Oil Field Engine News

By Staff
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Photo #3: A view of the trailer that was specially constructed to move the De La Vergne.
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Photo #6: A lonely flywheel, possibly from an Evans engine, is slowly enveloped by a tree.

I have a few interesting photos this issue, ones that I have had
for a while but haven’t had a chance to share.

Photo #1 shows an engine I’ve always thought was very
unusual. It’s an Ingersoll-Rand model XVG, a two-cylinder, 75
HP engine in a V configuration with a direct-connected gas
compressor. This engine was used in a compressor station in the oil
field compressing natural gas. It belongs to Doug Thornhill,
Rossburg, Ohio, and Doug affectionately refers to this as his
‘big Harley’ engine.

Photo #2 shows an eight-cylinder, 1,000 HP De La Vergne gas
engine. To give you some perspective of its size, that’s me
standing next to it, and I’m about six foot tall.

These engines are truly gargantuan, and the most amazing fact is
that the owner of this engine, who wishes to remain anonymous, has
four of them that he moved from a power plant where they drove
electric generators. He moved all four of them, intact and without
being disassembled, 15 miles.

Photo #2: 1,000 HP De La Vergne gas engine. Russell Farmer is
standing at the back of the engine, lending some perspective to
this engine’s size.

Photo #3 shows the special trailer and rigging he constructed to
move them, and the trailer’s construction and size are just as
impressive as the engines. I feel this gentleman deserves
recognition for the work he put into saving these engines from the
scrap yard, and I think most of our readers will feel the same. My
thanks to him for allowing me to publish these photos.

Photo #4 shows a rod bearing on a 15 HP Reid that overheated,
melting the babbitt while it ran. You can see in the photo how the
babbitt liquefied and was slung out of the bearing. I think an
over-tightened bearing cap probably caused this.

Photo #4: Not what you ever want to see on your own engine. This
babbitt rod bearing on a 15 HP Reid likely overheated from being
set too tight.

Photo #5 illustrates the ingenuity the oil field man had to
have. This Reid engine experienced some sort of major wear or
damage to the charge-cylinder journal pin on the side of the
flywheel, and it was repaired with a homemade metal bracket. These
folks would use any means necessary to get the day’s oil
production out, but I’m not sure I’d feel safe running this
engine today.

Photo #6 speaks for itself, as father time shows us how long
this flywheel must have leaned against this tree. Edwin Walker,
Butler, Pa., gave me this photo, and he believes the flywheel is
from an Evans engine. He doesn’t know what became of the rest
of the engine or how the flywheel ended up leaning against the

If any of our readers have interesting photos they would like to
share, I would encourage them to send them in. As always, anyone
who would like a free membership in the Oil Field Engine Society,
please call or write the address below.

Contact the Oil Field Engine Society at: 1231 Banta’s
Creek Rd., Eaton, OH 45320-9701, or e-mail at:
oilengine@voyager.net You can also visit on-line at:

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines