The Dirigo Gasoline Engines


| April/May 2001



Dirigo Gasoline Engines

Cheapness vs. Quality

The great and growing popularity of the gasoline engine has led numerous concerns to engage in its manufacture, people who have had absolutely no experience with gasoline engines, and know nothing of the strains to which they are subjected. Their printed matter is very alluring, and the things which their engines will do is very wonderful, on paper, but when those engines are put to the test of actual work they fall down in a very short time.

Some of these concerns win many customers by offering to sell their engines on from ten to thirty days' trial, which at first glance, seems very fair, but a gasoline engine may do satisfactory work for thirty days, or three months, and then begin to balk, and finally refuse to go at all, and while they do run are very wasteful of gasoline and oftentimes very dangerous to life and limb. Beware of the cheap gasoline engine. We have had an experience of five years in the manufacture of gasoline engines, and the first engines we put out were the result of nine years practice of a firm of whom we bought the drawings of our original engines, together with the benefit of their experience, so we may say that this engine, 'The Dirigo,' is the result of 14 years of experience in gasoline engine building. During the last five years we have rebuilt and repaired a number of different makes of engines, and have had an excellent opportunity to see where the different engines developed a weakness, and in designing 'The Dirigo' we have taken advantage of all this experience, and avoided all the mistakes and weaknesses that we have discovered in other engines. We can therefore say truthfully that by the experience we have had, we can construct and do construct a more durable engine than any newcomers, or anyone with less experience in gasoline engine building than we have had.

The keen competition among manufacturers of gasoline engines is such that in designing a power the first consideration is low cost of manufacture. As a result most of the concerns who are building gasoline engines are building engines which they know are not the best they can produce, but at the same time, in order to meet the demand for low priced machines, they sacrifice much in effectiveness in order to compete with others.

There are many engines on the market which may be termed mechanical freaks, some built upside down, some built all in one piece with all the parts cast together, and all such as would not stand the light of expert investigation. In the catalogues great claims are made and the inexperienced buyer is often induced into buying by the adroit and forcible reasoning, thinking that something of exceptional merit is being offered, while as a matter of fact an inferior machine is being offered, the main and perhaps only merit being in the cheapness of construction and consequent extra profit being put in the pocket of the maker and dealer who sells it.

But remember that the cast-in-one piece engine, if by an accident anything should break, an entire new engine must be bought. There are no lugs cast on 'The Dirigo.' You don't have to buy a complete engine if any parts become accidentally broken; the local machinist by using the broken part for a sample or pattern can make anything quickly and at small cost. In buying a gas or gasoline engine do not take anything for granted because it's in the catalogue. Investigate for yourself. If two catalogues of rival makers have points which conflict, get each to tell you by letter why his is better than the other, and then use your own common sense as to which sounds reasonable. There are certain things and certain ways to build a perfect gasoline engine. The right way costs more than the wrong way, but a little saved at the start is lost before long. A gasoline engine should be an investment, something to last for years and years; buy carefully at the start, investigate thoroughly, then don't let the question of cost stand in the way of your getting the best. In 'The Dirigo' will be found many little details that will prove of decided advantage in operating, adjusting and in wearing qualities; the question of easy handling has been given as much care as any other, the accessibility for adjusting without taking the engine to pieces is an important consideration, and we are confident that in the easiness of handling 'The Dirigo' will more than warrant the extra first cost over any other engine, and this is but one of the many features in which it leads all others. We are of the opinion that there is a field for a gasoline engine 25 HP and under, with every good feature found on the larger powers, an engine built on lines accepted as the very best practice. An engine in every way as reliable as the steam engine. In offering 'The Dirigo' we offer it as having every feature known to modern gas engine practice. In building it, question of cost of manufacture has been given second place, a reliable durable and economical engine being sought for and the question of cost coming afterwards. On every point and feature and improvement claimed for the Digiro we invite the most rigid and expert investigation, knowing our best chance of success lies in the intending buyer's informing himself fully. We do not depend on the inexperience of the buyer to effect a sale, but upon his learning how a good gasoline engine should be constructed. The more careful the investigation the more confident are we that 'the Dirigo' will be selected.

As will be noticed, our engine is of the vertical type, and in our opinion, in a very few years, no other kind can be sold. The gasoline engine, unlike the steam engine, has no cross head or anything to support the piston; consequently, the piston is its own guide; and on the horizontal engine, the wear is all on the bottom. The piston soon wears oval, reducing the power of the engine, and causing great loss of fuel. This loss is so great that in a short time the engine is hard to start, and reboring of the cylinder with new pistons and rings becomes necessary. In the five years we have been making engines, we have never found it necessary to rebore a cylinder. That the vertical engine is the more enduring is evidenced by the fact that one of the largest engineering concerns in the country are now building them exclusively in sizes up to and over 500 HP.