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Monday, August 15, 2016

Stover's Good Engine

As opposed to one of Stover’s bad engines? This interesting little engine was exhibited at the Foothills Antique Power Association’s 12th annual show in 2015.




During the 19th and early 20th Centuries it seems like everyone wanted to cash in on the manufacturing bubble and Daniel C. Stover ( 1839 - 1908 ) was no exception. In 1879 he established Stover Manufacturing Co. located in Freeport Illinois. The firm produced a variety of items that included agricultural machinery, water tanks, saw mills, the Ideal brand windmill for well pumps and the line of gasoline engines. Stover also made bicycles and in 1889 was issued a patent for improvements to bicycles  that included the coaster brake that is still used today on what’s called “cruiser bicycles”. Stover’s products were widely distributed through Sears, Roebuck & Co. If you fly on over to www.idaillinois.org you can find a nice “ Aeroplane view of the big Stover plant “ as it appeared on postcards of the period. Stover Manufacturing continued in business until 1942.



A point of interest is the Wico Electric Co. type EK Magneto that was widely used on single cylinder gas engines of the period. A reciprocating armature induction magneto, the only moving parts were the armature and contact points. It was  renowned for it’s simplicity and reliability. Printed on the Magneto is an amazing warranty. “Guaranteed for all time against defects in material and workmanship.”  Wow! Where can you get a product like that these days? Presumably one day billions and billions of years in the future, just before the universe stops expanding and collapses back into an infinitely dense point, if your engine stops working due to one of those defects; you could get your money back. That is of course provided you could find a Wico Company representative.




Sources:

www.gasenginemagazine.com  The remarkable Wico Model EK Magneto by Bud Motry May / June 1977
Illinois Digital Archives www.idaillinois.org







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