Reid Engine!


This site is dedicated to all the Reid engines that are still running out there. I photograph them whenever possible. These old oil field engines are a pleasure to watch and hear run. Not to mention they played a major role in the early days of oil production in the United States.
Joseph Reid Gas Engine Company of Oil City Pennsylvania built engines to pump oil wells. They began operation in 1898. 

Reid engines are two stroke, (or two cycle) in operation. They are  large flywheel engines that deploy a separate charging cylinder outside of the main cylinder. The charging cylinder was mounted on either the right or left hand side of the engine.

The early engine used a hot tube ignition and ran off the natural gas directly from the well head. I have seen several variations of   the Reid engine, the spark plug ignition used in place of the old   hot tube is one common modification.

Most of the Reid engines I see at shows recently are being run off of propane gas bottles.

An old Reid engine retired somewhere in the Ohio snow...

Published by MSPI © 2009. All rights reserved

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Above - Reid engine in operation on display at an antique engine show. 

The following pages show more restored Reid engines that have been spared from the ravages of time and the elements to once again huff and puff like they once did in the days of oil field yore.  




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