This one came in a little ruff & missing a few parts. We got the nameplate though, it`s a Thompson & Sons made in Wisconson. We're looking for a picture or drawing of what the ignitor trip looked like, also the gover weights, fuel pump, carburetor. There`s a few verticle T&S`s around but all I`ve seen are the model after this which are different, with over head valves.
BELOW: This is a wild little engine. It's a small inverted 4-cylinder "Hit & Miss" engine. The governor shifts all 4 cams sideways & each of the 4 valve rollers climb up on a "high" cam & lock out. It has piston touch ignitors on each cylinder & the outside insultor is missing on each. It's also missing the original carburation. Some wierd stuff about the engine is there is no water jacket (or air cooling fins?) & there is no mounting holes drilled on the engine frame...It looks like it clamped into something? Any help identifying this is appreciated, thanks!
One set of the engine's piston & rods. There's an electrode that sticks out from the middle of each piston for igniton. It's also got ball joints for wrist pins.
UPDATE: It took a few years to identify but I finally stumbled across a patent that shows this engine. This engine was made by George S. Tiffany from Highland Park, Illinoise. The patent is US patent #573,628 & is located at;
US Patent #573,628
In this 1896 patent it states that Mr. Tiffany didn't like the "complexity" of the conventional 4-cycle engine, with all it's parts, gears, cams & valves. His exact words in the patent are, "Such constructions are objectionable, and it is desirable to provide means for operating the exhaust-valve without such cumbersome inmediate mechanism, which has considerable first cost and which causes considerable expense in keeping up repairs".
The drawing in this patent basically shows a crude "gearless" engine that pre-dates the McVicker design by quite a few years. The engine pictured in the drawings has the same main bearing caps & slotted bolts that are on our little V-4 engine. The drawing also shows the same "ball" wrist-pin, piston with an ignition electrode & touch spark ignitior as on our engine.
I'm guessing Mr. Tiffany built the gearless engine shown in the patent drawing first, but since there was no packing around the exhaust valve piston, it had to have problems with blow-by leaking past. He must have made this V-4 engine next. In keeping with practice of "simplifying" the 4-cycle engine, he built a 4 cylinder engine that only used one cam gear. This "improved" engine didn't face the problems that his first gearless engine did since it used conventional poppit valves, cams & gears.
Mr. Tiffany had 8 patents assigned to his name, all were for electrical equipment & this was the only gas engine patent. The application dates of all the patents spread from 6/7/1895 to 8/21/1897. There is a 6 month period "gap" in his application dates (when nothing was applied for). This gap occured in the winter of 1895-1896 & is mostly likely the date that this engine was built.
It was really neat to find this patent, & the best thing is that the engines missing head ignitor contacts & fuel system can be made off this patent drawing. It'll be neat to see run again.