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NATIONAL

GAS ENGINE Co. Ltd.

Wellington Works, Aston-under-Lyne,

Lancashire, England.

(Photos lower down)

NATIONAL were founded in 1890 by Henry Bickerton to build gas engines. The range of engines produced were from 2hp to 160hp. They were all tube ignition and ran on town gas, later engines could also use Dowsons producer gas.

By 1898 National were into the oil engine market with engines from 2hp to 30hp, later to increase to250hp. These were generally open crank, with twin flywheels and blowlamp start. By 1912 the range had reached to 1500hp.

Henry Bickerstone had a share in the early company of Mirrlees, Bickerton & Day to construct Diesel Engines which were of very large sizes, so National probably did not make Diesels until 1932. The LB range of Diesels were of small sizes, the smallest being rated at 10hp.This was followed by the DS of 5hp in 1935, which were uprated to 7hp by 1945. In 1949 Brush took a controlling interest, finally taking over in 1960.

The National shown has a Drake & Gorham plate and is a lamp start oil engine type'NO', engine No.O2106 of 1916, the bore is 6 inches, the stroke is 12 inches. The flywheels are 42 inches in diameter, one is used to drive the dynamo and water injection is also fitted.

Bought at the Abslom sale in 1992 it had a large frost crack in the water jacket which ran through to the bed, also the fuel pump was missing. The rest of the engine being in good order. After advice on a suitable way to repair the crack it was decided to weld it manually. With some preheating and careful welding the job was done. Hand finishing and fitting the liner joints was done next.

After several weeks the Auctioneers, while clearing the property, found a box of brass fittings, which included the oil pump. The engine was erected, new pipes as needed, the injector rebuilt and fitted.

The engine runs a 50-volt dynamo complete with an end cell switchboard and automatic cut out.