I read with great interest the article about
the 12 HP Badger in the December 2005 issue of Gas Engine Magazine.
Around that time, I received a note from Stiles Bradly, who had
picked up the other 12 HP Badger that was mentioned in the article.
He had just gotten it to run for the first time.
When Stiles purchased the engine, it was in pretty sad shape.
Among other things, the main bearings seemed to have been re-poured
at some point, and whoever did it used the wrong size mandrel for
the job, causing the bearing journals to be too wide to be useful.
The igniter had been replaced with a spark plug, and all of the
trip mechanism was missing. These were only a few of the problems
the engine had. So Stiles went to work.
He heard that this engine might go up for sale before it
actually did, and managed to find an original igniter before he
even had the engine. The bearings were re-poured, and the igniter
was duly replaced.
The trip mechanism was a problem. Luckily, he was able to find
some copies of original Badger catalogs with very good views of the
engine, including the trip, and was able to fabricate a new one.
Other parts were made or obtained, including the nametag and
pulley. He also obtained a nice subbase, a seldom-seen feature on
The Badger was made by C.P.&J. Lauson sometime prior to the
Christensen Engineering buyout of 1908. This 12 HP example is an
earlier one, since the ignition system was changed from igniter to
spark plug well before Christensen began manufacturing them.
The engine was started in late fall of 2005, and was proudly
displayed during Craig Prucha’s Christmas get-together for those of
us who had never seen it run. Also on hand for the get-together was
his latest project: an 8 HP Atlas. Although it was missing the
governor, it was started for the first time in many years. Stiles
was acting as the “governor” by throttling the gas or engaging the
detent under the exhaust rocker just like the missing governor
would have done. Stiles also owns a 4 HP Atlas, so the broken
governor bracket will be recast, and a new governor made, patterned
after the original, bringing it back to its original glory. This
engine was designed to pump oil in the fields of Pennsylvania. It
was run on natural gas available at the wellhead, and used hot tube
ignition. It will now run on natural gas, including the hot tube,
as it chugs away into another century.
Contact engine enthusiast Woody Sins at: 3 Edna Terrace, New
Hartford, NY 13413; firstname.lastname@example.org