Two Simplicity engines in a photo taken at Jim Keats' show near East Troy, Wisconsin. by John Davidson.
PO Box 4, Bristol, Wisconsin 53104
These tank cooled engines were made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the Western Malleable & Grey Iron Manufacturing Company, before they moved to Port Washington in 1909.
The small one is a 2? HP with a bore and stroke of 4? x 5 and very heavy 20' flywheels. This tag says, 'The Simplicity,' no serial number or horsepower. A boss on the side of the cylinder is stamped C 81.
The larger engine is on a Bettendorf truck and I believe it is a 10 HP. The tag on this one says, 'The Simplicity Built By The Western Malleable & Grey Iron Mfg. Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA,' also with no horsepower or serial number. A boss on the top of the base is stamped H405. It has a bore and stroke of 7? x 11 with 46' flywheels.
Both engines are hit-n-miss with make-n-break ignition. I have owned the 2? since 1971 and got the 10 in 1998. The 2? is a very good running engine but I am still learning how to run the 10 HP at this time.
I would like to find out more about the early Milwaukee-built Simplicitys. I would like to know what the letter in front of the number means. All I have seen have a letter and a number. Is it the size, year, or what? I would like to start a roster of these engines and with enough response the puzzle can be solved. All those who respond will get a copy of the roster. Send serial number and description.
This picture was taken at Jim Keats' show near East Troy, Wisconsin, October 10-11, 1998. This is the best little show (getting bigger) in the Midwest. The show is built around Jim's large collection of rare and interesting engines. Enginemen came from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin and brought some engines rarely seen at other shows. This is the last show of the year that I attend, and a good one.