How Mike Healy's gas engine became a diverse spark plug collection.
The One Point spark plug. The maker intended the center electron to fire off of the top of the piston as it came up to the top of the cylinder. “I don’t believe this was a very successful plug,” says collector Mike Healy.
A Maco dual priming plug, typical of those often used on early fire trucks. When the petcock on the plug’s side was opened, gas was put in for priming. A primer line on the other side of the plug connected it to the vehicle’s cylinders. A pump on the dash was then used to get fuel to all cylinders simultaneously, allowing quick starts.
Janet and Mike Healy at a summer 2005 show, with a small sampling of their spark plug collection. The two are avid collectors, and active members of the Spark Plug Collectors of America.
A Clean Point plug, featuring a baby blue porcelain core with black lettering and arrow. The Clean Point was designed with a loose ball in the center electrode advertised to resist carbon build-up. While sifting through boxes at a farm auction, Mike Healy found the plug, which was wrapped in string. It apparently had been used on the farm as a plumb bob.
A Dave’s Hole in the Wall plug.
During the early 1920s, the Barney Google comic strip featured a horse named “Spark Plug.” Door-to-door salesmen reportedly sold a Barney Google plug with a small check ball mounted in the side of the plug base. The selling point, besides the name, was the fact that the ball allowed air into the plug, keeping the electrode clean and the plug cool.