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Marine engine builder, Oxford, MD?

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Jeff Greenblatt
Visitor
Posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 01:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi all,

I'm a volunteer at Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Association (www.tuckahoesteam.org). We're restoring some antique machine tools that are rumored to have come from a marine engine builder in St. Michaels or Oxford, MD. Possible name of "Kooner" or similar. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks,
Jeff
jegreenblatt@comcast.net
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richardday
Senior Member
Username: richardday

Post Number: 435
Registered: 11-2003


Posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 09:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a Kuhner(not sure of spelling)factory in Oxford and the Oxford museum has one but it may now be in storage. They also have a Palmer Bros. L or M and an very rare "Pilot" marine engine. The "Pilot" is one of a pair. One was a true right and the other a true left. Built by a Capt Isbrandsom for his freight boat operating out of Oxford about 1900 is my understanding. I have tried with no sucess to get acces to the engines to take photographs but for some reason no access is allowed. Good luck hope you can get to see them. There are people in Oxford like Ralph Retallac that I think remember just where the factory was located. I think it was at the end of the railroad track that once ran to Oxford.
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

*
Jeff

I recieved your email inquiry and apologize for the delayed answer, I was away almost three weeks and just now catching up ! I'll reply here, some on this site may be interested and may have some additional information ?

My data system only covers Marine Engine Mfgrs of North America from 1930 and earlier !

St Michaels, Md no listings.

Oxford, Md and surrounding area lists two names, both in Oxford. These are rather obscure Companies so far, and I have not really researched either.

1.East Davenport Machine & Novelty Works starts production of KUHNER marine engine in 1899 in Davenport, Iowa. 1906 became Kuhner Engine & Machine company located in Rock Island, Illinois,
this Company moved operations to Oxford, Md in 1911 and ceased business ca 1919.

2. Chesapeake Engine Company.

This is 1915 ad

Chesa15

With Company name and date of their existence the Oxford or closest library should be able to find some info and addresses ?

let us know what you discover !

Post or email to me some photos of the machine tools, some very interested machinists on this site !
Good Luck with the project.
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 10:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

*
Dick

You mentioned another very obscure Marine Eng mfgr Pilot? I wonder if Capt Isbrandsom went up the road north a few miles to Wilmington, Delaware to the "Trump Bros Machine Co. to have those engs made ? Its the only Tradename "PILOT" that I have in my list ? I'll look to see if I can find any earlier info -
This is a rare 1913 ad

Pilot
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andrew
Moderator
Username: andrew

Post Number: 800
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 09:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Richard,

I have seen the Pilot that was on display in Oxford, in fact I did take some pictures of it but I don't know where they are right now.

I also have a Pilot engine from Trump Bros. in Wilmington. I don't know anything about the history of either company but the castings, design, style, etc are not similar at all. My feeling would be that the companies are not related... but that is not an "informed" assesment. I will look to see if I can find the Pilot photos from Oxford.

trump1
trump2

In the Forward of the undated catalog above is says:

quote:

We became established at our present location, Beech and Anchorage Streets, Wilmington Delaware in 1873, and ever since have successfully built high grade machinery for a variety of purposes, giving us an experience both long and broad.
During these, nearly 40 years, our business has steadily grown requiring frequent addititions to our facilities...



I guess that would make the catalog nearly 1913.
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1348
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

*
Andrew

I appreciate the post, makes my day to be able to fill in several blank info spaces on this Old Marine Engine Co. especially that a known engine still exists ! Hope you can find the Oxford photos !
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richardday
Senior Member
Username: richardday

Post Number: 436
Registered: 11-2003


Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 06:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My information came from a long time Palmer Bros dealer in Baltimore but living in Whitman Md. In fact he gave me his remaining files on early Palmer Bros. engines. Unfortunately he died about 1970 as I remember. He told me the Pilot engines in the Oxford museum was one of two that Capt. Isbrandson had made for his freight boat. I don't believe there is any connection between the Oxford Pilot engine and the Trump Bros. Machine company. As Andrew points out the Pilot in the Oxford museum is not like any marine engine of the period. It looks like a typical single cylinder version of an open crankcase triple exspansion steam engine. Really a home cooked engine in every sense of the word and one that deserves a place in the antique marine engine hall of fame if there was one. I gave up after years of trying to get access to the engine. I hope Andrew can find his photos. I intend to try again but just don't have the name of a person who will knock down the interference.
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1352
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

*
Kuhner article

About 3/4 down is a list of some of the machine equipment in Kuhner Factory !

http://www.gasenginemagazine.com/complete-archive/3731/
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andrew
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Username: andrew

Post Number: 802
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 08:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good work Richard!

Max F. Homfeld strikes again!

Mr Homfeld did a tremendous amount of research in this field.
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richardday
Senior Member
Username: richardday

Post Number: 437
Registered: 11-2003


Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 09:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had forgotten the GEM article. Glad Richard remembered it. One point regarding Max Homfeld. He set about preserving the large, too long neglected marine engine collection at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. He formed a group and they did a great deal of restoration/preservation work. Unfortunately he died quite suddenly. I am not sure what has been done since that time. One of the restoration jobs Max did get done by the group was the badly cracked Palmer L or M in the Oxford, MD. Museum. As I recall the engine was very complete but like all cast iron salt water engines badly cracked from allowing the water jacket to dry out. Max's widow is still alive and living in a retirement home in MI.
In our Christmas letter to her we will mention Max is still well remembered in Antique Marine Engine Circles.
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Jeff Greenblatt
Visitor
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, all, for the info. I'll be contacting the Oxford museum to see if I can find the Kuhner engine and any other info. Will keep you posted.

Jeff
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jegreenblatt
New member
Username: jegreenblatt

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was a beautiful winter day in MD today so I visited Oxford.

Kuhner Engine Label

The engine had been tucked in a corner behind a screen, to make room for some holiday decorations. Sorry for the rather poor pictures, but they'll have to do until I can get back to the museum when it reopens next spring.

Kuhner #2

The label on the engine does not agreee in some details with the article referenced above:

Kuhner display label

I'll be contacting the museum to see if they have any additional information on Kuhner.

Best wishes for the Holidays,
Jeff
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andrew
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Username: andrew

Post Number: 810
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 06:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jeff,

Those are excellent photos. Was the Pilot engine still there?

I found the pictures that I took in August 1995:

1

2

3

4

quote:

Pilot Marine Engine - 1910
1 cylinder 4 cycle gasoline
Of 600 built; only one known to be in
existence - Loaned by Samuel Marks.

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andrew
Moderator
Username: andrew

Post Number: 813
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 06:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I tried to zoom in on the nameplate, but it doesn't come up very well. These are regular photos that I have scanned at high resolution, but still no luck.

Maybe when Jeff goes back he can photograph the Pilot nameplate if the engine is still there.

It looks like it says (but I can't tell for sure):

PILOT
MFG BY
SAML MARKS CO


1

2
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richardday
Senior Member
Username: richardday

Post Number: 441
Registered: 11-2003


Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 07:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well I am glad we now have photos of the Pilot engine in the Oxford Museum. I don't think this engine shows any relation to Trump Bros. engine. Note the spark plug appears to be classic 1/2"NPT. Schebler model D. Isn't that timer Gray. Open crankcase engines like this probably had their admireres who had grown up in steam and they liked the idea of seeing the crank etc. thrashing around. It is likely that having a true right and true left engine solved the reverse gear problem. All one needed was an in and out clutch on each engine. Seems to me this engine is too advanced to be earlier than about 1910. I would like to track down the story of Capt. Isbrandsom. Probably in Oxford there are some records somewhere of his operation as his freight operation to Baltimore must have been sucessful to be able to build a boat large enough for twin screws. Thanks for finding the photos Andrew you have preserved one more odd bit of history. History that belongs on the OME page. Stan Grayson should follow this one up.
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andrew
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Username: andrew

Post Number: 814
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 07:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Dick.

Maybe Jeff would ask about Capt. Isbranson when he goes back too...

BTW the website link for the Museum is:

OXFORD MUSEUM
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jegreenblatt
New member
Username: jegreenblatt

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 08:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Andrew,

The Pilot engine was not there. I did get a phone number for the museum's curator, and will ask him about it. Its a tiny museum, maybe 20x20, but full of interesting stuff.
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1360
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 01:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

*

Jeff and Andrew Thanks for the photos !

Very curious as to what the rest of the Pilot tag Says and history of this engine mfgr ??
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jegreenblatt
New member
Username: jegreenblatt

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

UPDATE: Due to space limitations, the Pilot engine and 2 Palmers are over at the Cutts & Case boatyard, a few blocks from the museum. I'll check on them next trip.
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richardday
Senior Member
Username: richardday

Post Number: 443
Registered: 11-2003


Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about getting more photos and a good one of the tag? Also get the Palmer L or M if you could?
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andrew
Moderator
Username: andrew

Post Number: 1028
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Tuesday, December 01, 2009 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some additional photos provide by Dick Day, obtained from Jeff. Thanks!

1

2

3
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solarrog
Senior Member
Username: solarrog

Post Number: 390
Registered: 03-2002


Posted on Tuesday, December 01, 2009 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

humm I wonder what going on behind the hanging packing blanket, Nice engine
Roger
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johnny
Senior Member
Username: johnny

Post Number: 210
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 09:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not sure, but I think a Termatt & Monahan or Detroit is watching them.

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