mass.

Very little is known about the F.M. Watkins Mfg. Co. C.H. Wendel
has a short reference to the Watkins engine in his book,
American Gasoline Engines Since 1872, in which he writes:
“The 1898 edition of Gas, Gasoline & Oil Engines by
Gardner D. Hiscox illustrates the Watkins horizontal engine of that
era. Apparently marketed under both the ‘Watkins’ and ‘Sumner’
tradenames, this particular model was one of the first to feature a
gear-driven, low-tension magneto as standard equipment.” Wendel was
unable to find any patent information on this particular engine,
but he does cite in Volume II of his book that the company
manufactured marine engines and changed its name to Watkins Motor
Co. by 1908.

The serial number and true horsepower of this engine are
unknown. All that is known is the engine powered the equipment in a
lumberyard in New Hampshire and was placed in preservation by Nate
Lillibridge.

Contact the Coolspring Power Museum at: P.O. Box 19,
Coolspring, PA 15730; (814) 849-6883;
coolspring@penn.com
www.coolspringpowermuseum.org

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