In the past several years the public has been introduced to a seemingly new concept in engine power - The Rotary Engine. The Rotary is no youngster, however, and has been on the scene for almost 60 years. Its major flaw seems to have been that it arrived before its time. An innovation too radical to be taken seriously. The Rotary concept was worked on by many, but it was Benjamin F. Augustine who built the first practical engine. A company was formed to manufacture the Rotary. One of our subscribers, William C. Luss, 44-50 S. Buffalo St., Hamburg, New York 14075, once worked for the Augustine Automatic Rotary Engine Company. He submitted a catalog for our use in this article. As for what happened to the Augustine Company, perhaps the letter from Mr. Luss sums it up best:
Enclosed is the catalog I mentioned to you some time ago. I hope you will find it interesting, as I worked for this company many years ago. This company went on the rocks because they could not get financial backing, because it was thought that the inventor was crazy.
There were several of these engines built for both gasoline and steam and they worked very well as shown in some of the pictures in the catalog.
Mr. Ben Augustine was a fine man to work for and was very good to his employees. A lot more could be said about this firm, but the catalog can tell the story much better than I can.
Please do not lose it because I don't think there is another catalog like it anywhere around.'
There has been a growing realization among the many manufacturers of engines that a Rotary Engine would be the most successful if one could be designed that would work and show economy. Thousands of unsuccessful attempts have been made by the world's greatest geniuses and millions of dollars have been spent.
It remained for Benjamin F. Augustine of Buffalo, New York, to discover the true rotary principles and give to the world this most compact, simple, economical and highly efficient Rotary Engine.
This wonderful Engine solves the cheap power problem and is the greatest labor-saving device of modern times, and now within reach of the masses of the people. From two to four of these engines can be manufactured from the same amount of material now required for one reciprocating engine of equal horsepower.
The Augustine Automatic Rotary Engine Company is the Parent Holding Company, and is the owner of basic patents on both the Augustine Rotary Steam and Gas Engines in the United States and ten leading foreign countries.
The Company is offering no stock for sale, but is prepared to grant licenses on a royalty basis for the manufacture of these engines for various lines of industries where power is used.
Is a successful rotary internal combustion Engine built to comply with all the natural law principles. It is a recognized fact that the nearer we stay to that law, the greater the results.
In the Augustine Rotary Engine the power is all applied on leverage, which means more power and greater economy, the reduction of friction, and the elimination of all mechanism, thus reducing the cost of operation as well as the cost of manufacturing, which means greater profit and a saving of practically all the B.T.U's.
It is a well-known fact that the engineering world has spent millions of dollars in trying to build engines of constant torque, without real success. They have built from one to twelve-cylinder reciprocating engines, some of which involve thousands of little delicate parts and much mechanism, such as gears, cams, cam-shafts, poppet valves, springs and adjustments, which are most confusing to the average automobile owner, and he does not attempt to adjust or repair the engine himself; neither can he get it repaired outside of the company which built it, and with the many thousands of little parts it requires an expert to operate it at all times. There are also many other disadvantages, such as the radiator freezing and leaking, loose connections, waste of water, besides an enormous amount of heat units absorbed in the water, causing a waste of about sixty per cent of the fuel and requiring a lot of care. Also, the fan for cooling system is always causing trouble and needing repairs, and in addition to this, there is the complicated ignition set with a large bundle of wires that requires timing and careful connecting.
One great problem in all the present two and four-cycle motors is the scavenging. All kinds of methods have been adopted to expel the burnt gases from the cylinders, but none can get better than thirty per cent; and with the remainder of smoke left in the cylinders, the incoming gas combines with the smoke and causes a great waste of fuel, besides creating carbon which soon causes trouble and has to be removed.
The Augustine Rotary Gas Engine has solved the problem from every standpoint. It is 'fool-proof,' it is rotary and applies six impulses on the periphery of the motor per revolution, or more if desired. The frequency of impulse and momentum gives a softer, smoother action than any other kind of motor. At all speeds the result is comparable to the action of a steam turbine. This is especially noticeable when the engine is installed in a car and is throttled down to two miles per hour; then with the slightest touch to the throttle the engine responds and the car moves along at a high rate of speed without the slightest jar or vibration.
The Engine is so compact and powerful that it can be installed in any car or truck. It can be used in summer or winter as it requires no water, radiator or fan. There is nothing to freeze and no power is wasted; the heat from the exhaust is all consumed in vaporizing the fuel. The exhaust pipe on the engine is cool enough at all times not to burn the most tender hand. The atmospheric conditions cannot change the mixture as it does in other motors. It will vaporize any kind of fuel that will expand or explode.
The Rotary Gas Engine is more flexible than any other motor on the market, and can be used for all purposes.
This 7-passenger car has a new Augustine Rotary Internal Combustion Engine installed and has made some remarkable records, showing as high as 45 mpg of gallon. Mr. William C. Luss is passenger to the far right