The RAWLEIGH Gas Engine Company

| January/February 1985

  • Rawleigh-Schryer factory

  • Rawleigh-Schryer factory

305 E. Hartford Ave., Uxbridge, MA 01569

The addition of a not too common gas engine to a collection can be a very exciting and fulfilling experience. But beware, because along with the excitement one will often experience another inherent characteristic, total frustration!

Being of a very stubborn nature, my own experience with a Rawleigh-Schryer has led me down a never ending trail of paper, envelopes and postage stamps. After a two year search, I have what I consider to be a very brief outline of a long overdue company history.

The company, always based in Freeport, Illinois, started its life as the Freeport Gas Engine and Windmill Company. The original incorporation date is noted to have been June 10, 1909. One must wonder as to the actual number of engines produced under that company name, for on August 25, 1909, a scant seventy-six days later, the name was changed to the Zieglar-Schryer Manufacturing Co. The original incorporators of the company were listed as Oscar J. Zieglar, Roy M. Bennethum, Fred L. Kobow, Carl K. Swartz, Jr., Edward A. Mensenkamp., and Paul F. Schryer.

In a transaction that took place sometime during 19.11, Roy M. Bennethum, a major stockholder, sold his stock to Mr. W. T. Rawleigh. After some bold financial maneuvers by Mr. Rawleigh on December 2, 1912, the company would take on the name of the Rawleigh-Schryer Engine Company.

With the W. T. Rawleigh bankroll, accumulated through the successful business of factory-to-farm home remedies and household products, along with the brilliant engineering background of Paul F. Schryer, the company enjoyed some three and one half years of success.