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Antique Engine Archives All archived posts from 1999 to 2004 when SmokStak was on EnginAds. This is a read-only board.

Antique Engine Archives

Henry Ford's first engine

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Old 11-24-2004, 04:57:07 PM
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Default update on Henry Ford's first gasoline engine

I continue to get inquiries on this posting. Here is all that I know about the engine. Leon Ridenour built the engine. Leon lives in Knoxville, TN and can be reached by phone at 865-584-9759. He does not have a computer. I took the picture at the 19th Annual Western NC Fall Harvest Days event at Arden, NC in October. This is my only picture of the engine.

Other pictures taken at Arden can be viewed at:

This is scary - I'm begining to learn how to do all of this new stuff. Thanks to Harry for the site!

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Old 11-24-2004, 11:34:12 PM
Doug Barbee Doug Barbee is offline
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Default Re: Henry Ford's first gasoline engine

I watched the engine run also. I spoke with the builder for a short time. Something that you might not have noticed, was the fuel system. The drip oiler that you see in the photo is really the fuel tank.It drips fuel into a pipe fitting that is lined with 2 layers of fine mesh screen. This atomizes the fuel. It is timed to drip as the engine needs it.Thought this was pretty neat!
Old 11-25-2004, 12:47:15 AM
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Ackman Ackman is offline
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Default Re: Henry Ford's first gasoline engine

I saw this run at the 2004 PORTLAND Show. It was quite a thing to watch! I think he was selling plans for it, then, too.
Old 11-25-2004, 01:12:03 AM
Tim Christoff Tim Christoff is offline
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Default Re: Henry Ford's first gasoline engine

I have the plans for this engine. Not to sure where they are right now but it is not that hard to build. A member of our local club built one years ago and I am guessing that this is the one that was seen at Portland as he takes it there each year but it is on display at his selling spot.
Old 11-25-2004, 09:07:25 AM
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Default Re: Henry Ford's first gasoline engine

Thanks for the info Doug. Actually I was aware that the drip oiler was used as the fuel tank. The gas is mixed with oil for lubrication. The oil drains out of the long pipe which is actually the engine body and contains the piston. I called Leon two days ago to tell him of the interest his engine has created on SmokStak, and to get his permission to list his name and phone number on this board. We talked for awhile, and he told me that he has received many calls over the years about his engine – including one from the Ford Museum. Leon said that the ignition consist of two wires and is “make & break”. He said that it is an ongoing task to keep it timed properly. Leon said that a more modern ignition would work much better but would not be of the original design. Also, there is no cooling system so he doesn’t run it for long periods of time. The engine has generated a lot of interest on this board and hopefully I have responded to everyone. Just in case someone did not get the contact information here it is again: Leon Ridenour built the engine. Leon lives in Knoxville, TN and can be reached by phone at 865-584-9759 Neat engine! Just wish I had the skills to build one. Johnny Fermanides in NC - learning from all of you.

Old 11-26-2004, 09:48:36 AM
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U J Hale U J Hale is offline
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Default Re: Henry Ford's first gasoline engine

Here is another view of Leon's display, taken at the Museum of Appalachia this fall. The gentleman wearing the suspenders and wearing the straw hat is Leon. He built this engine from scratch and at times has a kit with all the materials and some of the machining completed. I understand it takes a lathe and milling machine to complete, the job can't be completed with a drill press and a 4" grinder.
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Old 12-25-2004, 05:09:21 PM
Brianmcm Brianmcm is offline
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Thumbs up Henry Ford's Engine

I've been searching for information on Henry Ford's 1896 Quadricycle and the engine powering it and my search led me to this forum. I noticed several threads mentioned Henry Ford's first engine and wondered if this is the same or similar engine used in the Quadricycle.
I saw several names of individuals that appeared to have plans available. Is that information still valid. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.
Old 12-31-2004, 10:39:59 PM
Carl C
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Smile Re: Henry Fords first engine

Though there is some information on the single cylinder, I haven't been able to find out anything about the 2 cylinder engine that he built for the Quadricycle? Lots of pictures of the Quadricycle, but little information on the engine for it?

Anyone know anything about this one?



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