History of the Vim Motor Co.
(Page 3 of 5)
According to a Vim 1-1/4 HP sales brochure, every Vim motor was thoroughly tested before leaving the factory and was guaranteed for one year against defects in material or workmanship.
So far I have not seen any Vim advertisements that included both marine engines and the 1-1/4 HP model in the same advertisement – apparently they were treated as different markets.
Vim had a significant sales organization; their advertisements sometimes list distributors in various areas. Most of distributor’s names are unfamiliar to me but I did notice one name that I recognized: “The Otto Gas Engine Works, 136 – 138 Liberty St., New York.” Although it seems unlikely, perhaps there is still a Vim out there somewhere with an Otto nameplate on it!
Beginning of the end
It seems that the time period from 1911 to 1916 was prosperous as the company ranks had swelled to 125 workers at the time of an August 1916 strike. However, local newspaper articles indicate that most of the Vim Motor Company’s manufacturing capability had been utilized in manufacturing shrapnel heads for some time. In August 1916, minority stockholders petitioned the local court contending “that the company had violated its charter when it quit making motors and began turning out shrapnel heads. They asked for an injunction and a receiver.” The majority stockholders responded: “Our energies have been directed to complete our munitions contracts. We have no other work on hand. If we are restrained from making the munitions, there will be nothing more to do. We will have to close shop.” The majority stockholders won the court judgment but there is no indication whether they resolved the strike and continued the munitions manufacture.
According to Wendel, production ended during late 1917 when the company merged with Sandusky Drop Forge Co. I have not been able to find a local reference to this merger but it seems very probable. By October 1921 another firm bought the vacant (former) Vim Motor Co. building from the estate of a former majority stockholder. So we have some indication that the (consistent) manufacture of motors ceased sometime prior to August 1916.
To the best of my observance all of the Vim marine engines with a nameplate also had the serial number of the engine stamped into the brass spark plug bushings (and probably elsewhere on the engine as well). Yet through the years I have seen a number of marine engines that were obviously built with Vim castings but there is no indication that they ever had a nameplate. Neither do these engines without a nameplate have serial numbers stamped into the brass spark plug bushings or other major engine parts. I haven’t found anything to document it, but I suspect that these engines without name identification were built up from existing castings on hand and sold “under the counter.” Likely this happened near the end of the company’s life around 1916-17. Many manufacturers that stopped building engines arranged for service and parts availability for their former customers, often by selling their on-hand parts inventory to a former employee. However, one owner of a Vim that never had a nametag told me that the name VIM is cast into the connecting rod.
Page: << Previous 1
| 3 | 4
| Next >>