Reminiscing about...

GOOLD SHAPLEY MUIR


| July/August 1984



4000 Elks Drive, Las Cruces, New Mexico

First, a few words about the writer. It looks odd, to be living in New Mexico and writing about engines made in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. I was born and raised at Burtch, about five miles from Brantford. I still try to get to a few gas and steam shows in Ontario each year, and know that the GEM and gas engines are big items in Southern Ontario. I also notice very few Goold Shapley Muir (G.S.M.) and fewer J. A. Fellows engines.

I have been told G.S.M. were made in the U.S. by Novo, but there are many differences between Novo and G.S.M. I also have been told that Fellows never made a thing; that the engines were made in U.S. and that everything else was just bought and resold. May I please pass on my memories of G.S.M. and Fellows?

The G.S.M. factory was located on Clarence Street in Brantford, Ontario. They manufactured many farm items such as: windmills, grain grinders, one and two cylinder gasoline engines and tractors. The tractors used the two-cylinder opposed side shaft engines. These two cylinder engines started at about 18 HP, then 22 HP and 30 HP and I believe some much larger as I have some pictures that show the same shaft and valve set up but no water hoppers. The most commonly used by farmers was the 1 HP with the square water hopper, and the 2 HP with the round water hopper. Both these engines had make and break ignitors and were vertical engines.

Near the time G.S.M. closed, about 1920-1925 (not sure of dates) they came out with a small horizontal, hit and miss that they called 'Cub'. The closing of G.S.M. was the start of J. A. Fellows &. Co. Mr. Fellows, called Art by all who knew him, worked as a salesman and erected windmills. When G.S.M. closed, Art along with Tillman Wolf, who was a machinist and another man called Scottie (I don't remember full name) bought quite a few machines and patterns from G.S.M. and started a shop on Colbourne Street. At this time they did not make anything but did subcontract work, custom work and bought and rebuilt all makes of engines.

In the early 1930's Art bought a three-story brick building on Jarvis Street in Brantford, just off Brant Avenue back of the High School. At this time I was working for Robbins and Myers Electric Motors which I left and went to work for Art. Tillman Wolf was lathe foreman and his son Roy was general boss and Scottie was upstairs in charge of assembly. I worked on lathe and boring mill and one of the main jobs on the boring mill was the cylinders for the engines. There was an average of about 9-12 employees.