From a book by the Frick & Lindsay Co., Pittsburgh, PA,
©1924. Submitted by Amos R. Totten Rt 1, Box 193 Washington, West
In 1894, Joseph Reid began the manufacture of gas engines, the
first one being sent out December 1, 1894; and they were patented
in June, 1898; June 1899; October, 1901; December, 1914.
They are in use today in all parts of the world where crude oil
The Reid Gas Engine is so well known in the oil country that an
extended description of it is not necessary. For the information of
some who may not be fully informed as to wherein it differs from
some other gas engines, it may be proper to state its principal
It is a two cycle engine. That is to say, it gets an impulse
every revolution. This permits the use of lighter balanced wheels
than are necessary in engines of the four cycle type, which means
less wear on the shaft bearings. To get an impulse every revolution
in the best manner without loss of power, there is a supply
cylinder alongside of the main cylinder. This auxiliary cylinder
supplies a clean charge each revolution, which allows greater
flexibility of speed than in any other make of internal combustion
To do away with troublesome joints, these cylinders are made in
one casting. By this arrangement the man who has charge of one of
these engines is never put to the trouble of trying to make a joint
out in the oil fields.
The exhaust takes place at the end of the stroke. It passes out
through an opening that is uncovered by the piston head. By this
arrangement there is no need for an exhaust valve to get hot and
foul up and stick, or to warp out of shape and leak.
The size of the charge is regulated by the work the engine is
doing. Owing to the design of this engine the compression is the
same whether the charge is a large one or a small one. The mixing
of the air and gas is very thorough, being more perfect than is
possible in any four cycle engine. The air and gas pass through a
valve into the supply cylinder together, and from there they pass
through another valve into the main cylinder, and thus they are
evenly and thoroughly mixed. So combined they are delivered into
the cylinder in such a place that the ignitor always gets a clean
The igniting is done with a hot tube of nickel, or a jump-spark
electric ignitor, whichever is preferred.
These engines are built in the following sizes: 12 HP, 15 HP, 20
HP, 30 HP and 40 HP. All sizes are furnished in the right-hand or
left-hand pattern. All engines can be furnished with the one-way
clutch, or the reverse clutch.
Reid engines are now being used largely to operate drilling rigs
and portable drilling machines.
A contractor who operates with our drilling gas engine, and also
with the usual steam regulator, reports that his men prefer to run
with the gas engine driller.
All Reid gas engines can be operated with gasoline. It is not
necessary to alter the engine, except to fit it with the gasoline
attachment and increase its speed.
When using gasoline, the engine must run at increased speeds as
follows: 12 HP-240; 15, 20, 25, 30 HP-225; 40 HP-200 revolutions
All the material used is selected with a view to getting the
best for the purpose to which it is to be put, and is carefully
inspected before being used.
The castings are made in Reid’s own foundry. Each kind of
casting is made to careful specifications so as to produce the best
for the work it has to do. The composition of every heat of iron is
watched and a record kept of it. Test bars are made and the records
of them kept with the record of the iron used.
The crank shaft is forged in one piece from a steel billet, and
is made from a high grade open-hearth steel. The connecting rods
and piston pins are also made of open-hearth steel. The rod brasses
are made of phosphor bronze. The body of the main rod head, which
receives the hardest wear, is lined with a special genuine babbitt
metal made to our special formula, which is the best for the
All set screws are of steel. The threads on all bolts, studs,
set and cap screws are United States Standard.
Parts are accurately finished to gauges, jigs, templets and
special fixtures being used to get accurate work.
Records are kept of every engine built. If the number of an
engine is given it is always easy to duplicate any part of it.
Owing to the system of working to accurate standards and to the
method of records, repairs when necessary can be furnished promptly
and with a certainty that they will fit.
All Reid engines are tested before being shipped from the
factory. Each one is put together on the testing block, and all
starting is done by hand, even to the larger sizes. They are run
under brake load for power, and are also tested with a gas engine
indicator which shows the action in the cylinder.
They are guaranteed to be in proper working condition and to
have developed their rated brake horsepower before they leave the
factory. Any part upon its inspection at the factory found to be
defective in workmanship or material within one year after shipment
will be replaced free of charge at the factory. Any part claimed
defective must be returned to the manufacturer or his agent, as the
former chooses, for inspection, transportation charges prepaid.
Foundation bolts, oilers, and wrenches are furnished with each
engine. Setting plans and templets are furnished wherever they are