Waterloo Serial Numbers Found

| November/December 2001

The members of our gasoline engine hobby have received exciting news of a major breakthrough in dating engines produced by the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company of Waterloo, Iowa. All Waterloo engines produced from 1906 through 1923 can now have the year of production determined.

Thanks to months of contact with and cooperation by the John Deere Collectors Center in Moline, Ill., the elusive serial numbers for these years have been discovered. First contact with the Deere & Company about the serial numbers resulted with a response that, 'we do not have a list available on Waterloo gasoline engines.'

However, another source at Deere & Company had been asked a few years ago by an engine owner about a Waterloo engine he owned. That person knew where to look and the owner received information he requested about the ship date of his engine. As time passed and positions changed at Deere, the numbers were lost, but now have been found again.

The Waterloo Gasoline Company began business in 1895. In 1906, the company began production of its 'Waterloo Boy' hopper-cooled, open crank engine that characterized its well-known line for the next 15 years. During this time, Waterloo became one of the 'Big Four' manufacturers, along with Fairbanks-Morse, Hercules and International Harvester. From 1906 through 1918, Waterloo engines were sold by at least 64 companies.

The Majestic, Eaton, John Smyth, Jackson, Sandow and Waterloo Boy are just some of the more common Waterloo engines.

After the sale of Waterloo to Deere & Company in 1918, the company introduced a new design with the 'H' gasoline and 'K' kerosene models in 1921, with many mechanical changes. Production of the Waterloo Boy engine ceased in 1923 and was replaced by the renowned Deere Type 'E'.