The Otto Diesel
This engine was built in Philadelphia, during
the last days of the early and famous Otto Gas Engine Works. The
nameplate already notes the merger with Superior Engines of
The engine closely follows the German design, and employs the
complete Diesel principle, having no additional heat except
compression to start ignition. It injects only enough fuel to keep
its speed constant as controlled by the governor. For starting, it
is rolled by compressed air.
Installed in The Ice House of Lewisburg, in Lewisburg, Pa., the
engine spent its time driving an ammonia compressor for
refrigeration and an alternator for electricity, through belts as
seen here. It provided freezing for a brine tank that made block
ice. The local Amish demand kept it in service until the late
1950s, when it was placed in standby.
The Otto was donated to Coolspring Power Museum by Ice House
owner Fred Coburn. Museum engineers ran it for him on site in
Lewisburg and he was delighted. It now appears much as it did at
its original installation.
Contact the Coolspring Power Museum at P.O. Box 19,
Coolspring, PA 15730 • (814) 849-6883 • firstname.lastname@example.org •