Reminiscences of a Pioneer Motor Manufacturer - by C. N. Cady
There are a very few of us, still in the game, who can look back to the
beginning of the marine gasoline engine and trace the wonderful progress up to the present time. This has been my
pleasure and honor, if you please, and it might be a source of amusement
to our younger generation for me to relate some of the reminiscences of
the pioneer days of the industry.
This story would not
be complete, however, without considering my old friend “Dan”
Tuttle, of Tuttle motor fame. Dan and I started making a gasoline engine
in 1896. The first one built developed
3 hp. and weighed 700 lbs. Our present 3 hp. weighs 90 lbs. In
spite of this, the “oldtimers” ridiculed such a “small” engine
and wondered how large a boat such a toy would drive. If some of these
skeptics could return to us now and see our present types of marine
motors developing 25 hp. they would never recover from the shock.
This first engine was
equipped with a so-called make-and-break ignition system. We built and
sold five of these engines the first year. With the same number of men
we can now build five engines each day. The next year we built a 2 hp.
engine similar to the illustration accompanying this article.
ight be interesti It might be
interesting to pause here for a moment and describe our first spark plugs.
We used two instead of one; that is, we used two to obtain the same
results as given by a single plug nowadays. Two holes were drilled in the
cylinder walls over the top of the piston, opposite each other. Wires were
wound with insulating materials and inserted in these holes so that
the ends of the wires almost met in the center of the combustion
chamber. Later, we improved on this idea by using a porcelain jacket with
a wire in the center.
to this time all engines were made with a removable head and preventing
them from leaking compression was an exhaustive problem. Copper-asbestos
gaskets had not been thought of. To eliminate this trouble
I made a very
“radical” change in design of my engine by making the cylinder and
head integral. I say "radical" because that is how the
“old-timers” termed it. They thought I had lost my reason, but I see
now that most of the small engine manufacturers are using the solid head,
as are also a lot of the others as well.
From this time on, the development of the marine engine was very rapid. To me, it seems that the whole thing had happened over night instead of consuming twenty-eight years, so vivid are those pioneer days when the industry was in its infancy. .
|Note: The date and location that this article was published is unknown but is probably the 1920's or early 1930's. C.N. Cady died in 1937.|
| Discussion Board | History
| Technical | Links
| Store | About
Us | Email