Scheppele marine engine, 6 cylinder model for an old advertising postcard.
R.R. 1, Box 14, Cumberland, Iowa 50843
The Scheppele marine engine was built in Dubuque, Iowa by Charles A. Scheppele. Mr. Scheppele was born in 1866 and died in 1941. In his lifetime he went from the manufacture of wooden rollers for roller skates to bicycle repair to building marine engines to becoming one of the pioneer automobile dealers in Iowa, selling Auburn automobiles. He built engines for 12 to 14 years prior to 1912. The engines were 2 cycle, 1 to 8 cylinders and both cast iron and brass jackets were made. During the years of manufacture approximately 2000 engines were built. A record of the engines was not kept so there is no serial number on the Scheppele name-plate.
Scheppele began engine manufacture alone. He made all cast parts patterns of wood. After a time he employed 8 to 10 machinists. The location of the factory was a small frame building between 8th and 9th on Central Avenue, East side of the street. The small frame building burned in 1914. Luckily Mr. Scheppele had moved to a larger building next to it.
Picture of Mrs. Keehner's family album, showing business card, engine nameplate and various pictures of the Scheppele marine engine.
Quite a few of his engines were exported to foreign countries including Germany, Canada and Japan.
In 1911 Mr. Scheppele, who was a member of the Dubuque Motor Boat Club, entered a boat powered by one of his engines in a race on the Mississippi. His speedy entry won over boats from Chicago, Believe and other areas and won him a 2-handled silver-plated loving cup.
His engines were popular with Mississippi rivermen and were used in boats that gathered shells for the manufacture of pearl buttons and by commercial fishermen.
This story would not be complete without mention of Mr. Scheppele's daughter, Mrs. L. M. Keehner of Dubuque. She provided the history for this story and has preserved the records of the company including business cards, photos, wooden factory molds, etc. She also owns the 2-cylinder engines shown. My thanks for another bit of gas engine history.