Rare Shaw Stationary Gas Engine

Shaw Mfg. Co., known for the Shaw Du-All, made a one-of-a-kind stationary gas engine


| July 2000



David Beattie with the Shaw engine he and his father rescued

David Beattie with the Shaw engine he and his father rescued. The engine – apparently the only Shaw – has no serial number, no name tag, and just one casting number.

Photo by G. Wayne Walker Jr.

Shaw Mfg. Co. – the manufacturer of the Shaw Du-All – is a familiar name to many collectors. But hardly anyone associates Shaw with a stationary gas engine, and with good reason: Only one Shaw engine is known of.

David Beattie, McPherson, Kan., bought the 1-1/4 hp engine at a Shaw family auction at Galesburg, Kan., the company's hometown.

"We don't know for sure the year it was made," he says, "but it was between 1903 (when the Shaw Mfg. Co. got its start) and 1911."

David says he had heard rumors over the years of an engine in the brick garage behind the Shaw family residence. When the family held an auction recently, David and his father found the engine ("I knew what it was when I saw it," he says), and made the winning bid. Then they met the founder's daughter, who showed the two an original ad promoting the engine.

"She said the garage was built in 1911, and the engine was installed there after it had been used for several years in the Shaw factory as the main power plant," he relates. "They put it in the garage to pump water for the garage and the house. It was probably used into the 1950s and '60s for a water pump or cistern operation."

When the Beatties got the engine, it was not stuck, and it was basically complete, but needed to be completely rebuilt, David says.