Nova Scotia Marine Engines

By Staff
article image
Acadia catalog cover.

7964 Oakwood Park Ct. St. Michaels, Md 21663.

I enjoyed the article by John Cunninghan in the May Gas Engine
Magazine, ‘The One Lungers: Acadia’s Gas Engines Made
Marine History.’ A large share of their output was of marine
engines, though his accompanying picture was of their stationary
engines. The article got me to thinking about our vacation trip to
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in 1987.

In 1987 there were no longer any of the old one lunges in use in
Nova Scotia, though there were a few in Newfoundland. The important
Nova Scotia marine engine makes had been Acadia and Atlantic. Mr.
Cunningham told the story of Acadia very well, but I can add a few
facts. Acadia Gas Engines Ltd. went bankrupt in 1979. The buildings
have since been razed to build condominiums. In 1987, the drawings
and most of the patterns were owned by John Meisner, Sr. of ABCO in
Lunenburg. The drawings were filed at ABCO and the patterns were
stored at Mahone Bay. A few patterns were owned by an engine
collector named Hawes in Wolfsville (pronounced Wolful). Mr.
Meisner could supply most Acadia parts. He also stated that he
would like to sell the Acadia drawings and patterns. The Fisheries
Museum of the Atlantic had an excellent exhibit of Acadia engines
and memorabilia, loaned by Mr. Meisner, according to him.

Atlantic engines were, and still are, built by Lunenburg Foundry
in Lunenburg. In the old days, 60% of their output went to
Newfoundland and they had branch service and sales facilities in
St. John’s. The patterns and tooling were still in the
Lunenburg factory and they can still build a two-cycle make and
break engine if you could pay for it. We watched a new ‘double
four’ (two cylinder, 8 HP) run on the same test stand they used
for decades. A duplicate would cost $3645 Canadian ($2800 US). They
made all the parts, including an excellent clone of the Schebler
model D carburetor.

Lloyd Conrad, sales manager, believed there were still 5000 one
lungers in use in Newfoundland, Quebec, and the French Islands (off
the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland). We traveled all over
Newfoundland and concluded that his estimate was high.

Lunenburg Foundry built a retractable propeller arrangement. Mr.
Conrad said those were still in use in dories on the French
Islands.

We saw a few other Nova Scotia makes. Stored at the Fisheries
Museum was a Haw-bolt, built in Chester. We made inquiries in
Chester and found that the Hawbolt factory still existed, making
hydraulic equipment. The present owners knew nothing about the end
of engine production.

We saw two Lloyd stationary engines. On the nameplate of one was
‘Lloyd Manufacturing Company, Kentville, NS, Marine &
Stationary Gas Engines, Sawmill Machines, Etc.’ That statement
indicates that they built marine engines. In a small museum we saw
two interesting marine engines. The first one bore no name but was
a Fraser, according to the donor. There was once a Fraser Machine
& Motor Co. in New Glasgow. This one was a single-cylinder
two-cycle engine with an unspoked flywheel, jump spark and a
Schebler carburetor. The crankcase was made so that the main
bearing caps were exposed; main bearings could be taken up without
disturbing anything else. The second engine was a two-cycle make
&. break with Fairbanks-Morse on the cylinder and C F Co. of
the side cover with the ‘F’ in an inverted delta. We
wondered whether it was a Canadian Fairbanks-Morse.

I should mention how pleased I was to learn that the Fisheries
Museum keeps glycol in the jackets of their engines that have run
in salt water. That is very important to prevent destructive
rusting.

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