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Old Electric Motors

buce

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Location
Everett WA
Over the last year I have noticed that a many old motors disappeared from the shelves of local motor shops. They got scrapped out because of the high prices for copper and iron. I have always just liked these old motors and have one old 10 hp running my 1942 Curtis air compressor. I also have several just sitting around in my shed.

I decided it’s time to start restoring them and using them where possible, before they all get scrapped out.

Here’s my second, my first is as mentioned running my compressor.
It's World War I vintage.
This one will run a vacuum pump for vacuum assisted bronze casting.
WesternElectricInductionMotor12.jpg

DSCN3372.jpg


Bruce Tipton
 

ToughTool

Hot Rolled
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Location
Panama City, Florida 32401
Kinda Red, isn't it? I will be cleaning up a 1.5HP GE on my #2 Brown & Sharp grinder soon. The motor tag is mounted on the Grinder frame, above the door, not on the motor as would be expected. I hope the bearings are still good.
I bought a 2 HP single phase motor to replace the GE, and made a bushing to adapt the belt pulley to fit the smaller shaft but after I learned about three phase motors and how easy they were to use with a converter, I am going to go back to the old GE. Havent picked a color yet. Joe
 

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johnoder

Diamond
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Location
Houston, TX USA
Wonderful stuff - thanks for sharing buce. :)

As a used to be ancient telephone collector, I am always amazed at what else Western Electric made. They even made hand held vacuum cleaners.

I need to get my 1917 10HP 860 RPM ring oiled Westinghouse back together. The bearings are 2" ID and 5" long - you can still buy them - only $560 for the pair of Babbitt lined cast iron shells. :D

John Oder
 

PackardV8

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Location
Spokane, WA
Anyone have the code for production dates for older GE motors? I have a wonderful condition 1/4hp - 25 cycle motor I'd like to find a good home.

thnx, jack vines
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Location
Metuchen, NJ, USA
Buce:

I'm sure that motor didn't look that good when it left the factory! Great job!

Notice the overall beauty of the design, particularly the elegance of the castings. Modern motors don't look nearly as nice.

JRR
 

buce

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Location
Everett WA
Toughtool,
It is RED! A bit more so than I thought it would be. From the picture your motor is very close to the design of mine. Does the tag give any patent numbers or dates.
Bruce
 

buce

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Location
Everett WA
Wonderful stuff - thanks for sharing buce. :)

As a used to be ancient telephone collector, I am always amazed at what else Western Electric made. They even made hand held vacuum cleaners.

I need to get my 1917 10HP 860 RPM ring oiled Westinghouse back together. The bearings are 2" ID and 5" long - you can still buy them - only $560 for the pair of Babbitt lined cast iron shells. :D

John Oder

John,

Some older motors had adjustable bearings. See
http://www.google.com/patents?id=i5...g=1&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=0_1#PPA1,M1

With a lot of luck yours does.

I tried to find info on Western Electric and came up empty handed. What more do you know about them?

Bruce
 

George Andreasen

Stainless
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Location
Alturas, California
Like John, I used to collect antique telephones....had an entire room full complete with a switchboard! All of them had to go in order to finance a new baby years ago.

Western Electric was the manufacturing arm of the Bell System for more years than I care to think about (former Bell employee here). In addition to supplying Bell, they also made electrical devices for the open market. I have no idea how such business was justified or figured into the Bell System plan. I've seen the old dental engines (mechanical drills) and old movie projectors that used Western Electric motors. Then there were industry sized capacitors, relays, etc.

People are beginning to grab these old turn of the century motors as collector's items, which is a shame in a way. Better to put them to work than display them on a shelf in the living room. Well, maybe that wouldn't be so bad now that I think about it...............
 

buce

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Location
Everett WA
Oh ya. I knew the Wester Electric name was familiar. I used to own a 150 pound telegraph machine made by them. I had it hooked up to a z-80 computer back when you had to solder up your own boards to own a personal computer. Mine had a fantastic 64K of 8 bit memory and it ran at 1 MHz.

So Joe’s GE motor on his Brown and Sharp machine (see above) was actually made by the ‘Central Electric Co.’ according to the label. Was there also an ‘Eastern Electric Co.’?
 

johnoder

Diamond
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Location
Houston, TX USA
I tried to find info on Western Electric and came up empty handed. What more do you know about them?
They made more telephones than all the independents combined, and there was a large flock of independents (Kellogg, Stromberg Carlson, American Electric, Swedish American, just to name a bare few of them)

I have a good sized hard bound catalog (No. 7) that just lists their telephone products - must at least be 150 pages.

All the old movies on TCM credit them with the sound systems used in making the movie.

They had a marvelous hand vacuum for cars and such - had a suspiciously looking telephone handset type handle.

Too bad Google can't find out anything about such a prolific American manufacturer that made so very many every day great quality items.

John Oder

On Edit:

Eastern Electric Co

I know there was a Northeast Electric - they made the distributor on my 1930 Packard.

J.O.
 
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buce

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Location
Everett WA
Joe,

Your motor castings look identical to mine in every respect that I can determine from your photo. The bell ends on mine are 12” OD. If yours are the same I’m betting they came from the same patterns in the same foundry. I love how B&S made their casting with a place to put the motor label so you can read it without removing the motor.

When was your B&S machine manufactured? That will give me another clue as to the date of manufacture of my motor.

If you disassemble your motor let me know. There is an issue of internal oil seals that is mysterious. Mine had no seal material in it but some patent drawings show that there was some sort of seal material in there. I used felt. And I had to make a specialized hook to fit into the air intakes in order to get the felt material into the right place.

Bruce
 

buce

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Location
Everett WA
Joe,

I’m also interested in the motor mount in your B&S machine. There has to be some means of adjusting belt tension. But these motor bearings need to be very nearly level to keep the oil at the right level. So tilting the motor platform is probably not an option for belt tension.

Bruce
 

Fasto

Hot Rolled
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Location
Central MA
These old motors are great! An old silver plating shop in my home town had a very early large diameter Westinghouse motor out front with their sign on it back in the mid 70's; I'll have to take a look next time I'm back there.

I love how B&S made their casting with a place to put the motor label so you can read it without removing the motor.

I have a mid-50's B&S mill that has the motor plate duplicated on the outside of the machine! Yes, there's a plate on the motor as well. I wonder if B&S did this on all machines?
--
Aaron
 

sjlarkin

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Location
florida
Iramillwright, I tripped over mine for years and finally got the idea to make a demagnetizer out of it . The motor i have is made by reliance , very similar to the one above, built so i have been told in the early 1900's. Works very well. Steve
 

jmp

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Location
Mechanicsville, Va
Cool Bruce. Love those old motors. Here's my 1/3 hp Emerson that I hope to connect to a Cataract bench lathe (or something like it) . The rule in the pic is 6".

Mike
 

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jim rozen

Diamond
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Location
peekskill, NY
Western electric, right.

Famous for their product research, in communications gear.

They were the ones who took the vacuum tube and made it
rugged and reliable. Before that, tubes were a novelty, after
they got ahold of them, they were suitable for long distance
voice transmission.

The older phones were *owned* by the bell company, so WE
had a great incentive to make them ultra-reliable and ultra rugged.
Things like bifurcated switch contacts - so if a bit of junk got into
one pair of contacts, the other one would still work, until the
'wiping action" of the switch contact cleared the problem. They also
developed said wiping contacts as well.

Much of the telephone stuff related to automatic switching was invented
by a man named Strowger who was an undertaker. He got tired of
the local switchboard operator (who was related to his competitor)
steering business away from him. So he invented automated switching
gear (which later developed into stepper relays) that could be controlled
by pulses send down the voice lines. The phone systems today
still accept "impulse dialing" which is pretty much what mr. strowger
used at the time.

His company (automatic electric) went on to morph into General Telephone
and Electric, which became GTE, which was then bought out by Verizon.

One can identify older AE phones by the peculiar "bulldog" profile of the
transmitter covers, the bell phones have a rounded perforated cover.
The AE ones are more of a reverse cone, with a flat in the center.

The older WE stuff is basically bullet-proof. Won't stop working, won't
go bad, won't die after decades of use. Aside from an even older Leich
Electric candlestick phone in our living room, that's the only kind of
phone equipment I'll allow in my house.

Jim
 

ToughTool

Hot Rolled
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Location
Panama City, Florida 32401
Wow, This has generated a lot of interest. I think I'll peruse the antique section more often.. I bought this beautiful old machine because I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

Bruce, (and others), here is a few more photos of my motor. After closer examination and your question about mounting, I must say I am not absolutely sure this is the original motor. But, I think it most likely is. Notice the oil reservoir cover in the front view. It is obvious this is not original, but a well made home (or shop) version, a flat cover. Also this B&S had a modern steel plate with drilled and tapped holes installed that the motor was mounted to. The original machine casting has three holes for motor mounting and I can not envision how the original motor was mounted using these holes. One possibility is that the leather belts were replaced with a modern composite flat belt and the plate may have been needed to adjust the short belt tension, that runs the table drive. The motor is adjusted left to right for tensioning the table drive belt. The long belt, which runs the spindle, has a weighed tension adjusting/compensating arm that allows the belt to maintain tension while the spindle head moves up and down. Since this motor mounting plate is 1/2 inch thick, making the motor higher, I assume the oil cover was too tall to clear the top of the hole in the casting, because the shaft and part of the bearing (bell) housing that sticks out through this hole. Note the shaft (3.000") is almost too short and does not extend to the edge of the pulley. You can see this in the rear view if the B&S photo.
So if anyone has an extra oil cover and wants to part with it, please let me know. I think I can make an adjustment in the thickness of this plate to get more clearance.
Referencing this chart at: http://www.joliet-equipment.com/sales/motorframechart.php
There is no NEMA frame type because the motor is pre-NEMA code. But, using the code dimensions from the above link the measurments are:
D=5.4375" (5-7/16)
E=9.000"
F=5.125"
U=1.000" (shaft Diameter)
V=3.000" (Shaft length)
The max end bell diameter (minus mounting flange) is 8-11/16th "
Max Diameter of frame is 10=15/16ths"
Frame (between end bell flanges) is 5"
Joe
 

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