Coolspring Spotlight: 1900 10 hp Springfield Model B

The Springfield Model B engine wasn't commercially popular, and as such, very few are still around.

| February/March 2016

1900 Springfield Model B

1900 10 hp Springfield Model B

Photo by the Gas Engine Magazine staff

1900 10 hp Springfield Model B
Manufacturer: Springfield Gas Engine, Co., Springfield, OH
Serial number: 3745
Horsepower: 10 hp
Bore & stroke: 7-3/4in x 14in
Ignition: Make & break
Governing: Pendulum, hit-and-miss
Owner: John Rex

Dating from about 1895, the Springfield Model B engine has a totally different appearance from the Springfield Model A. “It’s believed that this engine was designed by Peter T. Coffield, who was the founding president of the Springfield Gas Engine Co. and went on to do work for the Callahan Engine Co. in Dayton, Ohio,” says Coolspring’s Clark Colby. In 1897, Coffield designed an engine of similar styling for Dayton, Ohio, industrialist and banker William P. Callahan, and moved to Dayton to oversee its production. While in Dayton, he and his sons built the Coffield clothes washing machine.

The Model B engine is quite a bit more simple and conventional in design than the Model A and was probably built and sold to be a less expensive engine. “From all indications, it wasn’t commercially popular, and as a result, very few of these Model B engines are left to look at,” says Colby. The Model B’s conventional design also made it better suited to run on natural gas. 

The Model A and B engines were made concurrently up through at least 50 hp. A 50 hp Model B engine was used in the Brookville, Pennsylvania, waterworks until 1924.


One of the most unusual features on the Model B is the sideshaft that operates the exhaust valve and some other components on the right side of the engine. “On the end of the sideshaft it has what looks to be a slide, similar to what you’d find on a slide-valve engine,” says Colby. “In this instance, the slide only operates the pendulum-style governor, the igniter trip and the fuel system, which is in some ways similar to the fuel system on the Model A.”


This smaller engine pumped water into a cranberry bog in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is now owned by John Rex.