Their History and Development
Age (14-1/2) 9025 Phoebe Court Annandale, Virginia 22003
Author's Note: Before I begin I would like to thank the
following people for the information they gave me:
Mr. Verne Kindschi
Mr. Russell Ginnow
(and most of all)
Mr. Nic Smokey
I would also like to point out that due to somewhat less than
complete information, some dates may be wrong and I will be glad to
hear from anyone who can correct me.
In the middle of the nineteenth century a group of citizens left
Schleswig-Holstern in what was then Denmark and sailed for America.
Unlike many immigrants, these people carefully selected the climate
of northern Italy they chose a spot in the New World that had a
The wisdom of their selection proved sound except for the fact
that, expecting a climate the same as that in Italy they built
their homes with the south side open to the sun. That winter they
suffered many hardships, but stayed on to form what is now New
Among the founders of New Holstein were the five Lauson
brothers, who opened a small implement shop in 1879.
In 1868 John Lauson was born to Detlaff Lauson. When he was only
14 years old he joined the business with his uncles, after his
father died. In 1884, at age 16, John, in full partnership with his
uncle George and J. H. Openberg opened a new machine repair shop.
The shop was destroyed by fire in 1885.
Immediately after the fire John Lauson and J. H. Openburg
organized a new firm and built a new shop. The new firm specialized
in the repair of steam traction engines. They also built boilers,
tanks, smoke stacks, etc.
Shortly after the new firm began they also started to make
complete steam traction engines. These were built and sold under
the name 'Uncle Sam'; it is believed that only about 25
Around 1891 John Lauson bought out Mr. Openberg's interest
in the company and at this time stopped the manufacture of steam
tractors and went into production and repairs of steam boilers,
varied sheet metal products, and repairs of heavy machinery.
About 1895 the firm became The John Lauson Mfg. Company. It was
also at this time that John's brother Henry joined the company.
Henry had been working for a gasoline engine builder in Chicago,
and had some ideas on how to build gas engines. N. H. Edens was
hired at this time and he was also interested in building gas
engines. Soon plans for the first Lauson internal combustion engine
were made. (Robert Hippe was also working for Lauson at this time
and later, he moved to Chilton, Wisconsin and built Hippe-Steiner
The first Lauson, built in 1895, weighed 1140 lbs. and was
4-cycle, plain cylinder (tank cooled) 4 HP, using hot tube
ignition. A brass tube extending from the cylinder was heated by a
torch and when the fuel entered the tube on the compression stroke
the mixture was ignited by the heat of the tube.
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