541 Wisconsin Ave., Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin 54935
About two years ago last summer, I was lucky enough to find an engine called a Steiner Long Life. I found the engine sitting in an old dilapidated brick building next to a feed mill in a little town called Collins, which is about 20 miles west of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
However, after locating the owner, (who turned out to be the owner of the feed mill), I was disappointed to learn that he would not part with it, and that he planned to restore it to running condition himself someday, maybe!
But, I did not give up hope, and when I returned about a year later, the man was recovering from open heart surgery. Possibly, because of this and also because I had doubled my previous offer, he consented to sell me the engine.
The Steiner Long Life was built -in Plymouth, Wisconsin somewhere around the year 1912. This engine is similar in many ways to the Hippe-Steiner of Mr. Russell Ginnow of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, whose article appears in the Nov.-Dec. 1969 issue of GEM. Both engines have the same diameter flywheels, the same size and shape water hopper, the same bore and stroke, (6-1/2' x 8'). His engine is rated 6 Hp. at 350 Rpm., my engine is rated 7 Hp. at 360 Rpm. Both engines are headless, but here the similarity ends. Russ' engine has the battery make and break ignition, mine has a direct drive magneto, which by the way gives off a beautiful spark in its original unrestored condition, (last patent date July 7, 1912). His engine has many parts made of solid bronze, while my engine is mostly cast iron. My engine has a much simpler valve arrangement. Both intake and exhaust valves are directly in front of the cylinder bore, where the head would normally be. The intake valve works by suction, the exhaust valve and ignitor are operated by a single cam and push rod on the same side of the engine. The governor is on the same flywheel as the cam with linkage direct to the push rod trip, hence the hit and miss operation. The carburetor on my engine is very simple, it has only a check valve, a needle valve, and a choke plate, while his is much more complicated. Russ' engine was painted blue, while my engine was painted dark green.
Obviously the Hippe-Steiner came first and the Steiner Long Life later. The Hippe-Steiner is much more complicated in design and more expensive in construction, which may have caused the company financial trouble, with Mr. Hippe leaving the business and the business being moved from Chilton to Plymouth Wisconsin.
It is also my belief that these engines are quite rare, at least in this size, for I have no knowledge of any others. I now have The Steiner Long Life almost restored and I plan to take it to several shows in Wisconsin next summer.
Pictured is a small gasoline engine that I made. I used crankshaft and piston and timing gears from Briggs & Stratton engine. The piston is 2-1/4', flywheels are 7' in diameter, 1' face. It is water cooled. All parts were handmade, but piston, crank and gears. You can tell how much larger it is in comparsion to the standard automobile coil on it.
I had it to Tri-State Historical Steam Engine Show at Hookstown, Pennsylvania and had it is operation during the show.
This past summer the Troy and Berkshire Clubs along with some guests from the New Hampshire Club held a joint meeting at my place and enclosed are four views of same taken by Miss Michelle DeBussy, a local young photographer.
Picture is a part of the circular group with Holt 5 ton W30 Fordson and 10-20 in the background; at right. This is titled the 'President's Circle', right to left in order are Al Miller, past president of Troy Club; John Steel, president of Berkshire Club; Bill Forman, past president Troy Club; Merle Bottum, past president of Berkshire Club; Dan Steinhoff, past president of Berkshire Club,and Don Glickner, president of Troy Club operating the saw. This is a complicated piece of machinery known as 'wife saver' in the area and the advice of the entire group was necessary and readily offered
Picture is of the 'coffee break'. We started the old Holt but it is a gas guzzler and it soon used up its ration, so we brought our some of the old Armstrong equipment
Merle and Lynn Bottum are operating a corn sheller of 1850 type that really throws kernels all over the place and looks like an active hive of bees when it is in operation.
In the March - April 1975 Smoke Rings and your answer to Juttie Jewett of Johnson, Vt., a reference is made to the interest or lack of interest in the old engine hobby in the New England States. Here is the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts we have a small but very active group. We have produced five annual shows that were highly successful. In two of the past years we have inclement wheather, however, we still had an increase in attendance over the previous year. There is a similar small but active group just over the line in New York State. The Capital District Early Engine Club of Troy, N. Y. which has been very helpful at our shows and as previously reported in your magazine, there is a club in Dublin, New Hampshire.
Center shot is of the Chase engine and my daughter Shelly and I are in the picture.
Plunkett, Jr. gas and gasoline engine owned by Don Letsch of Nixa, Missouri. It was manufactured by J. E. Plunkett Company, Chicago, Illinois. Only a very few of these engines were built. This is No. 14. It is a hit and miss. In the center picture there is a 5 HP Witte in the background.
A scene of looking down over the engines at the show.
Picture is a thresher. It has a 14' cylinder and was completed in 1963.
Pictures were taken at a show that Branch #16 of the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association had at the Billing Show Missouri Street Fair. Branch 16 had three Gas-Ups last summer, one at Ash Grove, Missouri and one at Warsaw, Mo.
While looking for gas engines, I found what every collector should have - it is a stilt-tractor. Trucks, Model A's and others, were built like this one and they were used by rural mail carriers.
Pictured is Ed Jansen of Teutopolis, Illinois. He is shown with his model sawmill set. Ed displayed this outfit at a fall meeting of the Lincoln Heritage Trail Gas Engine Association at Charleston, Illinois.
The engine is in good running order and is of the horizontal open crankcase type, with two flywheels. It is a petrol parraffin model with ignition via a low tension generator in conjunction with mechanically operated contact breaker points inside the cylinder head. It has a push rod operated exhaust valve, but the inlet valve is naturally aspirated and is of course a four stroke cycle.
We would be most grateful for anything you folks could tell us about it.
Buffalo Drilling Motor on its transportation wheels. This was the most popular drilling motor in the Bradford Oil Field for quite a few years. Four cylinder, four cycle gas or gasoline. Picture taken in 1930.