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early steam engine & gasoline engine oilers

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (385 items)

    Here are some of the oilers that I have collected over the years. They range in age from the mid 1800's to the 1920's. The oil lubricant timely dripped to the bearings. The drip flow was controlled by adjusting the needle screw that allowed the oil to flow. Engines of this era, both steam and gasoline, used a method known as the "total loss method". The total loss method of lubrication means that after the lubricant drips to the bearings, the wasted or spent oil is next directed to the ground or totally lost to further use. No oil pump to recover and reuse the lubricant. Today, OSHA would have a field day handing out fines to the manufacturers of this system.
    Photo #1 shows my oilers on a stepped display that I sometimes take to engine shows. Photo #2 shows a few swing top oilers. Photo #3 shows a what they call a wine glass oiler. Photo #4 shows a few connecting rod oilers. All of these oilers are uncommon and some are quite rare, especially the connecting rod oilers because most engines used grease cups to lubricate the connecting rods. The old timers used to call the use of grease for engine lubrication "hard oil" and many prefered the use of soft oil throughout their engine's lubrication. Only a few mfg. of engines used oil to keep the babbit bearings of the connecting rod lubricated. Because of being made out of brass and glass, and of many different styles and shapes, oilers have become quite collectable, especially the less common variety. Because of this, they have become quite pricy, sometimes into the $500 range.

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    1. Rustfarm Rustfarm, 8 years ago
      Nice stuff, I too collect oilers but not as many as you have!
    2. hotairfan hotairfan, 8 years ago
      I find them a great collectable as you do Rustfarm. They are still readily available and the only thing limiting your selection is how much that you want to spend on them. I must add that if I sell any of my collection due to acquiring doubles, I always get my money (investment) back. Thanks for your comment.
    3. racer4four racer4four, 8 years ago
      I love this type of mechanical/industrial collectible. Art with a purpose.
    4. hotairfan hotairfan, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the comment racer. Keep watching, I have a couple more to show if I have time to do it tonight.
    5. Tanni Tanni, 6 years ago
      This is an amazing collection. I absolutely love it. So interesting to see how different they used to be ! Thanks for sharing.
    6. hotairfan hotairfan, 6 years ago
      thank all of you for your nice comments
    7. swampdogg swampdogg, 6 years ago
      Very nice collection of Hit & Miss Oilers I have two one i dug up with a metal detector glass is missing then another one that's complete
    8. jkwidener, 11 months ago
      How can I contact you hotairfan? I have an oiler that nobody knows the manufacturer of. Facebook, Smokstak or ?
    9. hotairfan hotairfan, 11 months ago
      hi jkwidener,
      I would gladly tell you what I know concerning your oiler's mfg. I have some knowledge of the items, but there were so many Mfg. Co. that made them,it can be perplexing, but, I will do my best.
      You can send me dimensions, material that it is made from, and several photos of the oiler, from the oil flow sight to the top where it sets the flow of the oil. in short, every photo that you send, helps me identify it more accurately. You can the information at my email address of......
    10. jkwidener, 11 months ago
      Thank You for your contact info, I have sent the email.

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