Bates & Edmonds Air Compressor Questions

By Staff
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This early vertical Bates & Edmonds has been converted into an air-compressor, but was it done by the factory?

Cylinder head has been unplugged.

Numbers stamped on flywheel.

Reader Jim Brown writes in about an early vertical Bates & Edmonds engine that’s been converted for air compressor duty. Jim writes: “John Barrong recently acquired what may be a Bates & Edmonds factory-built air compressor. The flywheels are 20 inches in diameter. You can see where the igniter was supposed to be and the rocker arm is gone. Both flywheels show the same sets of numbers, with the number 10 stamped on the outside edge of the flywheel (a separate number 0 is stamped above and sideways) and the number 88 on the inside edge.” Ted also has a “standard” vertical Bates & Edmonds, and says that engine features the number 59 stamped on the inside edge and the number 1 on the outside edge of the flywheels. “I would appreciate if anyone knows the significance of the numbering scheme,” Jim writes, “as well as to whether the engine was converted to an air compressor at the factory or by a prior owner.” 

The “compressor” engine, if indeed that’s what it is, carries a build plate identifying it as an “Imperial Gasoline Engine Manufactured for Monroe & Shelton By Bates & Edmonds Motor Co.” The June/July 2009 GEM included a photo and specifications for reader Mike Thomas’ 1905 4 hp Imperial. Also built by Bates & Edmonds, that engine’s build plate did not list Monroe, only Shelton, but it did include the engine’s horsepower rating and serial number at the bottom, a feature not found on Jim’s “compressor” engine’s tag. If anyone can shed any light on this we’d love to hear from you, as would Jim.

Jim Brown

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