It is always a delight to spend time looking through issues of old magazines, particularly those from early in the twentieth century. One day, while in the 'library' at Stemgas (well, it's actually a few book shelves in an old warehouse), I came across this ad for the Edwards Motor Co. of Springfield, Ohio. As this was an altogether unfamiliar name to me, I went immediately to Wendel's American Gas Engines Since 1872, to see what I could learn.
No wonder I'd not heard the name. Only one model was produced (with an HP range of 1? to 6), and production continued for only a few years. The next step was an inquiry addressed to The Clark County Historical Society in Springfield. Here is what they were able to add:
'The Edwards Motor Company was incorporated in 1920 with a beginning capital stock of $60,000, although the first listing for the company actually occurred in the 1919 Springfield City Directory. They listed for the last time in the 1926 city directory.
'The factory moved three times, from 330 Bushnell Building to 504 Mitchell Blvd., to 1076 Kenton Street.
'The beginning officers were Charles L. Bauer, President, A. Y. Edwards, Vice President and General Manager, and Clarence M. Hollenbeck, Secretary-Treasurer.
'The company was always listed as manufacturing gasoline engines. It is not clear from the directories if the company closed or was bought out by The Bauer Brothers Company, which was owned and operated by Charles L. Bauer and his brothers.'
The Society had one photograph of an Edwards engine from a gas engines show, but it wasn't one that would easily reproduce. They had no other literature, advertisements, or information.
However, the Society did tell me to contact someone from the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Association, so I went to our Directory file and looked up Mark Schleppi, Vice President of that organization. Mark remembers that there was a time when a man in southern Ohio had a restored Edwards, but he was unable to recall the name. He was going to search the current engine registration list of the club, as well, to see whether any Edwards owners might be on it. Perhaps something will turn up there.
Also, in our files, we had a copy of an Edwards Motor Co. parts list sent to us by Jake Zilverberg of Atkins, Minnesota, which provides some explanation of the engine's unique feature of operating on one or two cylinders:
'The Edwards Motor is 'Several Engines in One.' If you had several engines you would learn each one. Two mixture settings take care of full range. Read carefully and learn how.
'When stating motor for the first time, set speed changer so that about 3 or 4 threads are exposed on inside of hand wheel.
'Before starting, open BOTH needle valves to a few notches beyond the short mark. Push both air throttles in TIGHT. Pulling out air throttles gives engine more air. Start the motor. If motor smokes turn the needle valves to the right one notch at a time until smoking stops. Smoky exhaust means too much fuel. Popping back or missing means not enough fuel. If one cylinder is slow in picking up kerosene, squirt in some priming gasoline.
'When the air throttles are pushed in, the short mark on needle valve head (see illustration, but it is not very clear in the copy) is about the right place to set the needle valves. When the engine is cold, open needle valve a few notches wider than when it is hot. Adjust needle valve to the correct position with load on the engine.
'For 1? HP Load: Shut off one needle valve and operate on one cylinder only. Turn speed changer to the left slowly until the desired speed is reached. If engine misses, turn on more fuel. Always push in air throttle as far as it will go for slow speed.
'For 6 HP Load: Turn speed changer to the right until only about two threads are exposed on inside of hand wheel. Start motor with air throttle pushed in tight and with needle valves opened well beyond both notches. Pull out one air throttle at a time as far as it will go. If cylinder stops firing, open needle valve wider. Repeat the same process with the other cylinder. Put the load on and the motor will steady down to regular operation. If, after operating a short time, the motor stops, it is possible that you have the mixture set too lean.
'You can operate at any speed within the range of the speed changer. Never turn the speed changer to the right beyond the point where the parts are flush and no threads are exposed. Always run with the air throttles pushed in, except when the higher speeds are used and more power is required.'
We have had a couple of queries on the Edwards Motor Co., notably one from Armand DeYoung who wrote in 1993 that he was compiling a list of owners of the Edwards igniter engines. We tried to find out how that list had progressed, but hadn't heard back at press time.
We hope this article will encourage any owners of Edwards engines to come forward--send us a picture or two so we can show our readers who just may not have seen one of these!
We thought it would also be interesting to reprint a copy of the parts list and its illustration, which comes from the eight page document sent by Jake Zilverburg:
In ordering repair parts, refer carefully to symbols of parts and give engine number.
Number is stamped on end of crank shaft and on finished surface under crank case cover.
In these days of varying costs we do not issue a list of prices for repair parts, and we thus give our customers the benefit of any reductions. Parcel Post, C. O. D. is common practice and an economical method. Note if the part desired is contained in an assembly. If it is, you should return the assembly to us so we can properly replace the part, unless you are sure you can do this work satisfactorily yourself. If parts are right and left hand, state whether for cylinder on governor side (No. 1) or pulley side (No. 2).
|E-1||Base and Cylinders||E-66||Governor Weight|
|E-2||Cylinder Base Cover||E-67||Governor Sleeve|
|E-3||Main Bearing Cap No. 1||E-68||Governor Spring (Large)|
|E-4||Main Bearing Cap No. 2||E-69||Governor Spring (Small)|
|E-5||Main Bearing Liner, Lower||E-70||Governor Weight Fulcrum Pin|
|E-6||Main Bearing Liner, Upper||E-71||Governor Weight Pin|
|E-7||Main Bearing Cap Studs||E-72||Governor Lever, See Note|
|E-8||Cylinder Head, including valve stem guides E-59 and igniter studs Cylinder Head Assembly, including valves and Springs||E-73||Governor Lever Bracket with guide pins, See Note Governor Lever Bracket Assembly, including E-72, E-73, E-74 and E-75|
|E-9||Cylinder Head Studs (long)||E-74||Governor Lever Bracket Pin, See Note|
|E-10||Cylinder Head Studs (short)||E-75||Governor Valve Rod Arm, See Note|
|E-11||Cylinder Head Gasket||E-76||Governor Valve Rod|
|E-12||Valve||E-77||Governor Valve Rod Spring|
|E-13||Main Bearing Shims||E-79||Speed Changer Rod with E-80 Rod Head|
|E-14||Valve Stem Washers||E-81||Speed Changer Adjusting Nut|
|E-15||Valve Stem Washer Pin||E-82||Speed Changer Thrust Nut|
|E-16||Intake and Exhaust Valve Springs||E-84||Fuel Tank Straps|
|E-17||Piston No. 1, See Note||E-85||Needle Valve Seats, See Note|
|E-18||Piston No. 2, See Note Piston Assembly, including rings, piston pins, etc.||E-86||Needle Valve, including E-87and E-88|
|E-19||Piston Rings||E-87||Needle Valve Stem Head|
|E-20||Piston Ring Pins||E-88||Needle Valve Stem Head Pin|
|E-21||Piston Pins, See Note||E-89||Butterfly Valve, See Note|
|E-22||Igniter Pins (Special Steel)||E-90||Butterfly Valve Shaft, See Note|
|E-23||Connecting Rod and Cap.(E-24) See Note. Connecting Rod Assembly complete||E-91||Butterfly Valve Lever, See Note|
|E-25||Connecting Rod Studs||E-95||Ball Check Valve, with Ball and E-96 prior to 1920|
|E-26||Piston Pin Bushing, See Note||E-96||Ball Check Valve Gauge prior to 1920|
|E-27||Connecting Rod, Bearings Rear half||E-97||Main Bearing Wick|
|E-28||Connecting Rod Bearings,Front half||E-98||Fuel Tank|
|E-29||Piston Oil Tube, See Note||E-99||Belt Pulley 4?' dia, & 5?' face|
|E-30||Crank Shaft and Fly Wheel assembled and balanced||E-100||Igniter Plug Gasket|
|E-31||Fly Wheel, See Note||E-101||Igniter Plug No. 1, Cylinder, See Note Igniter Plug Assembly|
|E-33||Piston Pin Lock Wire, See Note||E-103||Stationary Electrode, See Note|
|E-34||Crank Shaft Pinion||E-104||Stationary Electrode Insulation, See Note|
|E-35||Cam Gear, See Note||E-105||Movable Electrode Shaft No. 1, See Note|
|E-36||Inlet Cam, See Note||E-106||Movable Electrode Shaft No. 2, See Note Movable Electrode Assembly, See Note|
|E-37||Exhaust Cam, See Note||E-107||Movable Electrode Point See Note|
|E-38||Cam and Gear Lock Pins,See Note||E-108||Movable Electrode Arm, See Note|
|E-39||Cam, Gear bracket, See Note||E-109||Movable Electrode Springs, See Note|
|E-40||Cam, Gear Stud, See Note||E-110||Igniter Spring Pin, See Note .|
|E-41||Cam Bell Crank, Upper,See Note||E-111||Movable Electrode Stop Pin See Note|
|E-42||Cam Bell Crank, Lower, See Note||E-112||Movable Electrode Shaft Collar See Note|
|E-44||Cam Bell Crank, Fulcrum Pin, See Note||E-113||Movable Electrode Spring Pin, See Note|
|E-45||Cam Roller Pin, See Note Cam Gear Bracket Assembly||E-114||Cylinder Head Extension Cylinder Head Extension Assembly|
|E-46||Valve Rod End Pin, Upper||E-115||Cylinder Head Extension Cover Cylinder Head Extension Cover Assembly|
|E-47||Valve Rod End Pin, Lower||E-116||Needle Valve Head Stop Wire|
|E-48||Valve Rod||E-117||Muffler, See Note|
|E-49||Connecting Rod Oil Tube, See Note||E-118||Muffler Cap, See Note Muffler Assembly|
|E-50||Valve Rocker Arm, No. 1, See Note||E-121||Large Venturi, See Note|
|E-51||Valve Rocker Arm, No. 2, See Note||E-122||Small Venturi, See Note|
|E-52||Valve Lever, No. 2 Cylinder, See Note||E-123||Small Venturi Shaft, See Note|
|E-53||Valve Rocker Shaft, See Note||E-124||Small Venturi Shaft Lock Spring|
|E-55||Valve Rocker Arm Adj. Screw,See Note||E-125||Magneto|
|E-56||Magneto Drive Pinion, See Note||E-126||Lubricator|
|E-57||Magneto Gear||E-127||Ignition Wire No.1 Cylinder|
|E-58||Valve Rod End Pin, Crank End||E-128||Ignition Wire No.2 Cylinder|
|E-59||Valve Stem Guide, See Note||E-129||Float Chamber|
|E-60||Cylinder Head Extension Gasket||E-130||Motor Skids|
|E-61||Cylinder Head Extension Cover Gasket prior to 1920||E-131||No. 27 End Wrench|
|E-63||Magneto Bracket Cap Screw||E-132||Ignition Plug Stud Starting Strap|
|E-64||Magneto Bracket||MAGNETO REPAIRS Brush Holder with wire clips attached Brush Brush Spring Brush Holder Plate.|