Gas Engine Magazine


1908 Devon Road, Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701

A few years ago I acquired an engine that has no nameplate,
which was one of several I had purchased from Bill Debolt. Bill is
the ‘bolt’ of Star bolt Engine Supplies of Adamstown,
Maryland, the well known supplier of gasoline engine parts. Bill is
no longer a part of Star-bolt and he and his son, Paul, are now the
operators of Debolt Machine of Baltimore, Maryland, who manufacture
and sell the Witte and Perkins model gasoline engines. When I
acquired the engine from Bill, it was in pieces and I bought it
with the usual reservation that it would turn out though there were
several missing parts. This spring the engine was assembled by
master mechanic and engine collector, J. P. Hackenburg, of
Montoursville, Pennsylvania, and much to my amazement, only one
part was missing. The only part that should have been in the tin
bucket that the small parts were in was the ‘spark saver’.
This engine carries no nameplate, is one that neither I nor anyone
I know has seen before and carries its serial number (5093) on a
boss on the top of the water cooled head. I have been told that it
is an Ohio engine made in Sandusky, Ohio (the manufacturer of
heavy, fine side shaft engines). I have no reason to doubt this
identification. In establishing the make of any unmarked non-common
engine, in my opinion, it is imperative that the identification be
documented by some tangible evidence in the form of a comparable
engine which carries an original nameplate, a parts list, operating
instructions, advertising, etc. Many engines have been identified
by other means and then later it is established that the
identification is wrong. The real vice that occurs from this is
that the wrong identification gets into print and therefore is
accepted as fact. The resultant confusion is most times very
difficult to untangle.

What I am really looking for is someone who can from the
description of this engine and from the attached photographs
provide me with a picture of an identical engine with an original
nameplate or an advertisement, parts manual or operating
instructions for an identical engine. I would certainly appreciate
hearing from anyone who can assist in this search or provide a lead
which, if developed, would establish a positive identification of
this engine.

The important features of the engine are as follows:

It is hit and miss governed and has high tension ignition. It is
a push rod engine with a 6 inch bore and a 7 inch stroke. The
flywheels are heavy and 28 inches in diameter. Calculations suggest
that it is in the 4-6 HP range.

The engine has several distinguishing features. The mixer is
located on the underside of the liquid cooled head and has no
needle valve in the mixer. The needle valve is in the head and
feeds fuel directly into the intake valve chamber and is controlled
by a brass hand wheel. The fuel is raised from the in base gas tank
to the needle valve by intake suction assisted by a check valve
located at the outlet of the gasoline tank (see photograph number

On the off side of the engine (the side opposite the spark plug)
the exhaust pipe leaves the head horizontally and is 1? inches in
diameter. There are two one-inch pipe threaded openings into the
base contained gasoline tank (see photograph number two), which
openings are located immediately in front of the flywheel on the
side of and at the top of the gas tank and the other is inside the
flywheel in the engine frame. I feel that the one in front of the
flywheel is intended to have in it a pipe plug with a small hole
which acts as a gas tank vent. The other pipe would be a filler
pipe; however, this is conjecture on my part. The pipe in the front
opening as shown on the picture is probably not original.

Photograph number three is a nearside view of the engine showing
its large capacity water hopper of distinctive shape.

Governing is accomplished by two weights attached to the outside
of the cam gear which pivots on an axis at right angles to the cam
gear. Due to the location of the pivot point, centrifugal force
causes the weights to pivot outward and this motion operates a pin
passing through the center of the cam shaft which in turn activates
the mechanism which locks up the push rod (see photograph number
four). I have never seen an identical governing arrangement like
this; however, I have seen a Maynard engine made by Jacobson at
Warren, Pennsylvania, which has its governing weights on the
outside of the cam gear. The weights on this engine are different
than the weights on the Jacob Maynard and I believe that excludes
any relationship between the two.

The ignition timing on this engine is accomplished by a vertical
lever which rotates around the cam shaft and carries an insulated
contact which contacts a pin in the cam gear. Speed is controlled
by a knurled nut which applies spring pressure to the governor lock
up arm. The speed control is immediately above the connecting rod
and the timing control lever is immediately above that in
photograph number 5. This engine is of heavy construction and
therefore runs very smoothly.

If anyone can help in the identification of this engine, please
contact me by telephone at (717) 326-5131 in the evening, or by
mail at my address as follows: Paul W. Reeder, 1908 Devon Road,
Willamsport, Pennsylvania 17701. I will respond to all letters and
I am willing to buy or borrow any identifying pictures you may
have. I anticipate submitting the results of this inquiry to GEM in
a later issue.

  • Published on Oct 1, 1989
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