1921 1-1/2hp Sandwich Engine

Learn how Ryan Anderson managed to find an old Sandwich engine invoice and track down its corresponding machinery. It’s a reunion 97 years in the making.

| December/January 2020


Two artifacts of Sandwich Manufacturing Co. history that had not been together for 97 years were reunited on June 23, 2018, at the Sandwich Early Day Engine Club’s 47th annual show in Sandwich, Illinois.

I was browsing eBay for Sandwich items one day, and I came across an invoice for a 1-1/2hp Sandwich engine, serial no. A19201. The dealer, Hal Osmanson of Morris, Illinois, paid $56 for this engine, F.O.B. Sandwich, Illinois. I was very intrigued by this because very few paper trails exist for Sandwich engines. This is because all the old shipping and production records were burned when New Idea operated the Sandwich factory in the 1940s. We get numerous requests from Sandwich owners all over the world through our club’s e-mail asking: “What year was my engine made?” 

Joining Up

Some records have come to light in the recent years, and this invoice is another data point to place a year on a certain serial number. Since the serial numbers are consecutive, regardless of engine size, we can draw some lines in the sand for certain serial numbers and narrow down date ranges for production. If you have any documentation like this, please send us a note so we can better answer these questions.

Ryan Anderson (left), presents Matt Hathorn with the original dealer invoice for Matt’s 1921 1-1/2hp Sandwich, which is still in Illinois and only 30 miles from its birthplace.

Looking at the invoice, I wondered: Where is this engine now? Could it still exist? I then went to look at Ray Forrer’s Sandwich Engine Registry to see if it was listed. And there it was on the list, and shown to still be in Illinois. I knew immediately that I had to get this piece of history to the rightful owner with the engine.

1/8/2020 11:51:20 AM

Great story.... Fantastic Hobby...


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Facebook YouTube