Route 1, Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin 53578
This is another in the continuing series of articles concerning
the history of the Full & Johnson Company and the engines built
by them. In this article I’ll try to cover, briefly, the late
models of the F & J hopper cooled engines.
The last article included those hopper cooled engines built up
through the Model NA; therefore, this will begin with the Model
The Model NB engines came out during the first part of the year
1925. The very first ones I have been able to find a record of were
a 3 HP and a 4 HP shipped to the T. L. Smith Company of Milwaukee
on January 21, 1925. These two must have been pilot models. It was
interesting to note that the 3 HP engine, which was S#91319, which
had been shipped on January 21,1925 to T. L. Smith, was shipped on
February 10, 1925 to the Kwick Mix Mixer Company, Port Washington,
Wisconsin. Apparently T. L. Smith returned it to the F & J
factory after they were done with it.
F & J shipped quite a large number of engines to other
companies which built cement mixers, elevators, lawn mowers, etc.;
the two companies mentioned above were two of these. The one
company which bought more than any other was the Construction
Machinery Company of Waterloo, Iowa. They bought several thousand
engines from the F & J Company over the years. Other companies
receiving quite a number of engines were Koehring Company,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Coldwell Mower Company, Newburgh, N. Y., and
the Leach Company, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Many of these companies
bought engines in large quantities; as many as 300 were shipped on
By the middle of 1925 NB engines were being shipped regularly,
being built in 1?, 2, 3,4,6, 8,10 and 12 HP sizes. This Model NB
was the first type engine to be equipped with the Wico EK magneto.
Some of the later models, N, NA, K and KA were also shipped with
the Wico EK mags. Then, too, F & J sold a conversion to be used
for converting igniter engines to the Wico EK and spark plug. Wico
also sold these conversions for most all makes of engines.
The Model NB engines were available with a battery ignition,
too. These were set up in two ways- either with coil and igniter or
with buzz coil and spark plug.
The1? HP NB came out at the end of 1925. Before this time, all
1? HP were the Model N. The 1? HP was never built in a Model
The governor on the 1?, 2 and 3 HP used the governor weight in
the flywheel. The 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 HP used the gear-driven
flyball type governor. The NB engines were sold steadily up until
The next model to come out was the NC in 1927. These were of two
types; the most popular one was the all new disk flywheel model
which was build in 1?, 2, 2? and 2 ? HP. The other was the spoke
flywheel which was really about the same as the NB, but with a
slightly higher HP. This type was built in 2 and 3 ? HP. The larger
sizes were continued as NB up until the end in 1932. Actually,
Models N, NA and NB were being shipped at the same time.
As with the NB engines, most all NC engines were equipped with
the Wico EK magneto. The NC engines were available as battery
models; these used the buzz coil and spark plug. After beginning to
use the Wico EK mag, F & J dropped the rotary magneto and
igniter in 1925.
The governor system on all NC engines, both spoke and disk
flywheel models, used the weight in the flywheel.
These large size ‘NB’ engines were exactly like
the earlier models ‘N’ and ‘NA.’ However, most of
them used a Wico EK mag and spark plug.
The F & J, #15, light plant outfit. F & J built the
engine and Western Electric built the generator and switchboard.
Some of these outfits were sold under F & J name and some under
the Western Electric name.
The last hopper cooled engines built by F & J were the model
ND. These came out in January of 1930 and were all disk flywheel.
Built in 2, 2? and 3? HP, these ND engines looked just like the
solid disk flywheel and were the same basic engine.
However, all disk flywheel NC engines used the governor weight
in the flywheel, but all ND engines had a gear-driven flyball
The ND were rated ? HP more than their NC counterparts were. The
ND engines also used a Wico EK magneto; however, a battery model
was available using a buzz coil and spark plug like had been used
on the NC models.
Both the disk flywheel NC and ND were available with a tin
enclosed crankshaft. When using this attachment, a drip oiler and
wiper arrangement were used for lubricating the rod bearing on the
As was mentioned in earlier articles, F & J was forced out
of business in 1932. Both the NC and ND models were shipped to the
end of their business.
Another engine built just before they closed was the model NK.
These were brought out in January, 1930, in 2, 2?, and 3 ? HP.
These were a throttling governor, kerosene burning engine; they
looked just like the ND, except for the mixer and governor system.
These are very uncommon among collectors today, as I have records
of only two of them in the hands of collectors.
As many know, in 1966 Mr. Sever Thingstead of Madison gave me
the original F & J Company engine records. Mr. Thingstead
worked at F & J all of his working years. When they went out of
business, he and a Mr. West bought out all parts, etc. and kept up
the parts business until Mr. West passed away. Business was very
poor, so he closed the doors forever in 1954. At this time Mr.
Thingstead said many, many tons of new parts were junked out.
Don’t we all wish they were available today! He still lives in
Madison and is now about 93 years old. He enjoys talking about the
old days at F & J- it’s a joy to visit with him.
I have all engine records and will look up any F & J engine
to tell the owner when it was shipped and to whom. I charge
50? for the first engine and 25? for each additional one to
cover my costs. To look up an engine, I need the Serial Number. The
HP and model helps, too, if you know it. To date I have looked up
well over 1200 F & J engines and recorded them.
All the old records are intact except the records are missing
for all air-cooled F & J pump engines before S# 116,000. These
were lost sometime before I received these records.
I have also reprinted and reproduced some F & J material to
help out collectors. The following are available: F & J decals,
$1.50 for a set of 2; reprinted 1919 catalog, 40 pages, shows
pictures, prices, etc. for all F & J engines ? to 25 HP.
-$2.50; 20 page instruction book for Model N engines 3-5-7-9 &
12 HP, reprinted from 1922 .book – $2.00. Instruction & parts
list, 4 pages, which covers the disk flywheel NC engines -1? – 2 –
2? – 2? HP – 75?. A 4 page instruction & parts list for the 2 –
2? – and 3 ? HP ND – 75?. Brass Serial Number plates, 2? x 4?
inches, for use on older type F & J engines, $2.50.
In the next article, I plan to cover the late models of radiator
Note: For the benefit of the newcomers to the engine collecting
honew subscribers to GEM, I’ll list the other article about
Fuller & Johnson and the issues which they appeared in.