At the turn of the last century, The Industrial Iron Works Co. was a modest size foundry
inClinton, Missouri, a small town about 90 Miles southeast of Kansas City. Located right on the
edge of the Missouri Ozarks, Clinton was a natural site for the Peabody Coal Co. to setup a strip
mining operation. Peabodys need for someone to build mining cars, track and other coal mining
equipment prompted the establishment of The Industrial Iron Works Co.
They prospered and did very well until the coal ran out and Peabody left. Rather than go out of
business, they began to build farming equipment, bailers, hay rakes, engines, etc. They didn't build
a lot of engines, just 30 to 40 per year, but they built really "Good" engines of side shaft or side
valve walking beam design. Once again they prospered until competition in the Gas Engine trade
started to heat up. They just couldn't compete with the big boys and in 1911 the company fell into
receivership. In 1913 a fire of suspecious origins destroyed the main foundry building and that was
the end of The Industrial Iron Works Co.
Now as we near the turn of a new century, only 5 examples of the engines that had come to be
known as the "Missouri Engine" are known to exist. All 5 are one of a kind and of different horse
power and remain as a tribute to the little company that could and did make a lasting contribution
to the industrial history
In the Mid 70's my Dad and I got the Rusty Iron Bug and began to collect engines and take them
to local shows. We met a man from Clinton named Rolly Hines, who owned the 16 HP. Tank
Cooled Side Shaft Industrial Iron Works engine. It ran beautifully and he had the original bill of
sale and a 1913 Clinton News with an article about the fire that had destroyed the foundry. It
chronicled the history of the company as well as the line of products and the approximate number
of engines produced each year.
Mr. Hines knew of only one other engine, in Independence, Missouri, but that was all, just the
two. So you can imagine our surprise when we found the 2 1/2 HP. in a museum in Liberty,
Missouri and yes, it was for sale! This was 1975 and we paid a thousand dollars for it! People
thought we had "LOST OUR MINDS", but we wanted it and that was that.
The very next spring we were on our way to the Lake Of the Ozarks and were going through
Tightwad, Missouri, and there, just off the road, were Flywheels!!! Well, we turned around and went
back to see what it was. It Was the 7 HP. Hopper Cooled Side Shaft Industrial Iron Works on a
Factory Buzz Saw Rig, and it was For Sale!!! There we were, new to the hobby, and in less than a
year we had found two of the rarest engines around. I can only hope that all of you get the chance
to experience the thrill that my dad and I felt all those years ago.
Of the 5 Industrial Iron Works engines that are known today, the smallest is my 2.5 hp. Tank Cooled
that was built in 1899. Next is the 3 HP. Tank cooled, it is very much like mine but has a diferent
cam, rocker arm, no mag and no water pump. It is the Oldest of the five being built in 1898. I have
No picture of it but this Image from an old F.B.Black Co. ad shows the pumping rig as it was sold.
F.B.Black was a mercatile co. in Kansas City that sold the Industrial Iron Works engines under
thier name. The next largest of the engines is a 5 HP. Hopper Cooled sideshaft shown in "RED" in
this 1977 shot at the EDGE&T National Meet at Platte City Missouri. At the time these wereonly
four known . I wish I had a better picture but this engine has not been shown for almost twenty years.
The Large engine in the back of the shot is the 16 HP. Tank Cooled sideshaft built in 1900 and is
very similar to this20 hp. Side Shaft from another old ad. The last engine I have to show you is my
dad, Calvin Brookover's,7 hp. Side Shaft hopper cooled engine. When we found it(I say we because it
was before I met my WONDERFUL WIFE, Jennifer and Dad and I were partners in the engine
hobby)it was on aFactory Buzz Saw Rig complete with the battery box/seat and the riging for the pair
of mules that the old guy pulled it with. He said that he made his living through the depression
cutting fire wood with it. I think it Cleaned Up Pretty Goodfor the shape it was in. Well, I hope you
have enjoyed my tale about
Missouri Engines, We are very proud of them all!
RETURN TO IGNITORS
THE WAY WE WERE
North Kansas City BBQ
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Published by Ted A. Brookover (c) 1998-2001 All Rights Reserved