Perfection Engine Identified
Lang & Scharmann Perfection engine was proudly displayed in vintage photograph
Original postcard showing a proudly displayed Perfection Engine.
This month's Vintage Iron topic comes from Joseph Prindle, a reader from Wisconsin. He has identified the mystery engine in the photo postcard on page 55 of the May issue. It is a Perfection gasoline engine made by Lang & Scharmann Manufacturers, Marshfield, Wis.
He sent me copies of three different newspaper ads he found in the Marshfield Herald. However, they were from microfiche and would not reproduce well here.
Joe has researched the company and found that its time in the engine business was short-lived. There is no mention of the company in The American Gasoline Engine by C.H. Wendel. We have no mention of the company in our files, and Joe has searched through several years' issues of Gas Power and Gas Review, but found nothing.
Joe is starting a registry of Perfection engines, and would like to know if any other readers are aware of any. He only knows of 2 more, a 4 hp and 8 hp.
He also sent us copies of the engine's patent papers: "Patented June 14, 1910, #961, 156 governing mechanism explosive engines" and "Patented Sept. 20, 1910, #970, 545 Ignitor for explosive engines" with both applications filed on May 10, 1909, by Peter Paulson, Marshfield, Wis.
The "Perfection" used the trademark "Made in Marshfield." Joe's research found an Aug. 5, 1911 advertisement in the Marshfield Herald introducing "The Paulson" engine built by Lang & Scharmann. An Oct. 21, 1911 advertisement in the same paper shows the same engine, but calls it "The Perfection." The ad makes no mention of Peter Paulson.
The last ad Joe has found for these engines appeared in the Dec. 16, 1916 issue of the Marshfield Herald. He assumes that to be the end of the line for the Perfection engine. Research in other area newspapers and trade magazines turned up nothing. Joe says it must have been "tough going" for Lang & Scharmann, because local newspapers of the era were full of ads for the local I.H.C. and Stickney dealers, and an aggressive Fairbanks-Morse dealer was located just 30 miles away in Wisconsin Rapids.
Joe has one piece of original advertising memorabilia: a Perfection ashtray. If anyone else knows anything about this company, contact Joe at 1340 22nd Avenue South, #12, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., 54495; (715) 424-0793; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"... A Mechanical Masterpiece"
Excerpts from a 1911 advertisement for Perfection engines
"A few reasons you should buy a Perfection: The Perfection engine is a mechanical masterpiece. In its makeup are all the latest improvements of design and construction. Every part of this engine has been the subject of careful thought and severe practical test. As it now stands, it is without a peer. It is highly efficient without being complicated.