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Dating Palmer Bros. Catalogs and Docu...

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Richard A. Day Jr.
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Username: richardday

Post Number: 778
Registered: 11-2003

Posted on Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 07:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dating Palmer Bros. Cos Cob, CT. Catalogs and Documents.
By Richard A. Day Jr.
July 24-2009
Not all catalogs and sales documents are dated but many are and the following will give one an idea where to look. Frank Palmer was the businessman and Ralph Palmer the engineer. They believed in advertizing and were notable for the number of catalogs and technical documents they published.
For those items that don't have an obvious date on the front or rear page look inside the front cover lower left section for a tiny two digit number. For example 10 meaning 1910.
In the case of the very early catalogs one may have to look at the dates on testimonial letters that were often included. While this will not give a specific date it will narrow down the probable calendar year to within 1 or two years. In other cases the year such as 1927 will be found printed in small letters on the document. Read the text very carefully one may find references to earlier dates or engine changes.
One system that was apparently introduced during the 1930s was using the same catalog and inserting a yearly price sheet. The more common of these catalogs is a green colored cover loose leaf binder approximately 6-1/4" by 9-1/4". Less common is a much larger brown color covered folder approximately 8-1/2" by 11". The engines covered in these two catalogs are the same.
The most common catalog is 3-1/2" by 6". This catalog changes some of the engine models over the years 1928-1941. The earliest known is 1917 and the latest is 1941. The year for this catalog is printed inside the front page on the lower left.
For drawings many are found with a number, initialed U (for Julius Ulrich the chief engineer from ca 1919 to ca 1960) and some have dates.
Post WWII catalogs as a rule do not carry a date. Many of the engines are based on then current automotive and truck engines. "The Palmer Engine Co. Inc." converted these engines for marine purposes therefore one is able to refer to the comparable automotive and truck data to find an approximate year.
The only marine engine design put into production post WWII from the ground up so to speak was the Model BH and its derivatives BHW, BHT, BH-25 from 1949-1957.
The PW-27 (Palmer Wisconsin, 27 Cu. Inches) 1957-1971 was a marine conversion of the Wisconsin model AEH with AFH piston and Palmer water cooled cylinder and marine trim. . The PW-27 was not an automotive design it was basically an air cooled industrial engine adapted to water cooling with marine reverse gear.
Palmer Bros. Cos Cob, CT. also produced a wide range of products ranging from Cider Mill Hardware to large stationary engines. Starting out in 1887 as "Mianus Electric Company" they made telephone and electrical equipment. The telephone and electrical product lines ceased about 1903. Large stationary engines about 1910. Cider mills in 1935.

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