Samson Gas Engines


| May/June 1974



5 HP Samson Horizontal Flyball

Courtesy of Howard E. Shideler, 2803 E. Highway 120, Manteca, California 95336

Howard E. Shideler

2803 E. Highway 120, Manteca California 95336

Samson gas engines got the top billing at the June 1973 Gas-UP at Mike Giannis, Manteca, California. The Club invited all owners of Samsons for this reunion and thirteen answered the call.

There was plenty of other activity also. One hundred and thirty-three gas engines, over thirty tractors, two steam tractors and many steam engines, historical wrench and spark plug displays all added up to two full busy days.

The Samson deserves a little extra mention. They Were built in Stockton, California from 1897 until 1918 when the plant was sold to G.M.C. The Samsons were manufactured and engineered by J. M. Kroyer, who saw a need for an efficient engine that would be less trouble than the many steam engines that were in use for the agricultural pumping plants at that time. The rich soil had a shallow water supply that was easily tapped with a centrifugal pump. Kroyer designed a centrifugal pump that produced almost a hundred gallons of water per minute per horsepower.

5 HP Samson horizontal flyball governor at the Branch #6 Show in June 1973

The Samson manufacturing plant occupied a full block at Charter Way and Aurora Street just a few blocks South of the old Holt Mfg. Co. The showroom faced Aurora Street and it was right here that DuPont introduced the first 'Frigidaire' in 1918 when G.M.C. took over. G.M.C. soon dropped the truck line entirely as it was competitive with their own, turned over to the Sterling Iron Works, October 12, 1918 the service of the Samson stationary engines, marine engines and centrifugal pumps and transferred the manufacture of the Sieve Grip Tractor to Pontiac, Michigan.