Gleason, Bailey & Sciple Engine

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Catalog cover.
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RD 9, Box 234, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 17815

Iown a Gleason, Bailey & Sciple engine. I have been to
exhibits all over Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia and I would
like to know if any subscribers have heard of or seen one before. I
have had this engine to shows all over and thousands of people have
looked at it. I only met one person who had even heard of it and he
had some parts of another one: George Constantine of Bordentown,
New Jersey.

I purchased this engine from an estate. The man had more than
thirty engines. When he passed on, his wife sold all but three.
This was one of the three that had not been sold because it was not
in running condition. I was looking for an engine to run an old
Myers pump that I had found. I had heard about this lady who had
some so I went to see her. She told me she would sell an engine to
me, so I bought it and brought it home. I didn’t know whether I
could get it running or not. I took it to a friend of mine, Larue
Royer, from Limestonerville, Pennsylvania. We hooked it up to an
electric engine and in a couple of hours we had everything working
good. I took it home and restored it to its original condition.

The following spring I took it to a couple of shows. A buddy of
mine, Russ Housekneckt, and Royer asked me where I got it. They
said they had never seen anything like it before. I exhibited it
for about three years.

Eventually, we contacted Seneca Falls Historical Society. They
told me they never made a engine but that, at one time, there was a
person named Cowing who had a machine shop. Cowing sold out to
Gleason about the same time the Seneca Canal was put through, but
still they said they never made an engine. Around five years ago
they were moving things in the Historical Society and found a
booklet that had ‘Gleason, Bailey & Sciple’ on it. They
are very interested in this engine and so are many other people. As
close as they can figure, this engine was made between 1888 and
1903. I would like to know if there is anybody who has a engine
like this and if they had any additional information on it.

The Seneca Falls Historical Society would love to have it. I
don’t know what to ask for it, although I have been offered
what seems to be a fair price. It may be one of a kind and my sons
are not interested in them. I’m getting up in age and I’d
like to see somebody have it who would appreciate it. It runs very

This engine has a Stromberg carburetor on it that is all brass.
It has a retard handle and all brass gears. The firing comes from a
spark plug on the side of the head. It has these marks on the side
of the head:

No. 123 8

It has 16′ flywheels and is 20′ high. It has a 3-4′
piston. Many people think it is either 1 or 1 HP. There is a fellow
in New York who wants the last bid on this engine. The pulley and
flywheel are cast as one unit. The pulley is not bolted on. The
water jacket is the heavy galvanized larger tank and the gas tank
is the smaller tank with the battery box underneath. It is all
original except for the wheels. This engine is not listed in C. H.
Wendel’s American Gasoline Engines.

I am hoping to find some information about this engine’s
value. I would appreciate any information you might have. Thank

This is a copy of a letter I received from the Seneca Falls
Historical Society, 55 Cayuga Street, Seneca Falls, New York 13148
on February 5, 1991 you will find interesting:

‘Dear Mr. Weaver:

‘I am writing with a little more information regarding your
Gleason, Bailey & Sciple engine.

‘This week, in our library, I came across a catalog from
that company, which specifically lists Sciple as a partner. As I
mentioned in my earlier letter, I was unable to find any reference
to this person as the catalog was not visible. Upon moving a few
books to straighten the shelves in the library, I discovered the
‘Sciple’ catalog, hidden behind the entire row of

‘The catalog is dated 1903. The title page describes the
company as ‘manufacturers of gas and gasoline engines,’ as
well as being a catalog of pumps and hydraulic rams. The company
was founded in 1840 as Cowing and Company but it is hard to say
exactly when Sciple entered the partnership. In our catalogs of
1887-88 Sciple is not mentioned. Our Curator has since told me that
there is evidence of the existence of the company only through 1903
which she knew before I found the most recent catalog.

‘Unfortunately, even with this catalog, an engine such as
yours was not found within is contents. I carefully reviewed the
photos you sent and compared them with the drawings in the catalog
but nothing looked even similar.

‘I am sorry, once again, that we could not date your engine
but I am fairly sure it had to be manufactured after 1888. In
addition, although 1903 is the last year we have found evidence of
the company’s existence it may have lasted longer.

‘At least we know the company was here and have a general
time period for its existence.

‘Sincerely yours,

William Leonard, S.F.H.S.’

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