An advertisement that appeared in the September, 1921 issue of Popular Science Magazine had lots of good things to say, ( no surprise here ) about the Ottawa saws. It was a “One man log saw”, “Easy to move from cut to cut”, “Wheels like a barrow”, “ You start and stop saw blade without stopping motor by simply pulling out the friction clutch.” It was, “Magneto equipped: oscillating magneto ignition. No batteries are ever needed.” “ Easily operated by man or boy.”
Another ad claimed that you could, “Saw 10 to 20 cords a day.” “Does more than 10 men.” One satisfied customer claimed,”I cut 3 cords an hour with my Ottawa log saw.” It was versatile too. You could use it to run your feed grinder or power your washing machine. Best of all you could own this amazing machine for the low, low price of $39.00
Ottawa Manufacturing Co. was a division of Warner Manufacturing Company that was formed in 1904 as the result of an offer presented the previous year. A group of businessmen from Ottawa, Kansas approached Warner management about relocating to Ottawa and offered $3000 as an incentive. It seems you could build a new factory for a lot less back in the day, and Warner took them up on the offer.
Warner had been making wire fencing materials since the mid 1800’s but the new factory offered an opportunity to expand the product line. New products would eventually include: mowers, post hole diggers, windmills, gasoline engines and power saws. By 1917 both water and air cooled engines were offered, that ranged from 1 ½ to 22 horsepower. Around 1913 Warner began developing a small engine powered crosscut saw that would become one of their most successful products.
By the1920’s, Ottawa was a leading manufacturer of power saw products. The drag saw was designed to imitate two men pushing and pulling a saw blade. Powered by a hit and miss engine, the blade could cut at up to 170 strokes per minute. The saw shown here is powered by a 5 hp. Unit that turns over at 550 rpm.
There is quite a bit of information available online about Ottawa and their products. One of the most interesting that I found is an instruction book for engines and buzz saw rigs from 1918, 1919 and 1920. This manual covers a wide range of topics that are sure to interest collectors and definately owners of an Ottawa saw. Subjects covered include: setting up saw for operation, starting the engine, adjusting the fuel & air mix, setting up the tree saw, how to start a kerosene engine equipped with a magneto without cranking and by cranking, troubleshooting problems and timing the valves. Of special interest to owners would be an exploded diagram and parts list. You can find this interesting document at: www.vintagemachinery.org/pubs/764/5986pdf.
I photographed # TE 2718E at the Richland Creek Antique Fall Festival at Ward, South Carolina. It is part of the Berry family collection that is on display at the yearly show. For information about the 2019 event visit: www.richlandcreekantiques.com .
www.powerofthepast.net/ottawa-engine-company/ The August Reddeman cross cut saw by Brian Wayne Wells , Belt Pulley Magazine
https://books.google.com Popular Science Sept. 1921 p. 103