An Early Stover Engine Found in New Zealand

Early 6 HP Stover engine withstands 60 years of weather


| April/May 2011



6 HP Stover in New Zealand

In 2004, I was told about a very early 6 HP Stover engine that resides at Kuriheka near Oamaru on South Island, New Zealand. I wrote an article about this horizontal engine at that time but was unable to get pictures of it so I had to use ones of a horizontal engine 1907 5 HP Stover Type DO on a transport that was similar to the New Zealand engine.

Alex Storrie was a blacksmith who started his business making farm implements in the 1890s in Invercargill at the bottom of South Island. He is said to have been an agent for Stover so I now wonder how many Stover engines were sent to him. The Stover engine was supplied to a Colonel Nichols around six months after Stover brought out their new range of engines. The engine is still on this property that is run by the Nichols family. It is now 107 years old and has sat outside for the last 60 years.

Richard Kees, Christchurch, NZ, brought this engine to my attention and in June 2004 he relayed information that the whole operation is in a trust that is controlled by Robin C. Nichols. There was infighting between Robin and his nephew, Tim, and they do not talk to one another. Richard went on to say that attempts to phone the uncle had failed to date. All I can assume is that at present Tim or Robin Nichols has gained control of the trust.

One evening in June 2010 I had a phone call from Tony Williams in New Zealand. I was told he had spoken to Robin, who I assume is the grandson or great-grandson of the colonel, about restoring the Stover several years ago but nothing happened. Then recently, Robin came and asked Tony to restore the engine.

Early Stover history 

Daniel C. Stover was born on May 8, 1840 at Greencastle, PA. He started a manufacturing business in 1862, most likely making machinery for local farmers. He moved to Freeport, IL, in 1866 and by 1872 was listed as a manufacturer of agricultural implements. The Stover Mfg. Co. was formed in 1879 and was incorporated in 1882. By 1887 the Stover Mfg. Co. had become the largest manufacturer of windmills in the world.