The Field-Force Pump Co.
Focusing On The Leader Engine Line, 1909-1939
Field Force Pump Co., ESTABLISHED 1882 - INCORPORATED 1901. Elmira.N.Y.
RD#2, Box 134, Genesee, Pennsylvania 16923
Back in March of 1989, I wrote a letter to this magazine in
which I described the governor system of Leader engines. As a
result of my endeavor to find out more about this company and its
activities, I received many replies to my letter. Several fellows
sent priceless catalogs, others sent some very nice pictures and
whatever information they had. All in all, I would like to thank
everyone who responded to my letter.
Whenever anyone sets out to do an historical research project,
many hours are spent mulling over documents, old newspapers,
original catalogs and what-have-you. In this writing, I will
attempt to relay what I have learned about the Field-Force Pump
Company and the gas engines they built.
I am a collector of locally built 'tired iron' and the
Leader, being built 60 miles form my residence, was a target
When time permits, I work on the info received to try and piece
together the complete history of this company. It is a very
complicated task to undertake, and will probably take several years
to complete. This article deals mainly with the Leader gasoline
engines, and I hope someone benefits from my efforts. Any person
who has info on Field-Force Pump Company is invited to share it
with me, as every little bit helps. Needed in particular are the
original production records, drawings, price sheets, dealer items,
etc. Collectors are also urged to send the serial numbers and a
description of their engines and other Field built equipment. These
will be recorded and hopefully published at a later date, as a
registry of sorts. And now, on with the story of the Field Force
Field-Force Pump Company moved to Elmira, New York following a
fire in its Lockport, New York factory. With roots going back to
the early 1880's, Field was a maker of fine hand, portable,
horse-drawn spraying pumps and rigs. Existing literature states
emphatically that, 'we are manufacturers-NOT assemblers.'
Field Force spraying rigs were, at one time, famous the world over.
High quality was a hallmark of their construction, with cast iron
and brass used throughout. Tanks were made of stainless steel,
cypress, oak, pine, cherry and maple. Most of these spray rigs were
put to use in the orchards and crop bearing fields of America and
Canada. An early correspondence (4/29/12) indicates that the
president of the company was a man named Harrison S. Chapman; Vice
President a man named Lewis T. Barnes; and Secretary a woman named
Laura C. Gilbert. This document also states, 'Established
1882-Incorporated 1901.' Most sources indicate a buyout in
1939, with a change in name and abandonment of the Elmira, New York
facilities. Field held many patents on their products, most of
which were on pumps. In 1909, this company jumped into the gasoline
engine business with a solid, well-built design. It was called the
'Leader.' A horizontal 4 cycle, it was built in two sizes,
the 2 HP No. 2, and the 3 1/2 HP No. 3. Both were identical except
for physical size.
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