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The Central Power
A Pumping Oilfield
Powerful Monuments
Profile of a Power
Floors and Shelves
The Engine End
Reid Historical Marker
Hookup, Three-Pole, Rod Lines
The Pump Jack

The Engine End

engineend.jpg (27617 bytes)
The engine end of an abandoned power. The belt way starts at the dark area at the back left. This is the 20 HP Franklin Valveless engine that drove the belt for the Simplex power shown in the McCray-Espy lease. Note the spark plug in the front of the cylinder. It is inscribed Champion 33, Gas Engine Special. Parts of the engine are missing.
McCray-Espy power. If all was there, this design would be the dumbbell profile. The engine end is at the left, the power is in the far right of the building (rod lines can be seen). "Pete" Sparks, my oilfield buddy, looks out through the window at left.

There are a considerable number of engines, a few still running, in the old oilfields of the Appalachian Basin and elsewhere. The engines run on natural gas (usually from the oil wells on the lease) and are water cooled by a water jacket. The horsepower of the plentiful first models are 4 (early), 8, 12, 15, 20, 25 and up to 40 hp. with 15 hp. engines being a popular choice for powers, especially with Joseph Reid engines.

If the power building still stands, the engine end is usually the main entrance. Sometimes the engine is found nearly complete. It is disappointing to find only a foundation, but that happens.

Some of the oilfield engines (for powers) which I have commonly seen in the field were made by the following manufacturers:

Joseph Reid Gas Engine Co., Oil City, Pa.

Oil City Boiler Works, Oil City, Pa.

Bessemer Gas Engine Co., Grove City, Pa.

Titusville Iron Works Co. (Olin, Acme), Titusville, Pa.

Franklin Valveless, Franklin, Pa.

American Railway Appliance Co., Oil City, Pa.

Oil Well Supply Co. (Simplex, Black Bear), Oil City, Pa.

There are a lot of other makes too. None of the above are made any more. They are true industrial antiques.


© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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