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One of a Kind: 1913 2-1/2hp Hippe-Steiner

Join Howard Fischer as he recounts discovering a unique 1913 2-1/2hp Hippe-Steiner gas engine that appears to be the only one still in existence.

| February/March 2020

Howard Fischer’s rare 1913 2-1/2hp Hippe-Steiner appears to be the sole surviving example.

1913 2-1/2hp Steiner

Manufacturer: Hippe-steiner Mfg. Co., Chilton, Wisconsin
Year: 1913
Serial No.: 625
Horsepower: 2-1/2hp @ 450rpm
Bore and Stroke: 3-1/4in x 6in
Flywheels: 22in x 2-1/2 in
Ignition: Spark plug and buzz coil
Governing: Hit-and-miss, flywheel governor
Fuel: Gasoline
Cooling: Hopper

When Howard Fischer brought home a gas engine two years ago, it turned out to be the most unique of the “over 1,000” gas engines the 87-year-old from Kewascum, Wisconsin, had dealt with in the past 72 years. The 1913 2-1/2hp Hippe-Steiner gas engine he found is to date the only one known to exist. “I don’t know for sure that that’s true, but I’ve never seen or heard of another one,” Howard says. After the decades Howard’s spent actively trading and collecting engines, that statement carries some weight.

A Little History

Howard grew up on a farm near Mequon, Wisconsin, and his uncle Ed started him off in old iron in 1949, giving him a Model T Ford. “After that, I just got interested in old engines,” Howard says.

The next step was a 2-1/2hp Alamo engine his father used on an orchard sprayer, which Howard remembers seeing back in 1947, when he was 15. “My father’s brother Bill moved to a farm where there was a circa-1922 1-1/2hp Simplicity engine, and they were just going to leave that one sitting there.”

Howard’s father, George, said Howard could have the engine. “I knew nothing about engines,” Howard says. “All I could do was screw around with it. I cleaned it up, and tried to run it, but all I got out of it was a couple of coughs. I’d wanted to shell corn with it,” he remembers.

The pulley on Howard’s engine isn’t original to the engine, and it’s unclear if the interesting muffler is.


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