DEAN?ENGINE CO.:THE ORIGINAL REBEL

By Staff
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1912 advertisement featuring Fox Motors.
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Employees of the Dean Engine Co. at Dean’s facilities near Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Another Kentucky Post article from Sept. 19, 1906, reporting the Fox Engine Co.’s filing for incorporation.
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Dean engine-powered boat racing along the Ohio River, circa 1905.

Some time ago, Gas Engine Magazine acquired a
small collection of old photographs and miscellaneous information
regarding the Dean Engine Co. However, our research has not led to
any substantial additional information, so we are asking readers
for feedback and any additional information or resources you feel
may help us in our search. Until then, we would like to share with
you what we have found:

We queried Kentucky resident and engine collector Tommy Turner,
who has particular interest in Kentucky-based engine companies.
Tommy tells us that, “Dean was in the foundry business, and this
possibly led to the engine construction side of the company. They
were located in Covington, Ky., directly across the Ohio River from
Cincinnati, and very possibly had ties to the industrial
manufacturers in Cincinnati. I know they eventually merged and
became the Fox Reversible Motor Co., which built marine engines.
There are a few around, but they are still a rare find.”

In American Gas Engines Since 1872, C.H. Wendel states, “Dean
engines first appeared about 1904. A sideshaft design was featured,
and both the intake and exhaust valves were mechanically operated.
The steel connecting rod was machined from solid billet. About 1907
the firm took the name of Dean-Waterman Co. This was followed by a
1910 consolidation of the Dean interests with Fox Reversible Gas
Engine Co., also of Covington. Little is known of the company after
this time. At one point, Dean engines ranged in size from 3 to 100
HP.”

The Kenton County Historical Society Board offered input,
writing Gas Engine Magazine that, “Dean Gas Engine & Foundry
Co. apparently began in Covington in 1904. It became the
Dean-Waterman Co. in 1907, then in 1910 merged and became the Fox
Reversible Gas Engine Co. The connection is the name of a Dean
employee – William Stephenson.”

Note the above statement claims the Dean Gas Engine &
Foundry Co. began in 1904, and that the company became
Dean-Waterman Co. in 1907. And yet, old city directories claim the
Dean-Waterman Co. was operating as early as 1904. This leads us to
believe the first engines manufactured by Dean were likely done so
under the Dean-Waterman name. The following business listings come
from Covington and Newport, Ky., city directories:

1904-05, Covington – Dean-Waterman Co.,
79 W. 9th St.
President M.B. Dean
Secretary and Treasurer S.J. Waterman
1908-09, Newport – Fox Reversible Gasoline
Engine, 1st and Washington
President E.E. Schmidt
Vice President M.B. Dean
Secretary A.G. Dean
1910-11, Newport – Fox Reversible Gasoline
Engine, 1st and Washington
President M.B. Dean
Vice President A.G. Dean

It has been said by William R. “Jack,” son of William
Stephenson, that prior to 1911, William had worked as a mechanical
engineer for Dean Gas Engines in Covington, Ky., and had designed
and built an engine for a 40-foot boat to race on the Ohio River.
It was successful, winning its race. This had to have been done
about 1905. It was learned from Jack that this particular engine
was an 8-cylinder inline 2-stroke engine with 12 carburetors The
bore was 5 inches, as was the stroke, which results in a total
displacement of 785 cubic inches.

Questions Looking for Answers
Given this information, some questions we would like to have
answers to are as follows:

• Who was Dean?
• Who was Waterman?
• Does anyone have any original literature or photographs of Dean
engines?
• Has anyone ever seen a Dean engine, or better yet, does anyone
own one or know the whereabouts of one?
• What happened to Dean after the period following 1910?

If you can help answer any of these questions, please send any
information you might have to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd
St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265; rbackus@ogdenpubs.com

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines