Pictured here are Krueger-Atlas engines owned by O. B. Maloy of
7308 Ladybug, Austin, Texas 78744 (phone number 512-442-3091). He
tells the story of finding his first Krueger-Atlas while
engine-hunting near San Antonio.
He walked into a bar in a small settlement and asked if anyone
knew of any old engines. To his surprise, a man in the bar said,
‘Yes, there is one in my yard.’ They drove to the man’s
house and discovered a Krueger-Atlas 4 HP which, he was told,
belonged to the local Bowling Club. They had used it many years
earlier to pump water to the club. Since it belonged to them, the
members had to get together and decide if they wanted to sell or
not. They agreed, settled on a price, and sold the engine to
Since then, Mr. Maloy has bought 6, 16, 27, and 35 HP hit and
miss Krueger-Atlas engines. These engines are all tank cooled with
vertical fly-ball governors and bronze rod and main bearings. He
recently found a 6 HP Krueger-Atlas Jr. which is hopper cooled.
Maloy has found about 12 Krueger-Atlas engines so far.
Mr. Max Krueger opened the San Antonio Machine and Supply Co. in
1890. About 1910, he purchased the Atlas factory of Indianapolis,
Indiana. The first Krueger-Atlas catalog was printed in 1912.
An interesting account of the life and adventures of Max Krueger
is found in the book Second Fatherland-The Life and Fortunes of a
German Immigrant (edited by Marilyn McAdams Sibley and published by
the Texas A & M University press). This book is a translation
from the original German of the memoirs of Max Krueger, written at
the age of 74. He recalls his life in America from his arrival in
1868 as a well-educated but penniless and somewhat sickly German
boy of 16. His stories of life in the ‘Wild West’ are
fascinating to modern readers and reveal the character of a very
intelligent, persistent person who was a keen observer of Mother
Nature and human nature.
Krueger eventually established himself as a rancher in Texas and
made his first fortune while raising a family of 12 children with
Emily, the wife he married while still a teenager. A period of
severe drought brought this fortune to an end for Krueger at age
48, but his strong character and interest in machinery led him to
embark on a career as a businessman and to eventually establish the
Krueger-Atlas Engine Co.
O. B. Maloy has a copy of the 1912 Krueger-Atlas catalog which
describes engine operations and includes dimensions and parts
lists. The catalog relates, no doubt in Krueger’s words, the
reasons for his decision to establish the company:
After several years’ experience as sales agents and jobbers
for some of the largest gasoline engine factories in the country,
we decided to enter upon the manufacture of engines ourselves.
This decision was reached because we found it difficult to find
a first-class engine; also because the factories were located so
far away that exasperating delays were experienced in getting
engines and repairs, and because when repairs were received they
did not fit, on account of mistakes in filling orders or poor
Our extended experience and investigations in this field proved
to us that the best engine on the market was the Atlas, and after
months of negotiation we succeeded in buying the Atlas factory,
including all patterns, drawings, special tools, good will, etc.,
which we later moved to San Antonio.
Several improvements, especially adapting it to the requirements
of Texas trade, were added to the Atlas engine, and this improved
machine we are now manufacturing in San Antonio under the name
Krueger-Atlas in the largest and best equipped exclusive gas engine
factory in the south.
Mr. Maloy would like to hear from anyone who has an Atlas or