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Oshkosh and Wiscona Pep Engines

Many of the best-known engines came from Wisconsin. So did many of the least known, including the Oshkosh and Wiscona Pep.

| December 2016/January 2017

  • Allen Hasselbusch’s 1911 4 hp Oshkosh features the Oshkosh name in cast-in, raised lettering on his water hopper.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Oshkosh has a single casting for the water hopper, cylinder and base, a risky approach to engine building because a flaw in one area can wreck the entire piece.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Allen likes to belt the engine up at shows, using it to run a corn sheller or a burr mill.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Oshkosh’s cylinder head is very simply, a minimal casting with the intake at the bottom, valves in the middle and exhaust at top.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Battery box at rear. Note fully enclosed crankshaft.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Allen doesn’t know the engine’s exact output, but pegs it at around 4 hp based on its bore and stroke of 4-3/4 inches by 6 inches. A closer view of the Oshkosh’s crank and flywheel-mounted governor assembly.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Allen with the Oshkosh at a recent engine show.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Allen’s circa-1919 Wiscona Pep, which was made by Termaat-Monaham Mfg. Co.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • A close view of the Wiscona Pep’s flywheel-mounted governor.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Allen with the Wiscona Pep at a recent engine show.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Wiscona Pep’s signature is its unique water hopper, cast to accommodate twin fuel tanks either side, one holding regular gasoline and the other kerosene. The engine could be run on either.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Wiscona Pep’s signature is its unique water hopper, cast to accommodate twin fuel tanks either side, one holding regular gasoline and the other kerosene. The engine could be run on either.
    Photo by Bill Vossler

Oshkosh 4 hp

Manufacturer: Oshkosh Mfg. Co., Oshkosh, WI
Year: Circa 1911
Serial Number: NA
Horsepower: 4 hp (est.)
Bore & Stroke: 4-1/2in x 6in
Weight: NA
Flywheel: 19in dia. x 3-1/2in face
Ignition: Spark plug with battery and coil
Governing: Hit-and-miss

Allen Hasselbusch of Clarence, Minnesota, has a couple of gas engines among his 141-strong collection of engines that are not often seen at shows, including a 1911 4 hp Oshkosh, and a 1915 1-1/2 hp Wiscona Pep.

Allen came to engine collecting through the used International Harvester M engine that his grandfather bought and hooked up to the farm windmill. “My granddad bought it from an Allis-Chalmers dealer in Clarence about 1937. The A-C dealer had traded it in on something. It was just used to run the water pump. I remember as a little kid I would go out to the windmill and start the engine up and pump water. I still have that engine,” Allen says.

In 1988 a neighbor at an auction said he had a bunch of engines he wanted to sell. “I bought a 6 hp United, 1 hp Rock Island, and 2-1/2 hp Sandwich from him, and started from there. I like engines in general, so I’ve got all different kinds of them,” he says.

Nevertheless, Allen has a method of deciding the next engine he should buy. “Mt. Pleasant (Midwest Old Threshers Reunion) has a featured engine every year, and I try to get that engine. Sometimes it takes a lot of searching. One year I couldn‘t find a New Holland for sale, so I bought a model, but a couple of months later found a real one. That happened with their Stickney feature, too, because they don’t come up for sale very often, so I bought a 1/3-scale. I thought that would do, but two months before the show started, one came up for sale in Minnesota, and I bought it, so I’ve got the little and the big one there, too. I’ve found every one since I started in 1988.” Others included New Way, of which he has an upright and a horizontal.

1911 4 hp Oshkosh

Before he spotted the Oshkosh engine at the Le Sueur, Minnesota, Swap Meet three years ago, Allen says he didn’t know much about the engine. “This one was in bad shape, with everything loose on it. I had to put in new governor springs and get a gas tank for it. I took the dimensions of the tank and sent it to Victor Hartzel in Ohio, and he made me the tank. I just measured what would fit up in there, because the tank was completely gone. It probably doesn’t look like the original, but it works,” Allen says.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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