Reader Steve Ledger from Vernon, Conn., sent in a collection of small, stationary engine ads culled from the pages of the Dec. 12, 1903, issue of Scientific American. The ads include some well-known makers such as Weber out of Kansas City, Mo., and Mietz & Weiss of New York. Of particular interest is the ad for a vertical engine from the Buick Motor Co., (shown in the Image Gallery) better known today for its pioneering line of automobiles launched in 1904.
In 1899, Scottish immigrant David Dunbar Buick established the Buick Auto-Vim & Power Co. to design and build gas engines. The company manufactured marine gas engines, and at least for one year in 1903 a vertical gas engine of the type shown here. Almost nothing is known of the Buick engine, and it appears manufacturing ceased the same year this ad appeared, when Buick merged with the Flint Wagon Works to form Buick Motor Car Co. Buick is still in business today, 110 years later.