Waterloo Gas Engine Research Continues ...

One of the Largest Stationary Engine Manufacturers, Waterloo Engines were Chosen by Over 60 Companies


| January 2006



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Our hobby had an exciting announcement in 2001 when the Waterloo Gas Engine Co. serial number list was discovered in the John Deere Archives and published in the November issue of Gas Engine Magazine. Finding the list was a major break-through, allowing an owner to finally determine the year of production of his Waterloo engine. The serial number list is also available at: www.majesticengine.com

Majestic is just one on the many names found on the Waterloo gas engines. Waterloo was one of the "big four" manufacturers along with Fairbanks-Morse, Hercules and International. They used an ingenious, unique and quite successful method of merchandising their product by selling through dozens of other companies.

From the beginning of production of Waterloo Boy engines in 1906, engines were shipped directly to their customers either from the massive Waterloo, Iowa, facilities or from one of their branch warehouses located around the country. Engines would be shipped with the customer's own personalized nameplate attached. Production at their Hedford foundry also included Associated, Galloway and some other brands. The company was sold to John Deere in March 1918 for $2.1 million. Production of the original Waterloo Boy model continued by Deere until 1921, when sales of Waterloo engines through their 63-plus-customer base ceased.

From mid-1919 through 1925, Waterloo produced the H gasoline and K kerosene models with minor mechanical changes. In 1921, production of the renowned John Deere Type E began and continued through 1946.

Frank Eddy, the "Waterloo Expert," began research on the Waterloo Gas Engine Co. many years ago. Our hobby lost a great asset when Frank passed away this year. Over many years, Frank compiled a list of Waterloo customers by simply recording what he saw at the shows he attended. As the customer list grew, so did Frank's interest in compiling a complete list of every name Waterloo's were sold under. Many of us knew there were several names, but only Frank knew just how many.

Frank also discovered that a few of the engines had a casting date. I began working with him many years ago to find more casting dates. Dates have been seen only on the 1911 through 1915 Waterloo engines. Dates are usually located on the subbase under the crankshaft on the side opposite the igniter and are easily visible through the flywheel spokes. One casting date has been found on the igniter side of the subbase, as well. If you have a Waterloo or see one at a show, check it all over. There may be other locations to be discovered. Contact me if you find a new casting date and I will add it to the research.