Picketts' One Stroke Engine and Other Novelties

In the 1920s, San Diego inventor James Picketts came up with what he claimed was a working one stroke engine.

| March/April 1968

  • one-cycle-engine
    The one stroke engine shown in this picture is said to be the first of itskind on record. Mr. Picketts is squatted by his pet, while his associate, Charles Lovell,is giving the new model the 'once-over. Courtesy of Stanley Wilcox, Horseheads, New York
  • Engine
    Ed Jansen Effingham stands by his old ensilage cutter. Courtesy of Ed Jansen, Teutopolis, Illinois

  • one-cycle-engine
  • Engine

Since gas engine cycles became well standardized at four, few inventors have shown many designs calling for less. But now there has appeared in San Diego an inventor who believes that his one stroke engine is liable to revolutionize transportation. "Expert engineers have inspected James Picketts' new device," said the "Pacific and Atlantic" scribe whose caption accompanied his syndicate's photograph, "and think that Pickett is right; his engine may revolutionize transportation."

We have not consulted the Patent Office on this statement, so some more designs may be abroad or else buried; but it's the first to our knowledge. From some San Diego reader we'd be glad to get a description of the workings of this engine. No doubt Picketts is known to the old-timers in the somewhat abbreviated "Machinery Row" of that city.

Stanley Wilcox sent us a picture of Picketts and his engine from the January 1925 Tractor & Gas Engine Review. Stanley would like to know if anyone has ever heard of such an engine, so write him if you have any information — Anna Mae.

Auto Sparker Inquiry

Does anyone have any information on the "Auto-Sparker" used on IHC engines years ago? It was used to provide current for the make and break systems in use at the time. It would seem to me that it would have to have direct current output with very little ripple; they were friction-driven engines with their drive pulley resting against the engine flywheel, and no timing was necessary. It would be about ten cycles per second at engine and magneto speed of 600 RPM. The reason that the magneto must be timed correctly with the points is so that the current output is maximum when the points separate, otherwise it might be crossing the zero line at the time and little or no spark would result.

Cutter Made in 1900

Ed Jansen has an old ensilage cutter, which was manufactured in 1900. He recently showed it, his old tractors, and other farm machinery at the seventh annual Agricultural Power Progress Show in Pinckneyville, IL. The show is sponsored by the American Thresherman Association, Inc.


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