Mason #1 Steam Car Engine
Mason #1 Steam Car Engine, photos, help?
Here sending some photos of a Mason #1 engine that I "restored" a few years back. It was partially disassembled, but had virtually every last original bolt and screw, missing only the main crankshaft drive sprocket. It had suffered a major cylinder head cap failure at some point, and two of the valve eccentric rods were slightly bent.
I had every intention of restoring it to working condition, at least enough to get it going on compressed air, but as things progressed it became obvious that I could not meet that goal. So, instead I fitted it with 1/4 inch plexiglass plates on the valve chest and one cylinder (cutaway effect, I suppose). Gave it a snappy colour scheme, and was pretty happy with the results, as a nice display.
Early on, I was able to identify it as a brass-frame 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 bore Mason # 1, as every detail matched the 1902 Mason catalogue. But my efforts to find more information about its exact age, and what car it might have come from, have been frustrating (sound familiar?). Most of what I have read comes from a variety of forum postings, some of which are inconsistent, etc.
Recently I came across the posts here from Billings Cooke about his Grout restoration, and was interested to see that his engine appears to match mine in every detail (aside from the Grout-marked valve chest cover), and is thus also a Mason #1. I am however aware that Mason supplied engines to a number of makers, and have heard that they would assign serial numbers according to whatever the buyers wanted.
My engine bears serial # 1008. Does anyone have any information about when this engine might have been made, and/or what car it might have come from? Also, how many makers used Mason #1 engines? As far as I know there was Stanley, Locomobile, Mobile, and apparently Grout. Surely there must have been more, but maybe those details are now long-lost to history.
Amy comments appreciated, this is a wonderful site for all manner of steam car information. I could post some more photos of my little engine if anyone is interested.... Thanks! - Greg
7/10/2021 03:48:20 pm
Nice little engine, cleaned up very well. My guess (only) is that your engine is probably early 1902. By late 1902, Mason had remade the engine a little stouter and that was the C model. With a high serial number of a 1000 plus, that is about as high a serial number as you can get. Figure that each automobile manufacturer had there own number so if they got to the 1000 number it should be newer in the history of steam. By 1902, steam was already under intense competition from Oldsmobile and the internal combustion engine and lawsuits being filed around that time by claimants saying they owned the rights to steam patents and designs, putting a lot of smaller companies out of business. Around 1902, Locomobile was still the big steam producer and then they went smaller and smaller in company size from there on. Locomobile history can be hard to come by, smaller companies can be nonexistent. What brand of automobile your engine was used in would be a very difficult quest. It is also possible that it may have been supplied as a replacement engine as some supply houses stocked Mason engines with two pumps for ready repairs to a customer's automobile. Thank you for sharing
7/23/2021 08:17:44 am
That's a Mason C which came out in late 03 or 04. I have an original owners manual for that engine copyrighted 1904. The two pumps are for water and ''fuel'' per their manual. These were sold as replacement engines for earlier lightly built engines like the first much smaller Mason engine which as far as I can tell was called a model 70. They were also sold to builders. The early Mason was designed by George Whitney for Mason Regulator, and he most likely had a part in designing the model C as his tenure at Locomobile was coming to an end about that time. Whitney was the premiere designer at that time holding a patent on the design that eventually became Locomobile derived from his ''Motorette''.
12/27/2021 05:28:21 am
is there any way I can get a copy of the mason manual. I have the model C in my car
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