Coolspring Spotlight: 1895 8 HP Dayton engine on display at the Coolspring Power Museum, Coolspring, Pa.
The 1895 8 HP Dayton is a conventional 4-cycle engine with some interesting mechanical features, most notably the brass hand crank mechanism on top of the valve box for starting the engine with an ordinary wooden kitchen match. The Dayton also features power-operated fuel, intake and exhaust valves by separate pushrods from a camshaft that’s mounted in the top of the crankcase casting.
Manufacturer: Erie Gas Engine Co., Erie, Pa.
Serial Number: 69
Ignition: Igniter, make-and-break
This 1895 8 HP Dayton engine is a conventional 4-cycle engine, but it’s mechanically unique. It has a semi-closed crankcase, and power-operated fuel, intake and exhaust valves by separate pushrods from a camshaft that’s mounted in the top of the crankcase casting. The camshaft is driven through an idler gear to get additional space between the camshaft and the crankshaft. The valves are contained in a valve chest mounted on the side of the cylinder and the fuel-gas valve is mounted on the side of that chest. This particular engine is designed to burn either natural gas, which would be regulated by one hand valve, or gasoline, which would be controlled by a smaller valve on the side. The brass device with the hand crank on top of the valve box is for starting the engine with the aid of an ordinary wooden kitchen match.
Read more about this engine and 38 others in Coolspring: Discover America’s Finest Antique Engine Museum, published by Gas Engine Magazine.
Contact the Coolspring Power Museum at PO Box 19, Coolspring, PA 15730, (814) 649-6883