Coolspring Spotlight: 1893 10 hp White & Middleton

This 1893 10 hp White & Middleton engine has some unusual features, including an oiler designed to shut off when the engine shuts off.

| October/November 2015

  • White & Middleton engine
    The 1893 10 hp White & Middleton on display at the Coolspring Power Museum.
    Photo courtesy the Gas Engine Magazine staff
  • Camshaft
    The 10 hp 1893 White & Middleton has a centrifugal governor driven off the camshaft that operates both the fuel admission valve and exhaust valve.
    Photo courtesy the Gas Engine Magazine staff
  • ID plate
    Identification plate for the 10 hp 1893 White & Middleton.
    Photo courtesy the Gas Engine Magazine staff
  • Centrifugal governor
    The 10 hp 1893 White & Middleton has a centrifugal governor driven off the camshaft that operates both the fuel admission valve and exhaust valve.
    Photo courtesy the Gas Engine Magazine staff

  • White & Middleton engine
  • Camshaft
  • ID plate
  • Centrifugal governor

Manufacturer: White & Middleton Gas Engine Co., Baltimore, MD
Serial number: 146
Horsepower: 10 hp
Bore & stroke: 6-1/2in x 16in
Ignition: Hot tube
Governing: Hit-and-miss
Owner: David Deardorf

This is an 1893 10 hp White & Middleton gas engine. Founded by Charles White and Arthur R. Middleton, the White & Middleton Gas Engine Co. introduced a line of high-grade engines in 1889. Available styles included horizontal and vertical stationary models up to 60 hp and 4-stroke cycle marine engines also up to 60 hp. Reorganized in 1911 as the Charles White Gas Engine Co., engine production continued until about 1915. “They were one of the early companies in that business and were very successful,” says Clark Colby. “They had a good, simple reliable design, had good castings, good workmanship and sold many engines.”

Features

This particular engine was made in 1893 and is a little bit different from the later engines. This engine has a centrifugal governor driven off the camshaft that controls the pushrod that operates both the fuel admission valve and exhaust valve. It has an automatic intake valve, as well as an auxiliary check valve and cylinder port to help get the exhaust gas out of the cylinder after combustion.

One unusual feature of this engine is that the oiler was designed so that it automatically shuts off when the engine shuts off. The oiler is actuated by a rod that comes down and touches the piston as it travels back and forth in the cylinder.



Also worth noting is the ratio of the bore and stroke. The engine has a 6-1/2-inch bore and 16-inch stroke, making a 2-1/2-to-1 ratio, which was unusual even in the days of long strokes.

History

White & Middleton Co. sold hundreds of these engines to Bell Telephone, which used them to charge batteries in small rural central telephone offices. They were so popular with Bell Telephone that the procedures manual it issued had a separate chapter on the operation and maintenance of these engines into the early 1950s.



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