Their History and Development

| December/January 1996

P.O. Box 518, Painted Post, New York 14870-0518 This is the second part of a two part series begun in the November 1996 issue.

'High Speed Beginnings'

Recognizing the beginning of the trend away from the low speed horizontal cylinder engines, the John Lauson Manufacturing Company introduced its first vertical cylinder, single cylinder, closed crankcase, high speed engine models in or around 1929. Air cooled and water cooled models, based on the same design, were produced. The air cooled version was designated as the VA, while the water cooled version was designated as the VR. (Fig. 11)

The flywheel on both of these versions was cast with blower fins to induce a cooling air draft over the cylinder head and cylinder or, on the VR engine, through a radiator mounted above the flywheel.

A variation of the VR, designated as the VW, was equipped with a plain cooling tank instead of the radiator. The VW was used for driving milking machines; the hot water from the tank could be used for washing the milking equipment. Many model VW engines were sold under the Alpha name.

The VA/VR/VW engines were rated as 1.5 HP at 1200 rpm to 2 HP at 1800 rpm. Both valves are located in the cylinder head and both are mechanically operated. An enclosed vertical flyball governor was driven from the end of the camshaft. A Wico B1 high tension magneto was used. Lubrication was by a combination pump/splash system. A counterweighted crankshaft with roller type main bearings was used. Bore and stroke is 2.75' by 3.25.

A starting crank socket was provided at the flywheel end of the crankshaft. A laminated paper type of pulley was provided on the power-take-off (PTO) end of the crankshaft.