LAUSON ENGINES AND TRACTORS
P.O. Box 518 Painted Post, New York 14870-0518
The year 1995 marked the one-hundredth anniversary of Lauson
engines. This article will chronicle that history; a manufacturing
story that is rich with diversity and change. I first wrote this
article in 1974; it appeared in the March/April 1975 edition of The
Gas Engine Magazine. Since then, I have obtained much more
information enough to warrant a complete rewrite of that original
article. Unfortunately Lauson production records dating from before
1956 are believed to have been destroyed sometime around that time,
thus precise dating of the earlier Lauson engines is not
In 1848 groups of immigrants left Schleswig-Holstein in what was
then Denmark and sailed for America. These immigrants carefully
selected a location in the New World which has a latitude
corresponding to a location in northern Italy, thinking that the
climate would be just as favorable. With that expectation, they
built their homes with the south side open to the sun. During the
winter of 1848-49 they suffered many hardships, but stayed on to
form the community now known as New Holstein, Wisconsin.
In the years that followed, the Lauson family, or families,
joined the new community, and in 1867 the Lauson Brothers Implement
Company was organized, having H. A. Lauson as general manager, C.
P. Lauson overseeing machine repairs, and D. H. Lauson as office
On January 20, 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. Optenburg, opened a new
machine repair shop. This shop was destroyed by fire in 1885.
Immediately after the fire John Lauson and J. H. Optenburg
organized a new firm and built a new shop. This firm was named John
Lauson and H. Optenburg and Company. They specialized in the repair
of steam traction engines and also built boilers, tanks, smoke
stacks and related items. This firm is believed to have built and
sold some 25 complete steam traction engines under the name
Sometime between 1887 and 1891 John Lauson bought out Mr.
Optenburg's interest in the company (various accounts place the
date as either 1887 or 1891) and stopped the manufacture of
traction engines. The firm continued to perform boiler work, began
production of sheet metal items, and offered general heavy
machinery repair work.
By 1895 John's brother Henry had joined the company, which
had become the John Lauson Manufacturing Company. Henry Lauson had
been working for a gasoline engine builder in Chicago and had some
ideas on how a gasoline engine should be built. N. H. Edens was
hired at this time and he too was interested in building a gasoline
engine. Soon after, plans were laid for the first Lauson internal
combustion engine. Robert Hippe was also working for Lauson at that
time; he later moved to Chilton, Wisconsin, and built the
The company became incorporated as the John Lauson Manufacturing
Company with John Lauson, president; Jacob Schmidt, vice president;
and Henry Lauson, secretary and treasurer.
It is believed that the first Lauson engine was built in 1895.
This first engine was a four horsepower, four cycle, horizontal
cylinder, tank cooled model using hot tube ignition. The engine
weighed 1,140 pounds. As seen in a much later photograph (Fig. 1)
the valve train is of the 'F-head' arrangement and the
engine appears to have had a ported cylinder with a common passage
between the exhaust valve and exhaust port location. The engine
also appears to have a vertical fly ball governor.
The castings for the first engine were purchased from outside
suppliers, and work on the engine progressed slowly. When the
engine was completed all of the plant workers were present for the
starting ceremony. Henry Lauson was in charge of the start-up and
after the engine was running the cheers of the workers were louder
than the sound of the engine's exhaust. John Lauson yelled
'belt her up!' and the workmen connected the engine to the
plant line-shafts. This first Lauson entered service powering the
tooling to produce more engines.
Full serial production of engines probably began around 1898.
The first production model featured an eight-inch bore by ten-inch
stroke and electric ignition.
In the fall of 1904 the John Lauson Manufacturing Company
introduced its first hopper cooled horizontal cylinder engine, a
five horsepower size. Following the introduction of this engine the
John Lauson Manufacturing Company claimed to be the originator of
the hopper cooled design. This engine was given the trade name
Frost King because it was designed to be easy to start in cold
weather and, to a lesser extent, because the cooling weather could
be made non-freezing by the addition of calcium chloride to the
water in the hopper. The Frost King design became a big seller and
soon thereafter, all sizes of Lauson engines became available in
the hopper cooled style.
By 1907 the demand for Lauson engines was so great that a larger
factory was necessary. The city of Plymouth, Wisconsin, made
efforts to get the company to locate there, even offering a five
year tax-free site. But the people of New Holstein would not stand
by and let 'their factory' move out of town. They
subscribed to all available preferred stock and A. A. Laun, Sr.
presented land to the company on which a new factory was built in
1908. This new building was 100 feet wide and 300 feet long and
still exists today as the 'core' of the present day factory
Through 1913, all Lauson castings were purchased from out of
town suppliers. In 1913 a group of businessmen decided that New
Holstein should have a foundry business so the Lauson brothers,
along with A. A. Laun, Sr. brought expert foundry man Edward
Alyward to New Holstein. The Alyward Foundry Company was formed and
a foundry was built on land north of the Lauson factory. This
foundry entered production within the year and made all Lauson
castings as well as castings for other companies. In 1915, this
foundry was purchased by the John Lauson Manufacturing Company.
The Lauson engine line prospered and the company continued to
grow. In 1915, the company began to build complete farm
On April 20, 1922, John Lauson died, following a brief
In 1929, the Lauson family lost control of the company when
members of the Lauson Corporation bought out the family's
Operating as The Lauson Corporation, the company continued to
produce engines and tractors. New air cooled and water cooled
engine models were introduced. Unfortunately, severe crop failures
in the Plains states caused many farmers to default on payments for
Lauson tractors; this dealt a crippling financial blow to the
company and brought an end to tractor production.
The Lauson Corporation was sold on May 15, 1935 to the Marshall
& Illsley Bank (of Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and The People's
Bank of New Holstein. The company was reorganized as The Lauson
The Lauson Company prospered but the company leaders recognized
that new sources of capital were needed to foster continued growth.
The decision was made to sell the company, with the stipulation
that the buyer could not move the company from New Holstein.
In June 1941, the Hart-Carter Company of Peoria, Illinois,
purchased The Lauson Company.
In 1955, Tecumseh Products Company, of Tecumseh, Michigan, made
an offer to purchase the Lauson plant and in December 1955 the sale
was completed. The Lauson line was comprised entirely of four cycle
engine models; to complement these with two cycle models, Tecumseh
purchased Power Products Corporation, of Grafton, Wisconsin, in
To this day, production of Tecumseh engines continues in the
original Lauson factory.
The chronology of Lauson engines is best presented by describing
the models shown in various catalogs.
Catalog 13 dates from approximately 1908/1909. By this time the
design of the Lauson engine had evolved into the form that would be
followed (though not without changes) until production of the
horizontal cylinder engines ceased many years later. See figures 2
The basic arrangement is the typical four cycle, open crankcase,
horizontal cylinder, horizontal crankshaft build, having double
six-spoke flywheels. The front end (crank end) of the frame between
the main bearing webs is open; a crank guard or splash shield is
not shown. One of the features that was promoted in this (and
subsequent) Lauson catalogs was that the flywheels on these engines
were balanced to a high degree of precision with the result being a
very smooth running engine.
The catalog describes the following models:
The 2.5-12 HP models were available as Frost King hopper cooled
engines, while plain cylinder versions were furnished in the 6-20
HP models. The 6-20 HP models employed separate castings for the
cylinder and engine frame (and sub-base, when used) but the 2.5, 4
and 5 HP models used a one-piece cylinder/frame/case casting.
Valve location: Both valves in the cylinder head.
Atmospheric-operation intake valve, pushrod operated exhaust
Ignition: Battery and coil for all models. 2.5-5 HP were
equipped with jump spark (spark plug). A make-and-break ignitor was
standard on the 6-20 HP models. A friction drive 'auto
sparker' was available.
Camshaft: One of the 'hallmark' Lauson features is that
the camshaft on the ignitor-equipped models was constructed with
separate cams for the exhaust valve pushrod and the ignitor
pushrod. The camshaft runs in an enclosed housing that is partially
filled with oil.
Governor: Hit and miss; governor weights located at the magneto
side flywheel hub. The 2.5-5 HP models used a single weight.
Fuel: Gas, Gasoline, Distillate, Benzene.
Crankshafts: Machined from a one piece steel billet forging.
Connecting Rods: Turned from a steel forging, with adjustable
'boxes' at each end.
Pulley: Solid pulley was standard, clutch pulley was optional.
The actuator on the clutch pulley was a single push-pull lever.
All models were available either as semi-portable (skid
mounted), portable (on factory-equipped trucks) or stationary. The
plain cylinder models were furnished with a screen cooler and water
Portable saw rigs were available in sizes of 6, 8, 10 and 12 HP.
Sleigh runners could be ordered for any of the portable models.
Catalog 13 also shows a vertical cylinder engine, built in sizes
of 2, 2.5 and 4 HP. I do not believe that this engine was actually
manufactured by the John Lauson Manufacturing Company. This engine
appears to be identical to a vertical engine that was sold by the
C. P &.
J. Lauson Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; in fact, either
engine bears a strong resemblance to a Bates and Edmonds vertical
During the early part of this century, several engine building
companies having 'Lauson' in their names evolved but there
is no known connection between any of these and the John Lauson
Catalog 14 dates from approximately 1910/1911. This catalog
describes the following models:
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Generally, the single cylinder models are similar to those shown
in catalog 13 but, in addition to the new models, certain
mechanical changes are apparent.
All models were available as stationary or semi-portable engines
and the 2.5-25 HP models were available as portable engines. All of
the single cylinder models were available as hopper cooled engines
while screen cooled or tank cooled models above 2.5 HP were
The optional clutch pulleys shown have a push-pull hand wheel
actuator instead of the earlier lever actuator.
All models featured poured babbitt main bearings. Round
connecting rods and billet-turned crankshafts were now used only on
the 6 HP and larger models; the connecting rods featured a brass
babbitt lined box on either end. The 5 HP and smaller models now
used a drop forged steel I-beam connecting rod having a poured
babbitt big end bearing and a bronze bushing at the small end along
with a drop forged steel crankshaft. The 5 HP and smaller models
continued to use a one-piece cylinder/frame/base casting. The 6 HP
and larger models use the enclosed cambox. The 2.5-5 HP ignitor
equipped models use an eccentric, inboard of the cam lobe, to drive
the ignitor pushrod.
The ignitor system on the 1 HP model was jump spark, but all
other models were available with either jump spark or
make-and-break ignition. The friction drive 'auto sparker'
continued to be an option.
Catalog 14 illustrates a different type of gasoline mixer
(carburetor) than is shown in Catalog 13. On November 10, 1908 the
company received a patent for a new gasoline mixer (this date is on
the mixer). This is an air valve type of mixer, with an adjustable
air bypass passage around the air valve. With this type of mixer a
poppet valve is located in the main throat and a gasoline passage
communicates to a hole in the valve seat. On the intake stroke, the
air valve is lifted from the seat and the resulting air pressure
drop across the valve allows gasoline to spray from the hole and
mix with the air stream. A needle valve is used for air/fuel ratio
adjustment. A variation of this mixer was available for use with
gaseous fuels. This style of mixer was used until approximately
1916. See figures 4 and 5 for views of this mixer.
Portable saw rigs were shown, although the available sizes are
The two cylinder model, of greater than 25 HP, is described
briefly on one page, which indicates that technical details were
available in a 'Bulletin C.' The basic arrangement of these
engines is that of plain jacket horizontally opposed cylinders,
double flywheels and a 'flat' double throw crankshaft. A
throttling governor was standard equipment; fuel was gas or
gasoline. An air starting system and air compressor were furnished
with the engines.'
The 1916 catalog indicates that the low tension gear-driven
Sumpter rotary magneto had been adopted four years earlier, which
would have been 1912. An uprating of certain models took place
around 1912, as evidenced by one engine in the author's
collection. This model B engine is rated as '6 horsepower/size
5' and is constructed like the earlier 5 HP model having the
one-piece cylinder/frame/base casting. A round connecting rod,
typical of 6 HP and larger models, is used. The engine is equipped
with a Sumpter magneto and make-and-break ignitor. Like earlier
2.5-5 HP models, the ignitor pushrod is operated by an eccentric on
the camshaft inboard of the exhaust cam lobe. The eccentric and cam
lobe are not enclosed in the cam box. This engine has the open
front frame casting with a sheet metal splash shield. I have also
seen smaller transition Lausons built with the one-piece
cylinder/frame/base casting and equipped with the Sumpter
By 1914, the engine frame on all models (2 HP and above), had
been redesigned to close the front end 'between the main
bearing saddles. A rounded wall was added to this region of the
casting and a similarly shaped full length cast iron crank guard
was located over the connecting rod and crank throw. At some point
separate castings for the cylinder, frame and base were adopted on
the smaller models; that was probably done at the same time.
Sales Brochure: Probably printed in 1913, lists the following
The engines shown in this brochure have the cast-rounded frame
and crank-guard, Sumpter magneto and 1908-pat-ent mixer. The
smaller sizes now have an enclosed cam box. All of the models shown
have hit and miss governing; the governor arm is now equipped with
a speed changing screw. Portable, semi-portable and stationary
types were available.
Another innovation, which had previously been used only on 6 HP
and higher models, was the ability to start the engine (after
drawing in an air/fuel charge) by retarding the spark timing and
rocking the flywheels against compression in the opposite direction
of normal crankshaft rotation. The timing retard was accomplished
by shifting an eccentric pin in the ignitor pushrod train.
Alpha Engines catalog C 8-13: By 1914 the John Lauson
Manufacturing Company was producing engines for the DeLaval Dairy
Supply Company. Engines sold by DeLaval were sold under the Alpha
trade name. Nearly all of the Alpha engines sold are actually
Lauson engines. This particular catalog carries a 1913 copyright
date; the catalog number may be a print date, which would make this
a 1914 catalog. The following models are listed:
This catalog introduces kerosene burning versions of the various
engine models. The kerosene versions feature a different cylinder
head having a throttling governor carburetor mounted above the
cylinder head. On the hit and miss versions the mixer is mounted
(as with previous models) beneath the cylinder head. Water
injection, a heated air intake and a gasoline starting circuit were
also features of the kerosene versions. The throttling governor
engines were available with extra-heavy flywheels, intended for
electric generator driver service. The gas and gasoline fueled
versions continued to use the 1908 patent mixer.
All of the models shown in catalog C 8-13 feature separate
castings for the cylinder, engine frame and (when used) sub-base.
The frame and crank guards are the round cast front construction
described previously. All models continued to use the enclosed
cambox; some illustrations in this catalog show the Sumpter magneto
mounted on an adapter plate above the cambox, while others
illustrate a new cambox top with a cast-in magneto mounting
The connecting rod used on the 2,3 and 4.5 HP models is of drop
forged steel I-beam construction; the crankshaft is also drop
forged steel. On the 6 HP and larger models the crankshaft and
round connecting rod continue to be turned from a forged steel
All models were offered in portable, semi-portable and
stationary versions. Plain cylinder portable models were furnished
with a screen cooler and all plain cylinder models of 8 HP and
higher were supplied with a water circulating pump.
All models were available with either a solid or clutch pulley.
Saw rigs of up to 12 HP were available.
This catalog also provides an illustration of a multi-cylinder
model having in-line vertical cylinders built in two and four
cylinder units rated as 18, 25, 36, 50, 80 and 100 HP. The text
indicates that complete details were available in a separate
Catalog 18: is dated 1916. The engine line is essentially the
same as shown in catalog C 8-13, but with three new additions.
Also, the ZA now carried a 2.5 HP rating and the AB now carried a
3.5 HP rating.
Two of the new models were a 40 HP and a 50 HP single cylinder
(horizontal), kerosene burning stationary engine rated at 235 rpm.
These models were available only in plain cylinder versions. A
Madison-Kipp force feed lubricator, feeding the main bearings,
crank pin and cylinder, was standard equipment. The throttling
governor carburetor was mounted above the cylinder head and the
general construction of these models was in accordance with the
smaller Lauson models.
The other new model was the 1.5 HP Frost King Junior (Fig.
This hopper cooled engine was rated at 450 rpm. Although this
model resembles its larger relatives, it has a number of
differences: the cylinder head is not water cooled, the ignitor and
exhaust valve are operated by a common pushrod with an open
dual-lift cam (one lobe performs both functions) actuating the
pushrod, the governor weights are mounted in the camshaft gear, and
the front of the frame casting is not cast-closed between the main
bearing webs. A hinged cranking handle was installed in the ignitor
side flywheel. The Junior was equipped with a Sumpter magneto and
was sold only in a gasoline version. Many Frost King juniors were
sold under the Alpha name.
The kerosene versions of the models shown in this catalog
continued to use the throttling governor carburetor located above
the cylinder head while the gasoline versions were now equipped
with a venturi-type mixer located, as always, beneath the cylinder
head. The venturi resembles a boost venturi in a modern gasoline
carburetor because some of the airflow through the mixer passes
around the outside of the venturi. The gasoline mixes with the air
stream passing through the venturi. With the introduction of this
mixer (Fig 7), the air valve gasoline mixer was no longer used.
This mixer could also be used with distillate and alcohol fuels.
The catalog also indicated that a mixer designed for use with
gaseous fuels was available.
Hopper cooled gas and gasoline versions covered the range of
2.5-28 HP, while hopper cooled kerosene versions were available
from 3.5-28 HP. Plain cylinder gas and gasoline versions covered
the range of 2.5-28 HP, while the plain cylinder kerosene versions
ranged from 3.5-50 HP.
A force feed lubricator was an option for all versions of the
2.5-28 HP models.
A friction clutch pulley was now furnished as standard equipment
on all portable and semi-portable engines above 4.5 HP.
All of the single cylinder models except the Junior, 40 HP and
50 HP were available as portable, semi-portable and stationary
engines. The Frost King Junior was available only in portable and
semi-portable versions. Plain cylinder portable engines were
furnished with a screen cooler. Portable saw rigs, using Frost King
engine models, were available in sizes from 4.5-12 HP.
Also described are 'Special Electric' stationary
engines. These engines, which are another variation of the basic
plain cylinder models, were equipped with extra-heavy flywheels and
a gasoline type throttle governing carburetor located beneath the
cylinder head. These engines were intended for driving electric
generators. Many Lauson Special Electric engines were sold as the
driver on Edison Company electric lighting plants.
The multi-cylinder engine, with an illustration identical to the
one used in catalog C 8-13, is also shown in this catalog. At this
time these engines were produced in four cylinder models, with
ratings of 35, 50, and 60 HP at 450 rpm and 80 and 100 HP at 300
rpm. These engines were designed to operate primarily on kerosene
(with gasoline starting) although the description also references
gas, distillate, motor spirits and alcohol fuels.
The general construction of these engines featured individual
cylinders and cylinder heads, an enclosed crank-case with five main
bearings and one outboard bearing. Both valves were mechanically
operated. The main bearing and cylinder lubrication was by force
feed, with splash oiling being used for the crankpins. A throttling
governor was used, with a separate carburetor for each cylinder.
The ignition system consisted of a single low tension Sumpter
magneto and an ignitor at each cylinder. A brass bus bar was used
to take voltage from the magneto to the ignitors.
Air starting was standard equipment on the 80 HP and 100 HP
versions and included a 1.5 HP engine, air compressor and air tank.
The smaller versions used a 'hand starter' but air starting
was an option.
Late Teens and Early Twenties: As shown in Bulletin 265 B, dated
11-15-17, the throttling governor kerosene carburetor had undergone
a redesign and was now mounted beneath the cylinder head. The
venturi type gasoline mixer was still in use so now one cylinder
head could be used for either fuel. A gas mixer was also available.
The under-head kerosene carburetor retained provision for gasoline
starting, water injection and heating of the intake air.
Around this time, the model ZA was uprated to 3 HP, the model AC
was uprated to 5 HP and the model BC was uprated to 7 HP.
Bulletin 260, dated 10-1-19, shows that the Frost King Junior
had been uprated to 1.75 HP at 475 rpm.
An instruction manual, dating from approximately 1920, lists the
engine lineup as covering a range of 1.75 HP to 18 HP in plain
cylinder and hopper cooled versions; gas, gasoline and kerosene.
Stationary, semi-portable, portable and Special Electric engines
All AB 3.5 HP engines built during 1923, and after, were not
equipped to start by turning back against compression.
By approximately 1924, the model AC had been uprated to 6 HP and
the model BC had been uprated to 8 HP. Somewhere around this time
these two models began to be built with an I-beam connecting
The latest Frost King Juniors, built up to approximately 1924,
carried a 2 HP nameplate rating.
A New Era
In 1924 the John Lauson Manufacturing Company introduced its now
well known W-series disc-flywheel engines in three models. A brief
article in a 1924 edition of Farm Machinery and Hardware Magazine
indicates that deliveries of the 1.5 model W began shortly before
deliveries of the 2.5 HP model WA and 3.5 HP WB. (Production of the
model W may have begun in 1923.) The DeLaval Dairy Supply Company
also sold the W-series models under the Alpha name. The W-series
engines would remain popular through the 1930s, even as new
more-modern models were being introduced. Some of the first model W
engines left the factory bearing a Frost King Junior nameplate. I
have seen one such engine and the nameplate appeared to have been
original because the serial number had the letter W stamped ahead
1924 Catalog: (date unconfirmed). This catalog places special
emphasis on the new W-series engines (Fig. 9).
The model W was rated at 525 rpm, while the WA and WB were rated
at 450-475 rpm. The W-series engines were built using a single
cylinder and frame casting. A sheet metal splash guard was attached
at the two front main bearing cap bolts. The crankshaft and
connecting rod were made from drop forged steel. The main bearings
and connecting rod big end featured removable die-cast babbitt
bearing shells. The cylinder head on the W is air cooled, while the
WA and WB use a water cooled cylinder head.
Ignition on the W-series models was by make-and-break ignitor;
the buyer had a choice of either battery ignition or a Splitdorf
F-16 rotary magneto. The magneto was installed inboard of the
pulley-side flywheel and was gear driven directly from the
The W-series engines use a single radial-movement governor
weight located in the ignitor side flywheel. The governor weight
moves a cam collar which, in turn, moves the governor linkage. A
hit and miss governor was standard while throttling governor
versions were available. A hinged cranking handle was installed on
the ignitor side flywheel.
The camshaft is supported on either side of the cam. The single
dual-lift cam moves the pushrod to actuate the ignitor, followed by
the exhaust valve. The camlobe and follower are not enclosed. Both
valves are located in the cylinder head; and atmospheric-operation
intake valve was used.
The cylinder drip oiler used on the W-series engines features a
metal reservoir with a sliding 'fill door' on top. The
needle valve has to be seated to shut off the oiler. These
lubricators are similar to ones sold with some Fairbanks-Morse Z
engines; the needle valve adjusting knob on the Lauson lubricators
has a ribbed edge while the adjusting knob on the Fairbanks-Morse
has a scalloped edge. The lubricator components were made, at
various times, from either brass or steel.
The W-series engines were available in gas, gasoline and
throttling governor kerosene versions. A solid pulley was standard
equipment; friction clutch pulley was an option.
This particular catalog shows that the W was available in
semi-portable and portable versions while the WA and WB were
available in stationary, portable and semi-portable versions. The
stationary versions used a separate sub-base.
The model WB engine was also available in a plain cylinder
Spoke flywheel engines continued to be available in the 6 HP
(AC/450 rpm), 8 HP (BC/375 rpm), 12 HP (DD/350 rpm), 14 HP
(EE/275-285 rpm) and 18 HP (FG/275-285 rpm) models and were
available in gas, gasoline and kerosene versions. The venturi type
gasoline mixer and under head throttling governor kerosene
carburetor continued to be used. Plain cylinder and hopper cooled
versions were available in the stationary, semi-portable, portable
and Special Electric variations.
The Madison-Kipp force feed lubricator continued to be an
option. These spoke flywheel models were furnished with a solid
pulley as standard equipment and the friction clutch pulley as an
This catalog also indicates that saw rigs were available in
sizes of 3.5, 6, 8 and 12 HP.
W-Series Evolution: The W-series models continued to evolve
almost from the beginning of their production. The original model W
was constructed with the gasoline mixer built into the cylinder
head but after serial number 3,065 the engine was built with an
external, bolted-on mixer like that used on the WA and WB
By November 1925, all of the W-series models were using the Wico
EK magneto and jump spark ignition. This change became effective at
serial number 40,000. The first Wico EK equipped versions used a
magneto mounting bracket that bolted onto the side of the cylinder
in place of the ignitor. This bracket incorporated the spark plug
threads located over the original ignitor passage. Later, the spark
plug location was moved to the cylinder head and an intermediate
version of the magneto bracket did not include the spark plug
threads. Still later, the cylinder casting was changed to eliminate
the ignitor passage; the magneto mounting bracket was now bolted to
bosses on the water hopper.
Up to serial number 45,000 the cam-shaft geartrain used
straight-cut gear teeth; following this, helical gears were
Also by the mid-1920s, the model W had received an increased
cylinder bore size and was now rated as 2 HP at 525 rpm. The speed
on the WA and WB models had been increased to 500 rpm. The WA and
WB received a cast, full length splash shield that was bolted to
the front of the engine frame with a hinged mount. The W continued
to use the sheet metal splash guard.
1928 Catalog: (date unconfirmed). This catalog seems to be the
most comprehensive catalog produced by the John Lauson
Manufacturing Company because of the wide variety of engine driven
equipment included in the catalog.
This catalog opens with an extensive discussion of the design of
the W-series models and points out that the company was now using
the HUTTO process for finishing cylinder bores. This appears to be
a honing process with the stones held in a rigid head that is
stroked the length of the cylinder bore to produce the de-'
sired surface finish. The catalog states that the process had been
adopted about two years earlier.
Throughout the years the John Lauson Manufacturing Company had
offered, along with its engines, various pump jacks and various
engine/pump combinations using purchased pumps. This catalog also
illustrates these, along with diaphragm pumping units, light-plant
outfits, contractor's portable table saw rigs, cement mixers
and mortar mixers, all powered by W-series engines. The majority of
this equipment was probably purchased from outside suppliers. The
cement mixers appear to be identical to Lansing cement mixers; in
fact, many Lansing cement mixers were sold with a model W Lauson
engine bearing a Lansing nameplate.
The model W was now referred to as a 1.5-2 HP engine. An option
on the model W was a battery ignition system using a Ford type of
buzz coil. The plain cylinder version of the model WB was not
The 6, 8, 12, 14 and 18 HP spoke flywheel engines as described
in the 1924 catalog (including the Special Electric versions)
continued to be offered, with one change. The AC (6 HP) and BC (8
HP) models were now equipped with the Wico EK magneto and jump
spark ignition. This change had been made by October 1926, as
indicated in an instruction manual of that date. (At some point
during the production of the Wico EK equipped model AC, the
pre-1913 open front style of frame and non-magneto cam-box top
returned to production, perhaps as a means to save weight and
Saw rigs were offered in sizes of 3.5,6 and 8 HP. All engines
continued to be offered in gas, gasoline and kerosene versions,
with a friction clutch pulley as an option.
This catalog also illustrates four cylinder
'Lauson-Beaver' power unit engines, available in 35 and 45
HP models. The engines were mounted in a stand, with radiator and
over-center clutch. They appear to be identical to the Beaver
engines used at that time in the Lauson farm tractors.