A hit-and-miss engine is a type of four-stroke internal combustion engine that was conceived in the late 19th century and was produced by various companies from the 1890s through approximately the 1940s. The name comes from the method of speed control that is implemented on these engines (as opposed to the "throttle governed" method of speed control). The sound made when the engine is running is a distinctive "POP whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh POP" as the engine fires and then coasts until the speed decreases and needs to fire again to maintain its average speed.
Hit-and-miss engines were made by a multitude of engine manufacturers during their peak usage which was from approximately 1910 through the early 1930s when they began to be replaced by more modern designs. Some of the largest engine manufacturers were Hercules, International Harvester (McCormick Deering), John Deere and Fairbanks Morse. A compilation of engine manufacturers can be found in the book American Gasoline Engines Since 1872 by C.H. Wendel. This comprehensive book lists hundreds of manufacturers of early engines including those that made the hit-and-miss type.
Famous quotes containing the word engine:
“There is a small steam engine in his brain which not only sets the cerebral mass in motion, but keeps the owner in hot water.”
—Unknown. New York Weekly Mirror (July 5, 1845)