Gas-Steam Engine, 1916, Used to Generate Electricity at Highland Park Plant

Summary

Ford's Model T mass production system would not have been practical without electricity; by 1919 nine of these Ford-designed hybrid internal combustion/steam engines generated the power needed by the Highland Park plant's assembly lines and associated machinery. By 1926 the engines were rendered obsolete when electricity was fed from the power plant at Ford's River Rouge plant ten miles away.

Ford's Model T mass production system would not have been practical without electricity; by 1919 nine of these Ford-designed hybrid internal combustion/steam engines generated the power needed by the Highland Park plant's assembly lines and associated machinery. By 1926 the engines were rendered obsolete when electricity was fed from the power plant at Ford's River Rouge plant ten miles away.

Artifact

Engine (Power producing equipment)

Date Made

1916

Creators

Crocker-Wheeler Company 

Ford Motor Company 

Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Company (Hamilton, Ohio) 

Place of Creation

United States, Ohio, Hamilton 

United States, New Jersey, East Orange, Ampere 

Creator Notes

Designed by Ford Motor Company, made by Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Company of Hamilton, Ohio, generator made by Crocker Wheeler Company of Ampere, New Jersey.

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Made in America

Object ID

30.1200.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Material

Brass (Alloy)
Metal

Dimensions

Diameter: 18 ft  (Flywheel)

Height: 21.5 ft

Diameter: 36 in  (Bore)

Diameter: 42 in  (Bore)

Width: 45.625 ft

Diameter: 72 in  (Bore)

Length: 72 in  (Stroke)

Speed: 80 rpm  (1.33 Hz)

Depth: 82.083 ft

Horsepower: 6000 hp  (4474.20 kW)

Inscriptions

Builder's plates on gasteam engines: 11 (and 12) / COMBINATION / GASTEAM ENGINE / BUILT BY / THE HOOVEN OWENS RENTSCHLER CO. / HAMILTON OHIO / FOR / FORD MOTOR COMPANY / DETROIT Builder's plate on generator: CROCKER WHEELER COMPANY / AMPERE, N.J. / (plate is too high to read more data from the floor, but other data on the plate should include an engine serial number of 196948 [according to the vertical file] Builder's plates on seven data plates with distinct serial numbers that are difficult to see from the platform: RICHARDSON / AUTOMATIC SIGHT FEED OIL PUMP / MODEL M (serial number) 4 FEEDS / THE RICHARDSON-PHENIX CO. / MILWAUKEE Builder's plate on Edwards triplet air pump: WHEELER CONDENSER / AND / ENGINEERING CO. / NEW YORK / No. / 04665 / SIZE 18x12 Builder's plate on Edwards triplet air pump: WHEELER / CONDENSER & / ENGINEERING CO. / NEW YORK / No. 04665 / DATE 1918 Builder's plate on drive motor for Edwards triplet air pump: CROCKER-WHEELER COMPANY AMPERE, N.J. / No. / 261941 / SIZE 149DA TYPE CCM / 30 HP AT 90125 RPM / ARM. No. [SEE END / OF SHAFT OR HUB] / PATENTED Serial number on end of triplet pump/drive motor shaft, at motor end: 261942 Builder's plate on oil separator: COCHRANE / VACUUM OIL SEPARATOR / PATENTED OCT. 11, 1892. / MAR. 31, 1896. / HARRISON SAFETY BOILER WORKS / MANUFACTURERS / PHILADELPHIA, PA Admin. serial[?] number plate on circulating pump oval tag: 50072 Builder's plate on circulating pump triangular plate: NO. / 2997 / MANISTEE IRON WORKS CO. / REES / RoTURBo / TRADE / MARK / MANISTEE, MICH U.S.A. / FEET HEAD / 100 / OR LESS AT / REVS. 1150 Builder's plate on circulating pump rectangular plate: CAUTION / THIS PUMP MUST NOT BE STARTED / UNTIL FULLY PRIMED AS INTERNAL / BEARINGS ARE WATER LUBRICATED. / WATER SHOULD FLOW FROM TOP / PET COCKS ON STARTING Builder's plate on drive motor for circulating pump: WESTINGHOUSE / ELECTRIC & MFG. CO. / PITTSBURGH, PA., U.S.A. / DIRECT CURRENT MOTOR No. 180L TYPE SK / CONSTANT SPEED SHUNT WOUND / 150 H.P. 230 VOLTS 525 AMPERES 1100 R.P.M. / STYLE No. 154450B SERIAL No. 2270786 / (patent dates. . .) / 1662 (3-11-15)

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