Post Number: 167
|Posted on Sunday, July 03, 2011 - 03:51 pm: ||
Hello all - we just picked up this little engine and were wondering what info was available in terms of dates and company history. It appears to have some early features to it.
Is there a connection between Eclipse Motor Company and Eclipse Mfg. Co.?
Post Number: 1359
|Posted on Sunday, July 03, 2011 - 07:31 pm: ||
My best guess is another of the
Detroit Auto Marine Family
Put "Detroit Auto Marine" with quotes in the search field lots of pics and info on 2 pages with 20 different items
|Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2011 - 02:59 pm: ||
Eclipse, if this is the right company, was built in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan in Mancelona. Here is what I have on it so far:
Eclipse Motor Company was a gasoline launch engine manufacturing firm in Mancelona, Antrim County, Michigan. The firm began prior to 1901, probably as Eclipse Motor & Boat Company in Traverse City, where Brownlow Starbuck worked with William Fetterly, presumably building boats and marine engines. Brownlow Starbuck managed the company. He probably moved the new company to Mancelona in 1901.
In March 1901 Starbuck built a new 24' X 40' building just east of his residence at 364 Mingo Street in the community, having outgrown his existing facility. Orders came in a few at a time, such as an order for six launch engines from New Symrna, Florida in May 1903. Patterns for a new five-horsepower, double-cylinder two-cycle engine were completed by Starbuck in January 1904, to be used in either automobiles or launches.
Another interesting order was for an engine built for a Mathews Boat Company boat in March 1905 to be shipped to St. Petersburg, Russia, supposedly the basis of a new navy for the Czar.
By October 1906 the company made plans and patterns for a new model, and the motors were to be cast in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
When the company was inspected on October 21, 1909 by State of Michigan factory inspectors, seven men were employed.
Eclipse Motor Company of Mancelona filed notice of its dissolution on March 31, 1911.
Brownlow Starbuck died in Peoria, Illinois, in 1926.
Polk, R. L. & Co. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1903-1904; 1905-1906.
Michigan Department of Labor. First Annual Report of the Michigan Department of Labor of the State of Michigan (Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Labor, 1910.) p. 31.
Homfeld, Max F. 753 Manufacturers of Inboard Marine Engines (St. Michaels, MD: Max F. Homfeld, 1991.) p. 4. Cites Motor Boat, July 10, 1908, p. 103.
Mancelona Area Historical Society. First Hand Account of Life in Mancelona in the 20th Century (Mancelona, MI: Mancelona Area Historical Society, 2002.) pp. 164-166.
Penton Publishing Company. The American Boating Directory, 1906 (Cleveland, OH: Penton Publishing Company, 1906.) p. 13.
Fisher, Robert D. (ed.) Marvyn Scudder Manual of Extinct or Obsolete Companies, Vol. III (New York: Marvyn Scudder Manual of Extinct or Obsolete Companies, Inc., 1930.) p. 556.
|Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 10:56 am: ||
A couple of more articles on Eclipse Motor Company from the Michigan Investor magazine:
Eclipse Motor Company
Engine Making Mancelona Famous
The Eclipse Motor Company of Mancelona has received an order from one of the largest boat builders in North Wales, for one of its marine engines. The late General Lew Wallace, author of “Ben Hur,” had an Eclipse engine installed in his boat. Mancelona is being made famous by reason of her gasoline engines.
Michigan Investor, Vol. 3, No. 24, March 18, 1905. p. 10.
The Eclipse Motor Works, of Mancelona, reports the best business for the month of May in the history of the plant. More engines have been shipped so far this year by fully 50 per cent than for any similar period. It is one of the growing industries of the village.
Michigan Investor, Vol. 6, No. 36, June 13, 1908. p. 19.
Reports Prosperous Year
The Eclipse Motor Company of Mancelona reports that the past season has been one of the most prosperous in its history. A large number of engines were built last winter for spring and summer delivery but all have been sold. The company builds ten different sizes of marine motors. The company will, however, run steadily all the coming winter in order to be prepared to meet the spring rush.
Michigan Investor, Vol. 9, No. 5, November 12, 1910. p. 11.
Curator of Collections
Michigan Historical Museum
|Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 04:58 pm: ||
Looks like the start date for Eclipse was on or about March 1899:
William Fetterly and B. Starbuck will open a boat building establishment at Traverse City, Mich., under the name Eclipse Motor & Boat Co.
Marine Review, Vol. XIX, No. 11, March 16, 1899. p. 20.
Does anyone happen to know if this William Fetterly is the same William Fetterly that was a boat builder in Louisiana around the same era? Just curious. Eclipse was later owned by L. E. Slusser around 1902. I don't know if he bought out Fetterly and Starbuck or how the management or ownership changed. The company is later moved back to Traverse City from Mancelona by Slusser near the end of its run, merging with Traverse City Iron Works.
I find it interesting that this little builder made a decent business in engine building far away from any manufacturing center.
Post Number: 168
|Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 07:49 pm: ||
Thanks Ernie and Scott.
Some more digging came up with this article in the June/July 1992 of GEM that Max Homfeld wrote:
In the fourth paragraph he writes, "James Kermath, the founder of the company, was born May 4,1874 in London, Ontario and came to Detroit in 1899. From 1901-1907 he was part owner of Eclipse Manufacturing Company, a machine shop where he built engines on contract for Detroit Auto Marine Company. They built fifteen hundred 11/2 HP engines the first year. That original shop was in the old Boydel building on East Congress. The Dodge Brothers shared the building and built engines for Henry Ford before they went into the automobile business for themselves. The Detroit auto fever must have infected Kermath, for he built an experimental automobile in 1907."
Lots of interconnections. Thanks again,