Where Lozier Engines Are Made [1900]

Open one valve, close the switch, swing the fly wheel one-quarter turn, and you're off. Can anything more simple be imagined? It is true that the electric launch may be started by the turn of a controller handle, but it must be remembered that long hours are required for charging the battery. For three hours your correspondent sat watching the little Lozier engine as it plodded steadily along, never missing an explosion, never stopping for any cause. Yet just the day before the same engine had carried the little twenty-one footer, shown in Fig. 3*, under full speed from Toledo to Monroe and back, a total distance of sixty miles through a heavy sea, and without a hitch. What say you to this, gasoline launchmen?

I have blistered my fingers and clenched my teeth to keep back words that I might be sorry for during a two-days' struggle with a gasoline motor that refused to "mote," and I can appreciate a nicely running engine. Truly, practice and experience make perfect, and the man who profits by the failure of others to avoid the stumbling blocks against which they have bruised their shins is the one who succeeds.

With but little noise, practically no odor, and a minimum of vibration, the engine toils away, never stopping to rest, and running if need be all day long. A mere puff from the exhaust---not nearly so loud as that from a non-condensing steam engine---and a slight click from the igniter, were the only sounds perceptible. While with some gasoline engines conversation in the boat is difficult when they are running, on the trip referred to we chatted in ordinary tones.

Before taking up the description of the Lozier factories the writer will give a short description of the motor itself, as illustrated in Fig. 1. This motor is of the two-cycle type, illustrated and described in the article on marine Gasoline Engines in the June issue of The Rudder. The different parts of the engine are indicated in the figure by descriptive words at the various points.

In the cross-section of the engine, the richt-hand side of the figure, the piston is shown at the lowest point of its stroke, and the fresh mixture is passing in through the cylinder while the exhaust gases are leaving through the exhaust port, as indicated by the arrows. The engine is well water-jacketed, both about the cylinder and cylinder head, and the jacket is continued so that it surrounds the exhaust pipe, continuing even to the muffler. Jacketing the exhaust pipe and muffler are if great assistance in reducing the noise of the exhaust by condensing the exhaust gases, and thus reducing the velocity at the point of escape. Water is supplied to a jacket by means of a small rotary pump driven by a chain and sprocket from the shaft. The igniter is operated by an eccentric, as shown, and is of the type known as the hammer-break. The speed of the engine is controlled, when so desired, by means of a wing throttle valve. A unique feature of the engine is the cylinder lubricator, shown in section on the left of the figure. Oil drops slowly into a chamber containing a spring and a valve, going downward from this chamber into a short tube, as show. Just as the piston reached the end of its downward stroke the exhaust gases force the valve back against the spring and blow through the short tube with sufficient force to carry with them the oil contained in the tube and depositing it in the grooves which contain the packing rings. On the top of the cylinder may be seen as witch conveniently placed, so that the current may be shut off when the engine is not in operation.

The crank shaft is drop-forged from a superior quality of machinery steel, and the connecting rod is made from the best quality of gray iron. The bore of the cylinder is carefully ground to a gauge, so that all cylinders on engines of the same size are of exactly the same diameter, and are perfectly true and smooth on the inside. All cylinder castings are tested by hydraulic pressure of eighty pounds to the square inch. The engines are run by power for some time in order to get the bearings down to a working surface. Crank shaft and other bearings are made of phosphor bronze and the pump shaft is of Tobin bronze.

The type of vaporizer used on this engine is shown in Fig. 2. Gasoline enters the vaporizer, flowing by gravity past the needle valve and through a small hole in the air valve seat, so that the passage for the gasoline is only opened when air is being drawn into the crank case. The air before entering the valve is heated by being passed through a perforated drum which surrounds the exhaust pipe. The amount of air which passes through the heater may be controlled, and any surplus required taken directly from the atmosphere. In this manner the air may be of any desired temperature above that of the atmosphere, and trouble caused by damp air may thus be avoided. As a special feature of the Lozier engine, it is claimed that once the needle valve is set it requires no further attention.

The building of these motors is but a part of the business of the Lozier Motor Company, as a great number of their engines are furnished with boats of their own construction and design. These boats are built at present at sizes ranging from 16 feet 6 inches to 50 feet 1 inch over all. In Fig. 3 is shown one of their 21-foot boats, photographed expressly for this article, when going full speed up the canal just back of their boat factory. This is the boat which made the astonishing trip of sixty miles in the open lake, and through very rough water. Your correspondent was unable to determine the exact speed which this boat would make, but the company claimed that they are willing to enter a speed trial with any boat of the same size and power. The precise dimensions of the boat are: length over all, 21 feet 6 inches; beam, 5 feet 1/2 inch; draught, 19 inches. The standard engine for this boat is 2 1/2 horse-power. In Fig. 4 is shown one of their 40-foot half-cabin launches, and Fig. 5 is a 45-foot boat, with standing canopy. Fig. 6 shows a 25-footer out of the water, and will give the reader an opportunity of judging her lines.

The boats are built at Bascum, about thirty miles from Toledo, and from there they are shipped to Toledo to be finished. The finishing room at the time your correspondent visited Toledo contained about twenty launches of various lengths being given their final touches. A view of one portion of this room is shown in Fig. 7, as it appeared at the time of the writer's visit. This shows the crowded condition of the factory, as it can be readily seen that there is not the slightest amount of available floor space. The boat at the extreme right of the picture has already seen considerable service and was being retouched. This accounts for its rough appearance. The photographs, unfortunately, did not plainly show their most interesting craft, which they call their "Revenue Cutter." This is a launch with a double cockpit, the smaller one of which contains the engine.

There is scarcely sufficient space available in an article of this scope to describe the finish of these boats, and the reader who is interested in these details is referred to the catalogue issued by the company.

Fib. 8 is a view of a portion of the machine shop especially equipped for the manufacture of the Lozier engine. At the right of the picture are a number of fly wheels, and in the center just beyond the shaper and also in the left foreground are to be seen a number of engine castings, which include the cylinder and frame in one piece. The Bobbin-shaped castings standing in a row at the rear of the 30-inch lathe and a little to the left of the center of the picture are mufflers. Leaning against the lathe just behind the row of mufflers is seen with more or less distinctness one of the reversing screw-propellers used on the launches of the Lozier Company, and made by them expressly for this purpose. The photograph from which this cut was made was taken during the noon hour, and under considerable difficulty, as your correspondent had a great deal of trouble in getting the men to hide behind the large cupboard in the center of the background long enough to take the picture. The shop is equipped with the best machine tools that can be obtained, and every effort is made to have the shop practice thoroughly up to date in all particulars.

[Transcribed from The Rudder, Aug. 1900, pp. 327-329. ]

[The Lozier Company would become one of the leading manufacturers of finely crafted boats and precision engineered marine engines. Harry Lozier Jr. would campaign his series of autoboats in the racing events of the early part of the first decade of the twentieth century. Eventually the Lozier Company would move to high-performance automobiles, producing top finishers in both European and American road and track racing. — GWC]

[* The illustrations for this article are not available at this time. Perhaps I will be able to add them in the future. Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. — LF]

(Note: see also the page The Lozier Story [Lozier engines]).

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Leslie Field, 1999