Engine Identification: What Is It?

By Staff
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This 6 hp Lightning Engine was manufactured around 1900 by the Kansas City Hay Press Co. in Kansas City, Mo.
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Courtesy of Ruben Michelson, Anamoose, North Dakota
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Pictured is my daughter-in-law, Vickie Meyers. She and our son,Dick, have restored this 6 hp International gas engine. They haveabout 25 gas engines to their collection, which have been restored,of all different makes and sizes. Dick is in the Service nowstationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. His wife Vickie and their son,Stephen reside nearby.
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Pictured here is a 1 1/2 hp John Deere gas engine no-264788 owned by "Rumley Oil Pull Bill" Krumweide of Voltaire, N. Dak. He received it in a trade with Harold L. Ottaway of Wichita, Kansas.

The engine identification request from Ole Lundberg of Butterfield, Minn won’t defeat us this month. Manufactured by Kansas City Hay Press Co. of Kansas City, Mo. in about 1900, the 6 hp Lightning Engine is one we’ve seen before in the pages of Gas Engine Magazine. Description is as follows: It is a single cylinder 4 cycle engine of opposed-piston type, not
opposed-cylinder type. The engine has one long cylinder barrel with
two pistons working in this barrel, the piston-heads coming nearly
together at the middle. The space left between the pistons forms
the combustion space where the make & break igniter is, where
the fuel-air mixture is taken in, and exhaust gases are let out.
This opposed-piston engine can pull or idle on comparatively slow
R.P.M. wise. The principal is an efficient one because of low heat
loss, since only a small area is exposed to the cooling water. This
engine is quite vibration-less, since combustion is between two
pistons which are parting in opposite directions on the power
stroke. Mr. Lundberg states that the block will hold
1 1/2 gallons of water, on which it can be
idled for a long time without getting hot. For work, it was piped
to a 50 gallon water tank at the rear of the engine.

It has a rachet wheel timing mechanism, with battery & coil
system to the igniter. It has a fuel pump and 7 drip oilers. The
rear piston is connected to the inside of a “U” or wishbone inside
the round dome. This U extends around each side of the block to a
square section which holds the wrist pin and sliding action of the
connecting rod. Then both connecting rods extend forward to the
crankshaft up to two crank throws, opposite of the single crank
throw for the front piston. This makes for a perfectly balanced
engine. The three connecting rods each have a drip oiler above it
on a shield and picks up its oil from a felt with a cup on the

It is equipped with a fly ball governor and has a very large
metal muffler. Also, it looks like two different size pulleys were
standard equipment.

The 1 1/2 hp John Deere gas engine no-264788 owned by “Rumley Oil Pull Bill” Krumweide is another interesting and rare model. Instead of the usual magneto
and ignitor, it has a battery, coil, and spark plug ignition system. This
is an original engine and not a conversion changeover as some
people might think it would be. Upon close examination you will
notice a factory made bracket bolted to the usual magneto base on
the engine going on back and down along the top of the push rod on
to which is mounted the ignition timer.

Up to now, we know of one or two others like this one and would
like to hear from readers of any engines of this model in existence
and how a few of such came about to be that way.

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