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,
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
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
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
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,
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
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.