Majestic Company History

 

 

                                                                                                            19 JAN 16

   The Majestic Gasoline Engine Company was owned by the Hartman Company of Chicago, Illinois and began business around 1855. Hartman sold a great number of Waterloo-built engines with a Majestic tag and serial number from 1909 until 1926 except for a time beginning in early 1911 until 1915 when Hartman instead sold Miller-built engines with a Majestic tag.

   From beginning production of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company “Waterloo Boy” engine in 1906 until March of 1918, Waterloo would ship engines directly to their customers from their foundry in Waterloo, Iowa or from branch storage warehouses with the customer’s name on a personalized tag with the serial number (See American Gas Engines-Page 220). Waterloo production was done at their Hedford Foundry which also produced Associated, Galloway and other models.

   The George B. Miller Company of Waterloo, Iowa also shipped engines directly to their customer beginning in early 1911 and ending by 1915. Miller engines were similar to Waterloo with a few design changes to avoid patent infringement. Miller produced the Faultless and Neward models. The Miller-built engines supplied to Hartman usually have an “H” prefix and a Miller assigned serial number.
   By 1917, the Hartman line of “majestic farm necessities” included cream separators,

saws, concrete mixers, corn shellers, sprayers, fanning mills, cooking kettles, washing machines, cultivators, plows, hog oilers, egg incubators, grinders for feed and coffee and tools of all kind. Customers had one year to pay with no interest.

 

   The Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company was sold to Deere and Company in March of 1918 for $2.1 million. Because of the change in ownership, production of engines for

their 67+ customers like Hartman Company soon ceased. The original “Waterloo Boy” model continued to be produced by Deere thru 1920 probably to clear castings and parts inventory.

   In 1921, Deere introduced the Waterloo “H” gasoline and “K” kerosene models with many mechanical changes. In 1923, production of the renowned John Deere type “E” began and continued thru 1946.

   In 1918, the Hartman Company became a division of Hastine Enterprises, owner of the National Dairy Machine Company, which produced the National Cream Separator with LeRoy I. Baker, Sr. as Manager. Hartman seems to have not sold any engines for all of 1920. Then in 1921, because of the sale of Waterloo to Deere, engines were machined, assembled and tested by the Majestic Engine Works at South Ninth and New York Streets in Goshen, Indiana. Castings in 2 to 14 HP from Waterloo patterns were produced at a foundry in Wabash, Indiana. The only design change was a taller one-piece water hopper for the 1921 model. 

   It appears an arrangement with Waterloo was maintained to supply crankshafts and other parts used in production at plant in Goshen on the 1921 model as Waterloo serial numbers continue to be found on crankshafts used on the Goshen-Wabash engines. These are the Majestics serial numbers in the 180000 and 20000 series that mesh with Waterloo serial numbers without duplication.

   Engines were shipped from the Goshen factory to supply houses around the country. LeRoy Baker, Jr. remembers as a young man helping with inventory of finished engines in stock. Engines were crated and stacked on end and his job, being a boy of small stature, was to crawl in between the rows and check serial numbers. The company was in business until 1925 with Herbert Ransom as Manager at it closing.

   An ID tag should be found on all Majestic Waterloo-built engines thru 1920 with serial numbers up to almost 160000. In 1921, with 180000 and 200000 serial numbers, engines were shipped from the Goshen factory with no ID tag. By 1926, the Fantus-Majestic Company of Chicago, Illinois sold the remaining inventory at half price.

 

   Check your ID tag, crankshaft end on the igniter side, by the oiler and even on the igniter for the SERIAL NUMBER.

 

   Check for a CASTING DATE on both sides of the subbase under the crankshaft. Casting dates are viewable thru the flywheels. Check all over the engine for a casting date. Very few had a casting date, but if one is found, please let me know. Finding the few engines with dates is my latest research.

 

   Reproductions of the original “lion’s head” decal are available for your restoration. A 105-page copy of the 1915 and 1917 Majestic catalog is also available for the cost of printing.

 

MAJESTIC INFORMATION:

 

COLOR: RED – IH RED #50 / PPG #700019 / NAPA #90R-224 /

                           DUPONT 93-2564-H / CARQUEST #DAR70184-H

 

HP       BORE      STROKE      FLYWHEEL       RPM       WEIGHT      1915 PRICE  

2           3 ½*             5                      18               400-575         420             $49.65

3           4 ½ *            6                      22               350-475         530             $56.75

5           4 ½               9                      26               300-400         775             $89.50

7           5 ½             10                      36               280-360       1300           $122.50

9           6                 12                      36               275-325       1610           $177.50

14         7 ½             14                      42               250-300       2500           $269.50

 

Webster Magneto:  AK (two magnet) for 2 + 3 + 5 HP

                                AL (three magnet) for 7 + 9 + 14 HP

Webster Magneto Bracket:  A303K8 and A303K142A (2 thru 14 HP)*

 

* George B. Miller-built 1 1/2 HP models: 4” bore / A303M18A bracket / AMM magneto

* George B. Miller-built 3 & 5 HP models: 5” bore / A303K66A bracket / AK magneto

 

James W. Priestley

523 Courtney Anne Drive

McMinnville, Tennessee 37110

931~808~8175 After 6:00 PM

jimmypriestley@hotmail.com