engine was featured in the
following article: Thompson, Glenn. "Elevator Engine; A 17 hp Canadian
Elevator Engine and a Brief History of Ruston, Hornsby, Ltd." Gas Engine Magazine, vol. 53, no. 2, February/March 2018, pp. 6-10.
To view detailed photos of the Ruston, Hornsby Mark CR engine, please click on RUSTON, HORNSBY ENGINE PHOTOS
Dierre Smith of Fredericksburg, Texas,
is a collector of vintage engines in
the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. One of his more recent
acquisitions is a Ruston, Hornsby Mark CR diesel engine. The engine
was originally imported and sold by Mumford, Medland Machinery, Ltd.
in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canadian agents for Ruston, Hornsby, Ltd. of
Lincoln, England. J. R. Smith of Tatum, Texas, (no relation to
Dierre) purchased the engine from a gentleman in Indiana and Dierre
acquired it from him in 2012. This model engine was popular as a
source of power in a large grain elevator, where it probably was
installed in a pit or a separate room to isolate it from dust and
quite possibly was connected to a radiator to assist with cooling.
Hornsby built the 597 cubic inch Mark CR engine from July, 1936, to
June, 1943. Dierre's engine is serial number 215075; it left the
factory on November 4, 1942. It has a 7.25 inch bore and a 13.5 inch
stroke. The engine generates 16 horsepower at 360 rpm or 17
horsepower at the factory-rated speed of 370 rpm. The flywheels are
45 inches in diameter, with 4-inch faces. The total weight of the
engine is approximately 2,750 pounds. It is water cooled. An engine
of this size is usually started using compressed air from an
auxiliary tank; however, it can be started by holding the
decompression valve open, inserting a smoldering paper into a special
port on the engine, and then turning the engine over with a crank.
Ruston, Hornsby sold special papers for this purpose. The engine can
also be started by belting it to another engine.
Ruston, Proctor & Company
Ruston was born in Cambridgeshire, England, in 1835. After serving an
apprenticeship in a cutlery firm, he joined Burton & Proctor as
full partner. The firm produced a variety of agricultural machines
and implements, including steam engines.
left the firm in 1857. Joseph Ruston was a gifted entrepreneur and by
1889, the firm of Ruston & Proctor had established itself as a
major producer of traction engines, steam rollers and locomotives.
These were exported to foreign countries as well as sold
domestically. Ruston & Proctor went public in 1889.
Joseph Ruston died in 1897, his eldest son Joseph Seward Ruston
assumed his position in the company. Ruston & Proctor had
developed an oil-fueled engine, and the Ruston fuel injector
introduced in 1912 became a standard in the field. By World War I,
the company was producing more engines than any other firm; these
included cold-start engines.
R. Hornsby & Sons, Ltd.
Hornsby was born in 1790. He was employed by Richard Seaman in 1810,
and the two opened a blacksmith shop in Grantham in 1815. When Seaman
retired, Hornsby established the company R. Hornsby & Sons in
1828. This firm produced agricultural machinery, steam engines and
traction engines. The firm began building oil engines in 1891 when it
became the sole manufacturer of an engine designed by Herbert Akroyd
Stuart. This was a low compression, paraffin-fueled engine which was
started by heating a hot bulb with a torch. The Hornsby-Akroyd engine
was an immediate success and enjoyed sales in other countries as well
as England. For example, a Hornsby-Akroyd engine powered the
generator that produced electricity for lighting the Statue of
1896, R. Hornsby & Sons began producing the world's first
tractors and locomotives powered by oil-fueled engines. The company
also built engines for submarines, light houses, radio stations, etc.
In 1905, Hornsby-Akroyd built the world's first fully-tracked
vehicle. The concepts for this were sold to the American Holt Tractor
Company (later Caterpillar).
World War I, Hornsby-Akroyd produced guns, ammunition and fighter
the famous Sopwith Camel.
Ruston & Hornsby, Ltd.
& Proctor merged with R. Hornsby & Sons in 1918 to form
Ruston & Hornsby, Ltd. The merged firm produced Ruston
high-compression oil engines, Hornsby safety paraffin engines,
gas-fueled engines, steam boilers, traction engines, road rollers,
pumps, farm implements, etc. A Ruston, Hornsby automobile was
introduced in 1920, but it was too expensive to compete with
automobiles produced by more established firms, and it was
discontinued in 1925. Likewise, a British version of the American
Wallace tractor was also introduced in 1920, but only 300 were built
before it was discontinued. During the 1920's, Ruston, Hornsby began
to specialize in large, multi-cylinder oil engines such as those used
in ships, and small, petrol/paraffin engines used on farms and in
produced by Ruston, Hornsby were so extensive that a decision was
made to diversify, and agreements were worked out with a number of
other companies. For example, Ransomes, Simms & Jeffers in
Ipswich produced steam engines, threshing machines and other farm
implements; Barford Perkins of Peterborough and Aveling &
of Rochester merged to built road rollers; Ruston and Listers
jointly produced small, vertical, high-speed diesel engines, and
Ruston affiliated with Bucyruse Erie in Milwaukee in 1930 to produce
large equipment in the United States.
1931, Ruston, Hornsby developed the first successful underground oil
locomotive. The firm also introduced narrow-gauge railroad
locomotives and later expanded to make standard gauge shunting
World War II, Ruston, Hornsby produced stationary engines of all
sizes and engines to power boats, ships, tanks, etc. A gas turbine
was developed for jet aircraft. After the war, gas turbines were
produced for use in oil and gas fields.
1966, Ruston, Hornsby were taken over by the English Electric Company
which, in turn, was taken over a few years later by the GEC Group.
After that, the various divisions of the original company was split
up and lost their unique identities.
Hooley in Great Britain has compiled a large amount of information
about the products, individuals and firms associated with the
Ruston, Hornsby Companies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org