The Brantford Ideal

By Staff
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The 6 HP 'Brantford Ideal' shown above in a photograph by Tom Johnson was manufactured by Goold, Shapley & Muir, and is owned by Sam Curry, 205 Ross Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336.
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205 Ross Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336

If you are expecting another tall tale, such as ‘found in a
neighbor’s barn loft, under a hay pile, while helping his wife
look for turkey eggs,’ read no further. My engines have all
come the hard way. Sometimes swapping with older collectors who may
be ready to trade a larger unrestored engine for a nicely restored
smaller one; something easier to take to shows.

E. L. Goold was first involved in sales of large front-wheeled
bicycles in the 1870s. He later went into bicycle manufacturing,
sold out to Canada Cycle Company, and in 1892 established the Goold
Shapley & Muir Company, in Brantford, Canada. Among many other
products, they started manufacturing gasoline, kerosene and gas
engines in the 1? to 60 HP range and ‘Brantford Ideal’ was
their copyright name.

One of the first 6 HP engines on record was installed in a bake
shop around 1899 and was still in service 16 years later. The
horizontal single cylinder, patent water tank-cooled engine came in
3?, 4?, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18 and 25 HP sizes.

My engine has a horizontal ‘flyaball’ governor, which is
the ‘brain’ of all working parts. By use of cams, rollers,
and a hollow brass push rod, it drives a gasoline pump. The amount
of fuel can be regulated to control the speed, and is injected
directly to the intake valve, thus no need for carburetor or

At the top of the compression stroke, a trip rod trips the brass
ignitor, starting the power stroke. The engine has a
‘double’ exhaust with a part at the back of the cylinder
which discharges the burnt gas. It also has a push rod controlled
exhaust valve, the push rod running through the hollow gas push

A small centrifugal water pump, driven by belt from one flywheel
sends water through the head and the cylinder water jacket, then to
the top of the water tank, spraying down to the bottom. At the same
time, the exhaust, which is also piped to the tank top, causes a
draft pulling air through the water, thus cooling it. This seems to
be very efficient.

In short, you might call this a fuel injected, exhaust cooled
hit & miss engine. I enjoyed the long restoration, but it
wasn’t until a second show that I got it running properly. The
engine has been shown at seven major shows, from the National at
Ft. Scott, Kansas, to Tucson, Arizona, and has always drawn comment
as being first of its type that some ‘engine buffs’ have

Goold, Shapley & Muir moved to a large new factory in March
1899, with full fanfare. Although all this is recorded in the
Brantford Expositor newspaper, little other information as
to records, when and why they ceased production in this vast
business, and closing time seems available. We do know that
production on some items continued into the early 1920s. Mr. Goold
died about this time, and the last part of the factory building was
torn down in 1973. Also at one time the factory suffered a loss by

Maybe the ‘Old Reflector’ could enlighten us on some of
these unknown facts.

I would enjoy hearing from people with this type engine.

Gas Engine Magazine
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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines