Krueger-Atlas Engines

| June/July 1987

Krueger-Atlas engine

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 Maloy.

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.