Sintz Marine Gasoline Engine

Sintz Gas Engine Co. two stroke marine engine, 1893

Perhaps John Allen Jewett of Head Tide, Sheepscott River, read about the revolutionary new power plant introduced by Clark Sintz at the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair. Jewett operated a freight scow on the river, and decided to power it with an engine instead of sail. He must have been prosperous. His new engine cost over $200, when skilled carpenters were making $2.00 a day. Jewett found out that a narrow gauge railroad was being built along the river and never installed his new engine.

Clark Sintz was America’s pioneer gasoline engine builder; this restored engine is one of the oldest in the United States. He developed the make-and-break ignition system (contact points inside the cylinder), and a mechanical fuel pump, all beautifully and carefully made.

This type of engine is too small to have powered the classic Maine lobsterboat. It was not until relatively inexpensive engines with more power started to be developed that lobsterboats like those we see today emerged.

The third photograph shows Genevive, a boat built on Beals Island in 1950 as an open boat with an Oldsmobile engine. This boat is on display at the Museum. Today's boats, built in fiberglass, are longer and wider versions powered with far more powerful diesel engines.

This engine was the first of the long line of marine engines that led to the powerful engines in today's trawlers. The huge nets that these vessels can tow, coupled with electronics that find fish and inadequate regulations, have led to the decimation of the New England fishery.

With this gear, fishermen have the power to catch the last fish in the ocean.

Geographic Location: 
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Sintz Gas Engine Co.