Galloway

Gas Engines Defined Iowa Manufacturer's Career


| April 2005



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You might think of William Galloway, who would become most famous for his Galloway gasoline engines, as a 'Renaissance Man.' An innovator in sales and manufacturing, his breadth of interests and his affect on the fabric of life of Waterloo, Iowa - beginning with his move to the city in 1901 as a farm machinery salesman - was wide and deep.

Galloway sold farm machinery, including harrows and manure spreaders, oat hullers and tractors. He built and sold automobiles, and gas engines as well. Along with others, he developed urban settlements around Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, and sold his wares through a pioneering and successful mail order business.

It's no wonder that C.H. Wendel, writing in Manufacturing Companies of Gasoline Engines in Early Waterloo, was moved to note that, "Much of the industrial development of early Waterloo centered around William Galloway."

Shortly after moving to Waterloo, "Big Bill" Galloway started the Wilson-Galloway Co. to manufacture farm machinery and vehicles. Then, in 1905, Galloway went off on his own to form the William Galloway Co. Inc., selling chiefly harrow carts, on which the operator could ride behind the harrow. The next year, according to Wendel, he added manure spreaders, cream separators and gasoline engines to his line.

Engines are Number One

Though no literature about Galloway says so, it's obvious the gasoline engine was his primary interest, because it was the only product he stayed with for almost his entire career.

Immediately after starting his own company, Galloway started sending out engine catalogs. For 1907, the Success 1-1/2 HP air-cooled model sold for $48.50. It featured spark plug ignition and had a 3-3/4-by-4-inch bore and stroke, and was manufactured in Wisconsin instead of Galloway's plant in Iowa. Also readily available were 2-1/2 ($75), 5 ($110), and 7 HP ($175) models, while 8 and 12 HP models were available by special order.