Walter E. Dunn Mfg. Co., Ogdensburg, NY
Walter E. Dunn Mfg. Co., Three cylinder engine from catalog submitted by Richard Durgee
|Single cylinder Dunn at the Mystic Seaport Show 2000||Two cylinder engine found in the Tennessee river down amongst the sunken cars and motorcycles on the river bottom. Submitted by Bill Schaller|
|Above two cylinder engine belonging to Tom Stranko|
Dunn information submitted by Bruce Hall:
following and limited information was obtained from the Ogdensburg NY
Public Library concerning Dunn Motor Works and owner Walter E. Dunn.
Walter E. Dunn was born to the J.B. Dunn family living at 75 King Street Ogdensburg in 1877. J.B. Dunn is listed as a cabinet maker in 1883.
As a matter of my speculation; Walter may have learned his machined and foundry skills at Nash Brothers Steam Engine and Boiler Works located on North Water Streets, Ogdensburg. At an unspecified date, Water Dunn, prior to 1900 involved himself in the then popular bicycle business. His engine development much in the way of Glen Curtiss began through his bicycle involvement using a home foundry.
Walter Dunn’s first business address is listed in 1900 at 10 River Street. An add seeks young men to join him to learn machine shop skills and practice. A written add offers a 4-cycle launch engine rated 2 ½ HP @ 600 rpm in 1904.
Dunn Motor Works located to 5 Jackson and Main St. at that time later relocated to a final address at 63 Main St., Ogdensburg. Walter’s enterprise appears very successful building marine and stationary motors. Records show marine motors shipped to China October 25, 1921 and Thailand April 4, 1922.
W.E. Dunn personally and secretively began design and development of an automobile referred to as the Dunn Cycle Car around 1914. Dunn designed and build a 4-cycle 30°V 3” x 4” air cooled aluminum crank case motor. He built his own two-speed with reverse transmission that weighed a mere 25lbs. The car appears as a lightly built two-passenger runabout design. Orders are recorded for his vehicle from India in February 1916 and additional records indicate the auto business was still active in 1922. C.H. Wende (American Gas Engines since 1872) notes that “while W.E. Dunn’s basic vehicle sold from $295 in 1916; Ford offered a more rugged and practical vehicle for a mere $50 more”.
A letter in the Dunn family file written by the daughter of an employee describes the rugged working conditions in the Dunn factory. The father suggests to have experienced his skin sticking to the plant machinery due to the cold working conditions in the plant.
Although cause of death is not listed, these conditions may have contributed to the W.E. Dunn’s demise at age 50 on May 17, 1927. Predeceasing his Father J.B. Dunn by 3 years at age 75.
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