• by Capt. Bob Cerullo

Make N' Break


On the West Coast there is a museum called there is a museum called the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum , Inc. ( www.agsem.com ) 2040 N Santa Fe Ave. Vista, California. They are on You Tube and other social media sights. In Nova Scotia there is a great museum known as The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic (https://fisheriesmuseum.novascotia.ca). It hosts the Make and Break Club , 68 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Their goal is to create a space where like-minded individuals with passion and knowledge of “Make ‘N Break” engine enthusiasts come together to share their stories, to educate and identify resources in a heritage-based niche community. Essentially what they try to accomplish is share historical information about old engines, educate and assist their members, operate a data base to help members find parts and information relative to “Make ‘N Breaks” engines and to sponsor activities to support the preservation of those grand old gas engines This museum has several examples of the “one-lunger” engines that was extremely popular with watermen. The Atlantic was manufactured at Lunenburg Foundry in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia starting in 1910 and was built for about 90 years. The sturdy little engine and the Acadia were favorites of watermen in the U.S. Some enthusiasts claim there are still many in use in daily use. Certainly, there are many “Make ‘N Break” engines owned and shown by museums and enthusiasts. If your space is limited, and you would like to fool around with a Make ‘N Break or a steam engine, there are actual toy working models of both available on order online. The “hit or miss engine” is similar. Itis a type of internal combustion engine that is controlled by a governor to only fire at a set speed. They are usually 4-stroke, but 2-stroke version were made. Several companies produced this engine in the late 19th century built by various companies from the 1890s through approximately the 1940s. The name comes from the speed control on these engines: they fire ("hit") only when operating at or below a set speed, and cycle without firing ("miss") when they exceed their set speed. This is as compared to the "throttle governed" method of speed control. The sound made when the engine is running without a load is a distinctive "Snort POP whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh snort POP" as the engine fires and then coasts until the speed decreases and it fires again to maintain its average speed. The snorting is caused by atmospheric intake valve used on many of these engines. The Make ‘N Break engine has been a very important part of the heritage of watermen around the word. It is gratifying to see that its role in the development of maritime propulsion is appreciated and being preserved for generations to come.


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