Almost Unknown: Jones System Light Outfit

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End view showing generator and switch panel.
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Side view showing unusual design.
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The Jones has an unusual crankcase design and timer.
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Close-up of carburetor and spark plug.

This month’s Vintage Iron was found by Larry Weigand, a collector from Winfield, Kan. He found this engine – a Jones System – in an old warehouse of a Kansas City, Mo., electrical supply company that has been in business for more than 75 years.

The Jones System, by Electric Lighting, was patented Dec. 13, 1913. It’s plate reads number 282, 32 volts, 750 watts, built solely by L.B. Jones Co., Kansas City, Mo.

This is a very unusual light plant. The engine number – 282 – indicates that only a few were built up to that point. It is hopper cooled, with a small bore cylinder. It is four-cycle, with the intake valve inside the hopper. To gain access, the hopper has to be removed. It has a very large and heavy flywheel to help with smooth operation. The engine is fired by spark plug and high tension buzz coil. The engine has an unusual brass carburetor, and is throttle governed. The switch panel and coil box are all wood. The battery box is missing, but looks to have been mounted across the frame under the gas tank. The engine is in running condition with a lot of original green and black paint. Light plants usually spent their life indoors, and are often found in very good original condition.

Larry would like to know if any Farm Collector readers know anything about the Jones Company. We researched our files, and have found only a listing of the company in a 1916 copy of Millards Implement Director under electric light outfits, farm, Kansas City. I checked with Alan C. King of King’s Books, and they have nothing on the company. C.H. Wendel’s engine encyclopedia has only a small listing in the back, dated 1913, the same date as is on the name plate. If anyone has any information on this company, contact Larry Weigand, Rt. 4 Box 139, Winfield, KS 67156.

Larry also found a Lalley Light and a Silent Alamo, both built in Michigan. Larry is an engine and tractor collector, and is a member of the Kansas Oklahoma Engine Association of Winfield. FC

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