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Oil Field Engines A gathering place for OFES members otherwise known as "Oafs". Basically, if you like "BIG OLD GREASY RUSTY OIL FIELD ENGINES, you're in the right place. Founded by Russell Farmer.

Oil Field Engines

Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer


I have an 1899 Cooper Bessmer engine. i got it from my families feed mill in Harmony pa. The...

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  #1  
Old 05-06-2009, 12:26 PM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

I have an 1899 Cooper Bessmer engine. i got it from my families feed mill in Harmony pa. The story goes my great grandfather picked it up with the horse and buggy in Grove City PA. it was used to start a 50HP cooper bessmer that was cut apart for scrap when mill was swiched to electric. The 5 hp i have has been under cover all those years. My two uncles recenlty passed away and i inherited the engine. I would like to get it running this summer. I have a lot of equipment to run with it. I bought a 16' flat bed trailer to make some kind of a shaft and run the equipment (corn sheller, grinder, air compressor, seperator, i have all the cast iron pulleys and shafts and old leather belt and newer belts. my question is: where can i find information about getting this old beast running? i know it needs an acummulator, regulator, hot tube, chimney, burner, the works. Any help would be appreciated.

attached is a picture of me the day I got the engine out of the basement of the mill with help from my dad and my son.
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engine.jpg  
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:08 PM
Tom Weatherford Tom Weatherford is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

That is a great find. They are a very desireable engine in the engine hoddy.I have owned two of them and they are a lot of fun to work on and run. The OFES page her on Harry's is a great place for info. If you need any help. Give me a call anytime at cell 434-665-9749 or hm 434-299-5657
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:26 PM
Nate S Nate S is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

I think its a little newer than 1899, and I dont think when your engine was the cooper name had been added yet, but I could be wrong. These bessemers are pretty simple they are a 2 stroke engine, i would say tear it all down clean all the places where movement occurs, clean the jacket, that sort of thing, and you will be in good shape. You have a nice engine their!
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:36 PM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

Thanks for replying,

The engine plate says 1899 and I am pretty sure it said cooper bessemer. Maybe just Bessemer. I thought I had a picture of it, but I cant find here at work. I will have to look for it tonight and post it then. Do you know where I can find parts? regulator, accumulator, burner, hot tube, chimney, etc...?
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:50 PM
Tremel Tremel is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

1899 is Bessemer's patent date. If indeed your engine tag or castings states "Cooper-Bessemer", than your engine is 1928 and older. However, I have never seen a 5HP Cooper-Bessemer, horizontal, acorn head. Just judging by the picture, the engine may be as old as 1899, but as new as 1915 (give or take a few years). It's really hard to tell.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:13 PM
Rich Hudak Rich Hudak is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

Did that come out of Knauff's feed mill?
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:45 AM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

yes it did. I am a Knauf (only one f). The picture their is of me, dad, one of my sons. The mill is now for sale.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:52 AM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

Thanks, for the info, i have to find the picture I took of the name plate. I know these engines were popular in the area being so close to Grove City where they were made. I have seen quite a few reid's as well growing up. A lot of little oil wells all over the place. My engine has always been inside. According to dad, it was used right up to the day they switched everything over to electric, then it sat. Dad and I would always make sure it was up off the ground and spray oil on it to keep it moving. Now I have it here in NY were i live. I really want to get it working this summer. I also have a good many pieces of equipment to run with the engine once we get it going. Any help I can get through here is greatly appreciated. The plan is to get it running, then tear it down, refurb it, give it a nice paint job (i know some people say not to paint it, but i am going top paint it) mount it to the new 16' flatbed i bought, install a shaft on the trailer hooked to equipment. the trailer will them be taken to fairs, shows, etc. all conatined in one nice weather proof package. I know that is a huge goal! I want to get the engine running very soon. I know my dad would like that.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:13 AM
Trd Harper Trd Harper is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

FireFighter,
You have a very fine engine and fortunate to have the family history. You may be able to date the engine precisely through family records.

John Burns here on the OFES board may be able to supply the hot tube burner, chimney and hot tube.

A lot of folks use a regulator as used on a gas barbeque. We have had very good luck using an acetelene regulator.

Goog luck,
Ted
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:32 AM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

does anyone know about an accumulator? how big? i have heard of epople using a old propane tank with a t welded on.
what about putting an oiler on the propane line as propane burns pretty dr and hot. Is this necessary or not?
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:39 AM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

Hey Nate. We use to show chickens at the fair there on top of the big hill. (close to punxatauney right?) We would go to 34 different PA fairs with our animals during the summer.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:01 PM
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Zach Williams Zach Williams is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

That is a super nice engine.

I read that you are going to paint it, I would really reconsider doing that, you should just clean it up and oil it down.

It's only original once.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:16 PM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

I know. I have gone back and forth about "paint or not to paint" i am almost 100% sure that i want to paint it. i am pretty sure it was originally black and green or black and gold.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:18 PM
Eric M. Eric M. is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

I have to agree with Zach on this one. If it's stripped and repainted, there is no way it will ever have its original finish ever again. You'd be surprised how much better the engine will look with a light oiling. Try just cleaning and oiling it; you can always paint it later. Who knows? You may prefer it after you see it yourself. 5 horsepower Bessemers are quite uncommon, and I don't recall seeing any with their original finish. You may have one of the few unmolested originals left in the world.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:47 PM
John Burns John Burns is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

I can help with the proper chimney, I reproduce these .

John Burns 937 845 3412
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:01 AM
HVFD FireFighter HVFD FireFighter is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

I did some checking last night. I did miss speak. it is a Bessemer, not Cooper Bessemer. attached is a picture of the engine plate.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:53 AM
Walt Roys Walt Roys is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

Firefighter,
John Burns is the man to talk to. He has most of the stuff you will need. He is also very willing to share iinfo with you.
Walt
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:56 PM
C. Gray C. Gray is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

You won't need an accumulator if you use two propane tanks. One tank for the hot tube and one for fueling the engine. These engines will "flood" easily during the starting process. A petcock installed somewhere on the cylinder makes it easy to clear the "flood". Put a gate valve on the air inlet to serve as a choke. You probably won't need much air. Put a needle valve on the fuel input line. Disconnect the governor and control the engine speed with the needle valve. If you have good compression, don't take the head off. Check the packing gland at rod end for excessive leakage. Unless it's badly rusted, don't paint it.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:33 AM
Joe Anderson Joe Anderson is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

First of all, very nice engine and I hope you do put it on a trailer with equipment running off of it. I hope to do the same to show people what these engines really did.
For an engine this size you should not need an accumulator, just run it from the bottle with a regulator.
The swingtop oilers you pictured are desireable oilers and I would use them on your engine even if they are not original. More than likely if they are not someone in your family ( since it's been in your family) put them on the engine if they were with it.
When it comes to paint, engines look good either way. Zach and Eric mentioned original finish, but true original from the factory they were painted and some brands had intricate pin striping and even with black and white photos you can tell some had a high pollish to their paint. One thing is for certain everyone has their opinions on what to do with your engine, but its just that, your engine. Make the engine look the way you want it to look and don't worry about those who complain about it. ( I have an Economy painted Allis Chalmers orange ) The main thing is to have fun and enjoy the hobby.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:05 PM
W.P.Klein W.P.Klein is offline
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Default Re: Help with 1899 5HP Cooper Bessmer

An engine in that state of original condition is considered "museum quality" in my opinion. Painting it would make it like most other 5 Bessemers out there- desireable and beautiful but not unique. Your forefathers chose not to paint it and I think you should not cover up the heritage shown by it's original "working clothes" either. After all, we are just caretakers until our time is up. Congratulations on a real treasure! Bill Klein
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