Could anyone date or give me info on old Century Electric motor?
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  1. #1
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    Default Could anyone date or give me info on old Century Electric motor?

    Found this in a under a pile of stuff in a hoarder garage. I bought his old airplane and this was under it. I don't see any tags. I have seen similar ones but not with the two terminals on top. Possibly DC? Any help would be appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_5026.jpg   img_5027.jpg  

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    CENTURY was making electric motors from the beginning of 20 century. There are many models. I have a similar one on my table saw. It is an AC motor but it starts like a DC with a commutator and brushes that move away centrifugally once the speed is reached. I think I can see similar brushes in your photo as well, and I assume it is a similar AC motor.

    " I bought his old airplane and this was under it"... If there was an attempt to run the airplane with this motor, see if you can find the extra long extension cord that came with it

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    AC, single phase, repulsion start/induction run - nice motors with high starting torque.
    Century motors of that era are very desirable to vintage motor folks ;~)

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    I took a look on archive.org to see if there might be something related to electric motors of this type and found this book
    Armature winding and motor repair; practical information and data covering winding and reconnecting procedure for direct and alternating current machines, compiled for electrical men responsible for the operation and repair of motors and generators in industrial plants and for repairmen and armature winders in electrical repair shops
    by Braymer, Daniel Harvey, 1885-1932

    https://archive.org/details/armaturewindingm00brayrich

    And some others on the subject here that may be of some help or interest for this motor and others .

    https://archive.org/search.php?query...ic%20Motor&and[]=subject%3A%22Machinery%22

    https://archive.org/search.php?query...ic%20Motor&and[]=subject%3A%22Machinery%22&and[]=subject%3A%22Electric%20motors%22

    Regards,
    Jim

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    Default Thanks for all the info!

    I need to take it to someone and see if it is DC or AC. All the other ones similar to this do not have the big lugs on top to hook terminals to.

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    Smart money says this is indeed a replusion start, induction run motor as others have commented.

    Key is to look carefully at the first photo, you can see the circular slot with a binding screw in it, that allows the
    brush holder to be shifted so the motor can be reversed.

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    Default Does that mean it is a AC motor?

    What should I do to test it. I was thinking of wiring it up with a breaker off in the middle of the shop floor away from everything and flipping the breaker. Also how could I determine what voltage it is? are there any sites or forums that could help me date this motor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martyb1 View Post
    What should I do to test it. I was thinking of wiring it up with a breaker off in the middle of the shop floor away from everything and flipping the breaker. Also how could I determine what voltage it is? are there any sites or forums that could help me date this motor?
    1. See if the whole brush assembly moves away form the commutator to disengage them. If yes, it is a single phase AC motor.
    2. If the brush assembly can be just rotated by about 90 degrees, but stays in contact with the commutator, it is a releasable DC or , more likely, universal motor.
    3. If the brushes are fixed, it is a DC type or universal.
    4. The motor can be 120 volt or higher, but will likely at least start on 120 AC. If it just vibrates it is DC only.
    5. As far as plugging it for a short moment directly to 120 AC, there should not be any damage to the motor, but one must be careful as the it can be electrically live following the deterioration of internal wires or windings insulation.

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    I don’t know a lot about motors but maybe you could compare the features on yours with the single phase induction repulsion motor pictured in this link .
    https://archive.org/stream/armaturew...e/189/mode/1up
    I would think that at one time there may have been an insulated cap to cover the two nuts that look like the place where you would connect the motor to the line.
    Regards,
    Jim

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    Default Thank you very much for all the info!

    I really appreciate the time.

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    4. The motor can be 120 volt or higher, but will likely at least start on 120 AC. If it just vibrates it is DC only
    Well, if someone left the brushplate rotated to the wrong position, it will sit and vibrate on AC as well, even though it would run fine with the brushes rotated to the correct position.

    I, too, vote repulsion/induction; or possibly universal. I have one as part of an integral variable speed gearbox on one of my Hardinge flat belts, motor was supposedly from a Rivett; I don't think the brushes lift on that one, but it has run fine for a couple decades.

    smt

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    Thanks for all your help guys! It runs after 40 years!! https://youtu.be/lw6Xim1ScE4
    https://youtu.be/oRM609_kbgw
    https://youtu.be/Bzql-kOk0Ho

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    Congratulations!

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    I have had a few old watch maker's lathe motors where you could rotate the brushes 90 degrees to reverse the rotation.

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    Ah, the crackle of the arc and the smell of ozone, and a high ho whirrrr… away!

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    A couple interesting links if you have not found these yet:

    Century Electric Co. - Publication Reprints | VintageMachinery.org

    Click the link "Downloads" then scroll to the bottom of the list for a copy of Rosenberg's electric motor repair:

    http://campkahler.com/main-new.html

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    Anywhere to really dig deep and find the date on this? Also, I have had fun with it and don't really have a good use for it. I was going to list it locally, what should I ask?

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    Check eBay for something similar.

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    One example...

    Look at this on eBay:

    http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...obalID=EBAY-US

    Antique Century Repulsion start- induction single phase motor

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    Default Set the Sale Price High Enough to Discourage Scrappers.

    Martyb1,

    I've never seen an R-I motor offered for less than $50, but then again I did receive one as a gift from a flea market vendor who did not want to pack it up to take it home.

    If you list it locally, use the keyword "steampunk". For sell-ability, you might want to GENTLY polish the nameplate with Noxon or Brasso metal polish, that is if the plate is actually brass and does not have original paint on it.

    I do hope that you find a good home for it. Though thousands were made, good useable examples are getting scarce. You might be able to donate it to a museum for a tax deduction of about $100. (Remember that the real value of a deduction depends on your tax bracket and whether or not you itemize.)

    John Ruth

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