The Uncommon Lauson Engines

Looking Beyond Frost Kings at Unusual Lauson Engines


| September/October 2002



WG Crankcase

Figure 11

Catalog A also shows a new W Series model, the WG (Figure 11). The WG is an enclosed crankcase, hopper-cooled engine rated 2 HP at 500 rpm to 3 HP at 800 rpm. The bore, stroke and flywheel diameter are the same as on the open crankcase Model W. The WG engine uses Timken tapered roller-bearing main bearings and features splash lubrication of the crankcase components. Ignition is by Wico EK magneto and spark plug. This model features a water-cooled cylinder head (with atmospheric-operated intake valve) along with a throttling-governor carburetor for gas, gasoline or kerosene fuels. A gear-driven flyball governor is located inside the crankcase. These engines were available in semi-portable (mounted on wooden skids) and stationary (mounted on a sub-base) versions. The WG does not appear in Catalog F, dated 1937.

Catalog B introduces the Model LW vertical-cylinder water-cooled engine. The standard model LW engines were equipped with a pump/splash lubrication system, but a bottle-oiler equipped variation was produced that was, apparently, sold only as an Alpha-name plated engine by DeLaval under the designation of 'Alpha Junior.'2 This engine is described in detail in the DeLaval publication Alpha Dairy Power Plants, dated May 1931.

The Alpha Junior was equipped with the same bottle oiling system and suction-feed carburetor as used on the RA and RAU air-cooled engines. It had a published rating of 3/4 HP at 900 rpm and 1-1/4 HP at 1,600 rpm. The Alpha Junior was sold as a packaged unit featuring a vacuum-milker pump and electric lighting generator that would provide dairy farmers with vacuum for the milker system, lighting for the work area and hot water (from the engine cooling tank) for washing up after milking. See Figure 12 for an illustration of the Alpha Junior unit and Figure 13 for a cut-away of the engine showing the bottle oiling system.

The carburetor shown in Figure 12 appears to have a rack-and-pin-ion throttle linkage, which may not be representative of actual production carburetors. On two engines in the authors' collection (one RAU and one Alpha Junior), the throttle valve is a spool-valve located in-line with the governor weights. As an aside, it is interesting to note that Alpha Dairy Power Plants also shows the Lauson Model VW engine, designated as the 'Alpha Senior,' and the Lauson Model RAU engine, designated as the 'Alpha Midget.'

By the late 1930s, Lauson was building several models of inboard marine engines that were variations of standard industrial models. Catalog O-97A, dated Dec. 15, 1939, describes the following marine models:

Air-cooled: RLM 3/4 HP, RSM 1-1/2 HP, TLM 2-1/4 HP (Figure 14), LBM 3 HP.