The Coolspring Power Museum (CPM) in Coolspring, Pennsylvania, USA, has the largest collection of historically significant, early stationary gas engines in North America, and arguably, the entire world. From a humble beginning in 1967, CPM emerged as a nonprofit corporation in 1985. It is celebrating its 35th year of operation in 2020.
The museum’s collection of approximately 350 internal combustion engines, which are housed in 35 buildings and outdoor displays on the show grounds, documents the early history of the internal combustion revolution. Almost all of the critical components of today’s engines have their origins in the period represented by the collection, as well as hundreds of innovations that are no longer used. Some of the engines represent real engineering progress; others are more the product of inventive minds avoiding previous patents. But all tell a story.
Most of the engines in the collection have been restored and are operable, delighting visitors during CPM’s summer exhibition season. There are also examples of early driven equipment, such as compressors, pumps, and electric generators, plus other historically significant equipment from America’s original “oil and gas patch” in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The CPM grounds are open to visitors on selected weekends. during the summer, with many engines operating under the watchful eye of volunteer “engineers.” Three-day expositions are held in the summer and fall, with this year’s exposition focusing on Miller gas engines. The museum is monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will provide event updates on its website. Virtual tours are also available at http://coolspringpowermuseum.org/.
The Miller Gas Engine Company
The Miller Gas Engine Co. was founded in 1897 in Springfield, Ohio, USA, which was also home to several other gas engine companies such as Superior, Foos, and Springfield. Early Miller gas engines were based on Charles A. Miller’s patent for a 2-throw (twin), horizontal, 4-cycle configuration with a central flywheel and overhung crankshaft.
Miller was an early advocate of the overhung crank throw in twin gas engines, a design that was …
This article appears in the June 2020 issue of Gas Compression Magazine. You can read the entire article right now by clicking the link above.
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