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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

10,000 Otto engines later


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  #1  
Old 01-25-2019, 01:31:52 AM
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Chris Epping Chris Epping is offline
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Default 10,000 Otto engines later

Interesting coincidence that was recently noticed in our shop. We brought home this engine last month - 25 HP Otto Gas Engine serial number 11401. Also in the building we have Otto serial number 1401. Exactly 10,000 engines apart! 1401 is a 1884 engine. I suppose 11401 is around a 1910 model. I thought that was kind of interesting.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:47:16 AM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

Wow, neat Chris. I'm not the best at keeping up with SN's. However, I had a friend from here in KY several years ago and he was looking as some junk at the house and while looking at an engine he said "I think that SN is close to the one I have". He called me that night and his engine any my engine were consecutive SN's. My engine came out of ND and his came out of Missouri.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:20:14 PM
Craig Solomonson Craig Solomonson is offline
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

Nice engine Chris! I have always been interested in serial numbers for some reason. A few years ago, my son Jon found a 1.5 HP Simplicity (serial no. U7940) near Forest Lake, Minnesota. About a year later, son Chris found a similar 1.5 HP Simplicity (serial number U7931) near Eagle River, Alaska. Those numbers were only 9 apart but found over 3,000 miles apart.

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Old 01-25-2019, 01:03:29 PM
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

Chris, do you think they made 10,000 engines?
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:13:01 PM
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

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Originally Posted by Gene Fisher View Post
Chris, do you think they made 10,000 engines?
I would guess they did Gene. I know some companies played with numbers, but Otto was a big company and made a lot of engines - and that is over the course of 26 years. That's only just over one engine a day during that time.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:32:28 PM
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

If you took the average size they built, and the number 10,000, how much cast iron would have been used i wonder? What would be the average size and weight of each engine?
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:43:46 AM
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

Hi-
The last engine out the door was # 16026 about 1925/26 or so. I think that a few pieces from 16026 still exist from Nome Alaska parts that came back to the lower 48 to be rebuilt into engines again in this generation.
Some engines were never built as some of the serial numbers were skipped in sequence. A handful were traded / bought back to the factory and rebuilt with new wearing parts, given new numbers and re sold. After World War I started very few engines were built as the government expropriated Otto's assets. After the war they stumbled around till Superior bought them, Then National Supply, Then White Motor, then a machinist from Philly had what was left and I bought what was left over from him in the early 1970's.
Fairbanks Morse made over 10 times as many engines as Otto. Stickney made 5 times as many or more. John Deere made many times more. SS& co made about 4000 engines and Otto Gas made about 12000 after 1893. These numbers are for Philadelphia Otto engines only and have nothing to do with the other 4 world wide companies that also built engines called Otto under the Otto patent. (UK, Germany, France, Italy) If I don't die too soon I may get another 10 HP Otto out the door but I don't know if I will live long enough to see it. It is about half done now.
The average size was about a 10 HP, and there is roughly 1 1/2 tons of iron in each.
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Dave Reed
Otto Gas Engine Works
2167 Blue Ball Road
Elkton MD 21921-3330 USA
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Old 01-26-2019, 04:01:39 AM
Harry Terpstra Harry Terpstra is offline
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

I wonder if Stickney made 5 times more engines as Otto. That would mean they made 50.000 to 60.000. According to the Stickney registry to highest number is 30.738 which was made in 1914 the last year they build engines. It is also my understanding that they started with a new 1000 sequence every new year. So in 1905 they use 3000 to 3999, in 1904 4000 to 4999 at so forth. However for their top years 1911 they used the sequence 11000-13999 and 1912 between 14000 and 19999. They definitely made a lot of engines but I think they didn't make 30.000.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:19:59 PM
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

Thanks Harry T for bringing this up. I remember seeing somewhere that there were way more Stickneys made than Philadelphia Otto engines. It has been years ago and the actual Stickney numbers have faded from memory but i remember being amazed that Stickney had made a quite larger number of engines than Otto did and in my mind there were not a large number of Stickney engines left compared to how many Otto engines exist ( approx. 200). At least here in the East I don't remember seeing many Stickneys around in the last 40+ years. If they started a new serial number series each year that would explain the total numbers difference.
I don't remember where I saw the numbers years ago, it may have been a 100+ year old Gas Review, or the original Gas Engine from 100+ years ago, or???
It sounds like Stickney did make at least twice as many engines as Otto for sure. Anyone have any more information on the Stickney production numbers?
Thanks,
Dave Reed
Otto Gas Engine Works
2167 Blue Ball Road
Elkton MD 21921-3330 USA
phone 410-398-7340
http://www.ringspacers.com
http://www.pistonrings.net
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:40:18 PM
Harry Terpstra Harry Terpstra is offline
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Default Re: 10,000 Otto engines later

This is the link to the Stickney registry. http://buzzcoil.brinkster.net/stickney/page101.html
Denis Rouleau does a fantastic job on many different engine registry's.

A reason why more Otto's than Stickney's survived is maybe because Stickney were farm engines, while I think Otto was much more expensive engine and probably more placed in engine rooms where they stayed even after they stopped using the engine.

Last edited by Harry Terpstra; 02-03-2019 at 05:27:06 PM.
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