The Homer Gas Engine

Detachable Water Jacket Makes Gas Engine Unusual

| April/May 2011

An advertisement for the Homer gas engine

An advertisement for the Homer gas engine from the November 1909 issue of Gas Power.

When I saw an advertisement for a gas engine with a detachable water jacket, it really spiked my interest since I had never seen or heard of one like it. The gas engine I am talking about is the Homer gas engine, manufactured by the Homer Gas Engine Co. of Homer, MI, introduced toward the end of 1909 and produced through early 1910 when the company was sold. In the very short time this company built and sold engines it is unknown how many were built or if any managed to survive to this day.

One-hit wonder 

The Homer Gas Engine Co. only built one size and style of engine in its short time of existence. It was of the vertical type and rated at 2-1/2 brake horsepower, but the manufacturers of the gas engine stated that it had an actual brake horsepower of 3-1/2 HP but was sold as 2-1/2 HP because they believed that having excess power was best for the consumer.

The detachable water jacket 

This engine has many unique features including, most notably, a detachable water jacket, which was constructed from seamless brass tubing and held onto its seat by the cylinder head bolts. According to the manufacturers, with this set up the water in the jacket could freeze and there would be no damage to the rest of the engine. If the engine was left outside with water in freezing temperatures, the fix would be a cheap and easy replacement with no welding needed.