Galloway Stood Behind His Engines

William Galloway guaranteed his product for five years

William Galloway with one of his engines

William Galloway showing off features of one of his engines.

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William Davis began building gasoline engines in Waterloo, Iowa, during the 1890s. Cascaden Mfg. Co. took over the firm about 1903, although the company continued to use the Davis name.

When William Galloway decided to get into the engine business in 1906 ( read about his mail order enterprise ), he opted to buy an established business and settled on Cascaden. The first Galloway engines were built by a Wisconsin firm, but beginning in 1908 they were built in the Waterloo factory.

Galloway built its “Frostfree” line of water-cooled engines in sizes from 1-3/4 to 15 hp along with a 1-3/4 hp air-cooled model. All engines were available as stationary or portable (on wheeled trucks) versions. Prices in 1913 ranged from $29.75 for a 1-3/4 hp air-cooled to $439.50 for a 15 hp portable. (Frostfree meant “... that in freezing weather every drop of water can be drained quickly from the water hopper.”)

Galloway saw rigs, with the engine and a circular saw bench mounted on a 4-wheeled horse-drawn truck, were available in 5 and 6 hp sizes with a 26-inch saw blade and 7 and 10 hp with a 28-inch blade. These rigs ranged in price (in 1913) from $182.50 to $384.50.

The company offered five payment options: cash, a bank certificate of deposit, half cash down and half personal note to be paid in six months at 6 percent interest, a personal note for the full amount to be paid in six months at 6 percent interest, and no note, but 10 percent down and the balance in nine equal payments at 10 percent interest. For example, a 3 hp portable engine could be bought for $89.50 in cash, $91.50 (bank deposit), $92.90 (half and half), $94.85 (all note), or $102.95 (monthly payments).

Included with each new Galloway engine, at no extra charge, were a gasoline tank, a muffler, a battery box, five dry-cell batteries, cans of hard oil (grease) and cylinder oil, an iron pulley, and an instruction book.

Galloway guaranteed his engines for five years against defects in manufacturing and bragged that he had deposited $25,000 in a Waterloo bank to back up his guarantee.

The proprietor believed his 5 hp portable was the best choice for most farmers. Galloway wrote: “You can easily wheel it out to the barn to cut and elevate ensilage, grind feed, run the fanning mill, etc. Move it over to the dairy to run the cream separator or churn. Back it up to the kitchen porch to run the clothes washer. Lead it over to the woodpile and cut cordwood. Make it turn the grindstone and mow away the hay! Why there’s a hundred jobs the Portable Five makes seem like play!”

Galloway was still selling a somewhat smaller range of engines in 1939, including the 1-1/4 hp Handy Andy that “helps (the) housewife for 7 cents per day.” Galloway engines are popular with collectors today and many can be seen at any engine show. FC