REPRINT HOW Your Hobby Started Part 5


| May/June 2001



This month we continue reprinting a series that first appeared in GEM in the March-April 1969 issue. Over the coming months, we will retrace engine history as presented by Carleton M. Mull. This segment originally appeared in the November/December 1969 issue of GEM.

The inventors had solved some of the principles of mechanical design, also details of carburetion and ignition by 1875; but there were many items on the engines requiring improvements to make them an efficient, dependable unit that could be put into operation for reliable power such as users were accustomed with steam engines.

By this time, the first three patents were issued by the United States to gas engine inventors. By 1880, there had been 18 patents issued and for the next five years it seemed like the gas engine had taken the imagination of the engineers and designers by storm, as there were over 300 patents issued. The next five years, from 1815 to 1900, there were no less than 600 patents granted. Interest in perfecting this type of power had its greatest impetus at the turn of the century when both automotive and stationary manufacturers of gasoline engines were organized.

Among the more prominent men who received the early patents in the United States were: Gottlieb Daimler, Nikolaus A. Otto, Dugald Clerk, C. W. Baldwin, John Charter, L. W. Hash, J. W. Raymond and G. Westinghouse.

Near the end of the century, such names in the automotive type of engine appeared among those who were receiving patents as Charles & Frank Duryea, R. E. Olds, A. Winton, J. W. Packard, L. S. Chadwick, H. A. Knox, E. A. Mitchell, A. Hayes, J. D. Maxwell, C. O. White, A. T. Stinson and W. E. Simpson.

The very interesting and fascinating story of the adventure of the automotive development in our country has been described by many writers. In this short history, I will try to confine the story to the stationary gasoline engine, avoiding too much repetition. There were a number of interesting side issues pertaining to the early companies building gas and gasoline engines.