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old ESCO motor-generator - my "little black pig" ;-)

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (1778 items)

    Here's something not seen much anymore, from the early days of electricity. Made by ELECTRIC SPECIALTY CO. of Stamford, Conn, this is a combined 110VAC motor and 12VDC generator together in one housing. In other words, one end of this unit (labeled "primary") is actually an electric motor which would run on (high voltage) household alternating current -- its other end (labeled "secondary') is a low voltage direct current generator. You hook the 'primary' end to a (then called) "lighting circuit" which makes the motor run, generating the low voltage (like a car battery) electricity out of the other end.

    This particular unit first supplied the low voltage 'operating current' for a small cabinet-style pipe organ which was manufactured (in St. Louis, MO) in the 1930's -- a not uncommon usage for these machines at that time. By the mid to late 40's, advancing technology (in the form of a device called a "rectifier", which did not involve moving parts needing periodic maintenance) supplanted machines like this one. [which is, in absolute fact, exactly how I obtained this one though it took until the 1990's or so?!! ;-) :-)] Though the brushes (two sets!) in this one are worn, it still actually functions mostly as intended. In addition to its nice brass nameplates, note the embossed ESCO logo on its endcaps.

    It measures about 18" long and 9" high/across, and likely weighs in the 50-75lb range at least -- made of cast iron, steel, and copper this little pig is *friggin' heavy*?!! I added the plywood base and office chair wheels just so I could roll it around instead of having to keep picking it up. ;-) For the record, I call it my 'little black pig' because its shape has always looked like one to me...the last pic includes a Pepsi can (for size reference) with a couple snips of pink post-it paper and a purple pipe cleaner added just for fun. <giggle>

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    1. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      That's a dandy one for sure!! Mighty heavy motor for such a small horsepower. My how technology has advanced:)
    2. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      There must be some serious copper winding in that!
    3. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 5 years ago
      THANKS SO MUCH to:


      for your comments and <love-it>s!

      jscott and racer -- it *is* indeed quite heavy for its size, I'd havta imagine it is probably about 1/3 each of copper, iron, and steel for its total weight. (which I am guessing, based on the fact that it feels like picking up a bag of cement mix, and I think those are 80lbs...?) Interestingly, (I suppose since it doesn't actually 'drive' anything but itself?) it does not have an actual 'horsepower' rating marked on it at all. I'm also guessing that approx. 2/3 of its length is its 'motor' portion, based on the size of a comparable standalone DC generator in my collection.
    4. Lamplover78 Lamplover78, 4 years ago
      I'm going to post a few things you might find interesting.. hope you go look... :)

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