English Ideal Gas Engine Turns Century Mark

| March/April 1993

HP Gas Engines

5 Minett Avenue Rushwick, Worcester, England WR2 5TQ.

I have been a subscriber to Gas Engine Magazine ever since 1975, and have got all copies neatly bound in identical binders in my office shelves here.

Somewhat over 10 years ago I sent GEM a photo of my extremely rare 1892 Worcester-built small gas engine, and it was published.

Now, early in 1992, it became 100 years old and is taken frequently to vintage tractor and oil engine meets, or rallies, as we call them. I thought that for the benefit of new readers this last decade I would send some more photos.

The plate on this prize says, 'Southall's Patent 'Ideal' Gas Engine.' This is the prototype No. 1, built in March 1892. The engine, probably a ? HP, runs well now converted from town gas to liquid butane. Note: the exhaust valve is halfway along the stroke of the piston and the air intake is vacuum operated in the center of the cylinder head.

I was given the tip-off by a friend in London, 125 miles from here, about the remains of a small gas engine lying in a Twickenham (London) scrap yard with a maker's plate on its side reading, 'Samuel South alls Patent Ideal Gas Engine.' There were never many of these engines built, and I have since ascertained, from the London Science Museum records, that mine was the prototype one of about a dozen built.