Author Topic: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting  (Read 5044 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« on: 26 Sep 2020 at 10:49 »
Ian Penrose from Western Australia.
I have a 2 3/4hp Douglas motor which appears to have the flywheel side crankcase cast in Sydney Australia. It has the 2 piece timing cover which I think indicates it is 1913/14. There is no engine number.The two pieces of the timing cover are made of brass and the timing gear axles project through the cover and the securing nuts are on the outside. These axles are longer than those in my 1923 motor to allow them to pass through the cover. There is no diamond shaped brace because the cover acts as the support. Does anyone have any knowledge of Star Sydney producing castings for the Douglas. Has anyone else come across a brass timing cover?



[fix image aspect ratio.  26Sep20 -Doug, Site Moderator]
« Last Edit: 26 Sep 2020 at 14:42 by Doug »

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #1 on: 26 Sep 2020 at 10:53 »
Brass timing cover
« Last Edit: 26 Sep 2020 at 13:16 by ianpenrose »

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #2 on: 26 Sep 2020 at 12:26 »
Hi Ian,

Extremely interesting. The draft of the new edition of "A to Z of Australian-made Motor Cycles" lists about 530 different makes, including Imperial Star, Malvern Star, Red Star, Seven Star, Silver Star and Western Star as well as noting that a couple of "Star" motorcycles were registered c1914. The problem is that there were "Star" motorcycles built in the UK (Wolverhampton) in 1898-1905 and again 1912-1914, so mention of a "Star" is hard to interpret. I don't think "Star Sydney" is linked to any of these.

I suspect that your crankcase is not a replacement part, but instead someone's attempt to manufacture a complete engine, or perhaps a motorcycle, based on the Douglas. Blatant copying during the first war was a bit of a thing; for example we had a copy of the Sturmey Archer CS gearbox made here in Adelaide branded Nexus, or there was a copy of the Swiss MAG engine built in Melbourne branded Monarch.

Let me look into "Star". In the meantime, can you add anything to the story?

Cheers

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #3 on: 26 Sep 2020 at 13:37 »
The only thing I can add to the story is that it came with  a job lot of parts on EBay from NSW. I spotted the unusual Star Sydney casting and the early 2 part timing cover so thought it was worth bidding on. They were apparently the leftovers from building a TS but the seller had no more information on its history.

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #4 on: 26 Sep 2020 at 14:01 »
Hi Ian,

Tricky one - nothing for certain yet. Another possibility is that it was built as a stationary engine. My first step in chasing these things is to identify a manufacturer using the brand. In this case there were Star stationary engines (all larger oil engines, and imported), imported Star cars, and unexplained things, like the attached advert from Adelaide (1000 miles from Sydney) for a new 4 1/4 hp 3-speed chain-drive Star motorcycle in 1918. I'm 95% sure this is a 1914-pattern Star from Wolverhampton, which was a big lump of a thing, and nothing to do with Star Sydney. Presumably we are looking for a 2 3/4 hp Star.

Any other weird bits in there? Is the gearbox case real Douglas?

Cheers

Leon



Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #5 on: 26 Sep 2020 at 23:35 »
The stationary engine possibility ties in with a reply I just received on the Facebook Douglas Motorcycle group. Neville said he has a 2 3/4hp Douglas style stationary motor with Randwick 1916 cast into the crankcase and that Randwick is a suburb of a Sydney.
« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2020 at 02:37 by ianpenrose »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #6 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 01:20 »
Hi Ian,

This could be the "Randwick" engine referred to in your last post?

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2218.msg8041#msg8041

There might be a link between the Sydney "Star" engine and the R.A.N. stationary engine?? i.e. the Star engine preceded the R.A.N. one....not sure at all.....

Edit:- In 1917 the R.A.N. was promoting inventions to assist the war effort, is this how the R.A.N. generator came about (but earlier in 1916) ?

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/152538433?searchTerm=%22R.A.N%22%20invention%20board

2nd Edit:- And i just realised, of course the Navy would have had access to Douglas, Marconi and possibly Bosch generator sets to copy......

cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: 27 Sep 2020 at 03:23 by Hutch »

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #7 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 04:58 »
Hi Ian. Thanks for that information and links. Makes fascinating reading. Cheers Ian P

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #8 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 05:54 »
There might be a link between the Sydney "Star" engine and the R.A.N. stationary engine??

Maybe, but the RAN engine was clearly a stationary engine, wheres the Star is a copy of the Douglas motorcycle engine. One of the highest Australian-content motorcycles was the Quirks Mona, built in Sydney. It was a fore-and-aft flat twin with locally-built motor, gearbox and frame, and in production there was no real similarity beyond that with the Douglas. The engine mounting etc was very different. However the prototype, shown below, made in 1913, was very Douglasy. I can't find a good home in Sydney for the Star name (usually it would be the Star Cycle Works, the Star Motor Co., or whatever) so one possibility is that Quirks were thinking of calling their machine the Quirks Star, before finalising their design and name.

Still looking.

Leon

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #9 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 07:31 »
However the prototype, shown below, made in 1913, was very Douglasy

If you ignore that the flywheel seems to be on the opposite side.
At first I thought maybe the neg had been flipped, but the numberplate is readable.

Anyone know where in Randwick this RAN establishment may have been. ?
I've lived in Randwick, and while there may have been some sort of barracks, nothing much springs to mind.
Mind, this was quite some decades later.  Randwick isn't beachside either, so anything Navy would have been landlocked.

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #10 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 08:57 »
Ian, Leon and EW-Ron,

I don't know where I got the feeling that the "Star" engine was linked to a stationary engine use other than it doesn't have the mounting stud hole for the primary chain guard on the flywheel side crankcase half (which might not be a bad thing as most of the ones I have are stripped!), what appears to be some mystery filled holes on the timing side crankcase half and there looks like a filler for the oil on the lower timing cover(?) and I have yet to find reference to a "Star" motorcycle based in Sydney with this engine (...still looking :-) )? So I thought, maybe the engine wasn't destined for a bike?

But one feature that the "Star" does have is better support of the cam followers, idler gear and cam than that the 1912 Douglas. From 1913 onward Douglas had the diamond pressed steel support for these.

So is there a possibility that the engine was an attempt to rectify this deficiency in the 1912 Douglas 2 3/4hp and maybe dates it to around that time?


-Ian

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #11 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 10:00 »
Leon and EW-Ron,

Off topic....maybe... Quirks Mona....The Sun 1st May 1915. Flywheel side..... :-) Picture flipped or not?...don't know....as different bike to the above.

-Ian

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #12 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 10:58 »
One of the highest Australian-content motorcycles was the Quirks Mona, built in Sydney. It was a fore-and-aft flat twin with locally-built motor, gearbox and frame, and in production there was no real similarity beyond that with the Douglas. The engine mounting etc was very different. However the prototype, shown below, made in 1913, was very Douglasy.

Instead of "Douglasy", I guess I needed to add "with the Douglasy engine mounted in a Douglasy method, but reversed in the frame". Unfortunately in the pile of Quirks Mona stuff I have I don't have a photo of the other side of the prototype to see how Douglasy that looks.

Leon

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #13 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 22:54 »
If you merely fitted a Douglas engine "reversed in the frame" your bike would run backwards  !?

Thats a serious change of internal engine design to work ...
Interesting that the production version didn't persist with the mirror image look.

Anyone got any inkling of an address with this Randwick engine. ?
I see that Randwick Racecourse had wartime military encampments,
but that sounds a little temporary.
« Last Edit: 27 Sep 2020 at 23:10 by EW-Ron »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #14 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 23:30 »
EW-Ron,

Only a very slim lead on where in Randwick the R.A.N. stationary engine may have been built so far., if indeed that was where it was made.

Assuming it was made at a government establishment (and it may not have been) and given the equipment required to produce it, including electrical components, then maybe the Randwick Tramway Workshop? It was closely associated with the Everleigh Railway Workshop in Redfern so they would have had access to a lot of resources to produce castings, forgings, machining etc. They would have also been available and willing to do war effort projects.

http://www.historyofsydney.com.au/randwick-tram-workshop/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eveleigh_Railway_Workshops

cheers

Ian


Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #15 on: 27 Sep 2020 at 23:51 »
Leon and EW-Ron,

There were a couple of Quirk's Mona projects that were auctioned by Webb's in NZ a few years ago.

Webb's website (don't say that to quickly!) had a few detailed pictures from memory, but have not located them yet - some of them are here on the Barnstormer's website tho';

http://www.barnstormers.co.nz/879/webbs-motorcycle-auction-31-march-2012/

cheers

Ian

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #16 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 00:56 »
Re the prototype Quirk's Mona. Ernest Francis (the man in the photo) was based in Melbourne, and his Douglasy engine (in which the cams were no-doubt arranged so that it would run in the correct direction) was "locally" (presumably Melbourne) made - so probably unrelated to Star Sydney (although Quirk's had their factory in Sydney, where the production bike was manufactured). I only mentioned it as an example of an Australian-made motorcycle engine based on the Douglas layout, as the Star Sydney may have been.

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #17 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 01:13 »
The motor would not have to run in reverse if the change in direction came from the gearbox.

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #18 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 01:35 »
Hi Ian,

Indeed, but the prototype Mona had a simple counter-shaft in the frame that takes the drive from chain on the right to belt on the left, with clutch and gears in the back hub, so the crankshaft rotates in the usual direction (cw, viewed from the right side). But not the direction a Douglas engine (which this isn't) would run if fitted to the frame with its flywheel on the right. All (!?) veteran/vintage motorcycle gearboxes preserve direction of rotation.

Of course without knowing the application for the Star, we can only guess it ran in the Douglas direction. If you have the original cams, you can verify.

Cheers

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #19 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 13:33 »
Hi Leon
Your comment about cams sent me back to the box of bits to see what was there. To my surprise, on close examination of one of the cans I found “ Star Engr Co” and below that “Bondi Jun”. Compared to the Dougkas equivalent it has a longer duration for both the inlet and exhaust valves.
Cheers
Ian



[Edit image orientation.  28Sep20 Doug, Admin]
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2020 at 23:30 by Doug »

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #20 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 13:45 »
The crankshaft also has the “Star Engr Bondi Jun” marking

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #21 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 22:22 »
Brilliant.

Also confusing, because the Star Engineering Co was the company in Wolverhampton that produced Star cars and Star motorcycles, mentioned above. And because Star cars were used to transport Marconi radio sets during the war...

In this case the Star Engineering Co traded at 121 Oxford St, Waverley, NSW, certainly in 1920-22. These days 121 Oxford St lists as Bondi Junction, on the way from Sydney to the world famous (??) Bondi Beach. Pronounced "bon-die".

About 3 km from Randwick, so perhaps a link between the wartime RAN Randwick stationary engine and the Star Sydney "motorcycle" engine. Is the Star is later than we think?

Leon

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #22 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 23:02 »
Wow,

Star Engineering were in Bondi Junction at least as early as 1919, plus some names of the proprietors from Dun's gazette of NSW

-Hutch

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #23 on: 28 Sep 2020 at 23:26 »
Yes indeed, but it wasn't until mid-1923 that the address changed from 121 Oxford St, Waverley to 121 (and later 123) Oxford St, Bondi Junction, so I think we're looking 1923 or later for the origins of the engine. [Edit: Sorry I missed the Bondi Junction in Ian's 1919 snippet. All pre-1923 adverting says Waverley.]

Star were "agents for Douglas" in 1923, and would supply "spare parts for modern and old models". Now I don't think the Star engine was built as Douglas spare parts (why would you bother?). I wonder if one of the partners had a Douglas, fitted with a Star Sydney motor - perhaps with Star on the tank - as his transport and advertising? Most Australian motorcycle manufacturing had collapsed by 1923, so I doubt there was any plan for commercial manufacture.

Very interesting indeed.

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #24 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 01:33 »
This is getting very intriguing.Now we find of the proprietors  of Star Engineering has the surname Douglas.
I don’t see that the change from Waverley to Bondi Junction in advertising indicated the engine was built after 1923. Waverley Council  is the Council area which includes Bondi Junction. As a local example here in WA if I started a business a few years ago in William St north  of the railway line I would have advertised as William St PERTH. Now with Northbridge becoming known and popular I would advertise as being in Northbridge. Northbridge is within the PERTH City Council. Also it appears the company was  registered as being in Bondi Junction back in 1919.
I have found another timing gear has the Star marking.

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #25 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 01:36 »
This is getting very intriguing.Now we find of the proprietors  of Star Engineering has the surname Douglas.
I don’t see that the change from Waverley to Bondi Junction in advertising indicated the engine was built after 1923. Waverley Council  is the Council area which includes Bondi Junction. As a local example here in WA if I started a business a few years ago in William St north  of the railway line I would have advertised as William St PERTH. Now with Northbridge becoming known and popular I would advertise as being in Northbridge. Northbridge is within the PERTH City Council. Also it appears the company was  registered as being in Bondi Junction back in 1919.
I have found another timing gear has the Star marking.

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #26 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 02:52 »
The "Star" is looking more sporting than my initial guess of possibly being for stationary engine use :-) .....from The Daily Telegraph 28 Oct 1914 we have a F.R. Pulford joining the Motorcycle Club of N.S.W.


Is F.R. Pulford the same person as in F.R. Pulford & Sons who became a National Air Compressor business Pulford Air and Gas?.........very interesting !

https://www.manmonthly.com.au/features/100-years-making-story-growth/


EDIT:- .....hhmmm a "Star" air compressor......?? (just joking as there looks to be a magneto drive.....but then again Doug K. did find that aircraft starter single cylinder Douglas......

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=6043.msg22227#msg22227  :)  :) )



-H
« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2020 at 03:57 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #27 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 05:56 »
Just found this on Trove from The Co-operator (Sydney) April 2nd 1914 Staff Changes and Promotions - spooky coincidence.

-Hutch

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #28 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 06:02 »
From The Daily Telegraph 15th January 1910

-Hutch

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #29 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 09:11 »
Well this discussion has come a long way in a short time.
Can we find a photo of this shop  ?
Possibly not, except within the family.
And such snapshots are often tough to find in later years.
Except maybe in trade magazines or motorcycle related articles ?

I wonder what Elec Eng was like in WW1, had they invented protons and electrons yet ?!

Can we find how long they kept going for, or did motorcycles as a business/interest only last a short while.
Often this info is conveyed with the business address changing to a different role.

If Mr Pullford resigned in 1914, he may have gone off to war ?
As many did.

A quick look at Trove (newspapers) shows that a Mr Collins in 1932 was selling corsets etc out of 121 Oxford St,
and in 1949 was the Red Rose Restaurant.  123 Oxford was a real estate agency for quite some years.
The price of houses then is astonishing, a few hundred quid got quite a decent sounding house, and much more bought a mansion.

« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2020 at 09:40 by EW-Ron »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #30 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 10:22 »
EW-Ron,

Well it gets a bit complicated and is taking some time to sort out - there appear to be two Chas. Court-Rice's, one maybe the father or at least related and a dog breeder / judge. But the one involved in "Star Engineering" is Charles Albert Court-Rice. There could be two or more F.R. Pulford's in the Sydney area around that time, but the "Star Engineering" one appears to be Frank Richard Pulford.

The 3 way partnership seems to have changed around 1922 and dissolved in 1924 but Court-rice possibly continued to operate "Star Engineering" after 1924 but at a different address in Bondi Junction....The Douglas person might be James W Atkins Douglas but not confirmed yet...... a bit more investigating and double checking to do ... oh and Court-Rice appears to have lived in Randwick for a time...but I don't think that is related to anything.....

Edit: James W Atkins Douglas is James Watkins Douglas - see next post

-Hutch
« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2020 at 10:41 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #31 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 10:42 »
From Dun's Gazette Vol 28 No 15 1922

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #32 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 11:30 »
You’re  doing a great job Hutch. The Star casting has now gone from a mysterious chunk of metal  to having an exact location of manufacture, the full names of the people involved and even a fairly narrow date range. Also the fact they were agents for various motorcycles including Douglas pretty well eliminates the stationary engine and aircraft engine. Looks like it is an Australian made motorcycle engine. Well done, 
The motor has clearly been used so now we just need to establish what frame it was in.  Now there’s a challenge. It probably looks so much like a Douglas  that even if photos exist they would be misidentified unless there is Star on the tank as Leon suggested.
Cheers Ian
« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2020 at 23:05 by ianpenrose »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #33 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 22:04 »
Leon suggested the Star on the tank  :)

cheers

Hutch

Edit:- Ian corrected previous post
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2020 at 07:03 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #34 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 23:08 »
James Watkins Douglas had a son, RAAF W/Op/Air/Gnr Ft/Sgt James Watkins Douglas, 424566 who was sadly died over France in 1944 aged 20.

http://aircrewremembered.com/cornish-howard.html

Nothing found so far on what the 3 proprietors of Star Engineering were doing during the war, but still looking. Frank R. Pulford would appear to have left the Railway Workshops just before the war started, so not sure he left to join up or not - maybe.

-H

Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #35 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 23:24 »
One interesting thing about the "Douglas" name (the family name, not the motorcycle) is that John Douglas was a farrier at 121 Oxford St in November 1917 (when he was left with an unclaimed horse!).

When Pulford, Court-Rice and James Douglas registered the Star Engineering Co in April 1919 they described the business as "engineers, blacksmiths", a nod to the earlier Douglas-family business in the same building.

The Star business stayed there until mid-1924, when the address changed to 123 Oxford St - either next door or a change in street numbering. It was still there in 1926.

I wonder if someone bought a load of "surplus" bits (crank shafts, cams etc.) from RAN Works, Randwick, cast a "motorcycle" crankcase with the Star name on it, and toyed with the idea of production of a motorcyle? I just can't imagine a small post-war business making Douglas crankshafts when real spares would be readily abailable.

Cheers

Leon


Offline cardan

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2007
  • Posts: 1233
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
    • Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #36 on: 29 Sep 2020 at 23:42 »
The motor has clearly been used so now we just need to establish what frame it was in.

Times were tough post WW1, and people in business were pragmatic, which is why most Australian motorcycle manufacturers used imported engines, gearboxes and frame lugs. Given the unusual layout of the Douglas, I'd say 99% likely the engine was used in Douglas cycle parts.

Given the high numbers of Douglases around the place - the Australian military had quite a few, 25,000+ built for the British military and sold off after the war, civilian Douglases still coming in to Australia in 1916 in good numbers, and Douglas production continuing through and after the war (unlike most other manufacturers) - Pulford, Court-Rice and Jas. Douglas must have realised there was no commercial future in a "Douglas copy". I reckon one machine built for fun, other (ex-RAN?) parts sold as "spare parts for old models".

Leon

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #37 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 02:43 »
Another link from The Referee 29th Aug 1917 on Trove, that I came across a day or so ago but didn't quite see how it fitted in at the time was that a Chas. Court-Rice (I am presuming this was Chas. snr) was a judge at the Pug and Poodle Club of N.S.W. Championships at 112 Oxford Street - not very far from Star Engineering.....

Yes I am in agreement with Leon about the potential connection between Star and the R.A.N. Randwick engines.. If you wanted to convert a R.A.N. stationary engine for motorcycle use then you could just buy the "Star" cast copy of the 2 3/4 Douglas flywheel side crankcase half, the "Uprated"  brass timing covers and some other bits of the "Star" kit, like a flywheel etc and off you go - a "new" engine for the Duggie!. I had an inkling that there was a connection there somewhere!

(I looked at the "Star" casting of the flywheel side crankcase half and it appears pretty much identical to the one I have for a 1915 2 3/4 hp apart from the boss and hole for the primary chain guard  - Edit - Apart from obviously that it does not have "Douglas" cast or stamped into into it - so I reckon was copied directly off a standard "veteran" style 2 3/4hp one - some of the later vintage ones appear to have sharper edges to the castings. It would be interesting to see if Star went to the trouble of casting in the internal oil "wells" for the drip lubrication above the crank as on the standard Douglas 2 3/4hp variety)


So this means that the timing side engine casting for the "Star" may be the same as that used on the R.A.N Works Randwick engine if the theory is correct?  Is it different in some way to the split timing cover pre 1914 Douglas 2 3/4HP motorcycle engine timing side crankcase half so an identification can be made? (Hint Ian and Nev).

Edit: After looking at the pictures of the R.A.N. engine not sure that Star would have used the Timing side crankcase half as well - hard to see, so I am possibly wrong on this assumption? I guess if they could manufacture all the other parts, then doing this part as well would not have been an issue for them, but it would probably be the most complicated part of the operation?
Of course also Ian's Star engine may have a genuine Douglas timing side crank case?

So in a way it is possibly still an Australian made motorcycle engine if the basis was made in Randwick and then modified by the owner at home with Star parts or by Star Engineering at Bondi Junction even tho' they are technically copies of Douglas made parts?

We still don't know exactly where the R.A.N engine was made yet, but Pulford also lived in the Randwick for a time.

cheers

Hutch

« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 03:39 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #38 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 03:03 »
Hi Ian,

There might be a link between the Sydney "Star" engine and the R.A.N. stationary engine?? i.e. the Star engine preceded the R.A.N. one....not sure at all.....



Ha Ha - I should have said

....There might be a link between the Sydney "Star" engine and the R.A.N stationary engine?? i.e. the R.A.N engine preceded the Star one...not sure at all.....

But in reality at that stage of the thread it was all a very big guess on my part and pure speculation :-). I really had no clue.

Edit: some small edits to my previous post

cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 03:41 by Hutch »

Offline ianpenrose

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Kelmscott western australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #39 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 05:34 »
I don’t have an early crankcase to compare the Star with but I have several of the later ones. Hutch has posed a few questions and pointed out a few details which I will try and address.
Yes the car casting does have rounded edges. All my later castings have much sharper edges. The later castings all have the chain guard hole or at least the knob present even if it is not drilled. Nothing on the Star.
The Star (on left) does have internal oil wells.
Photo 3 shows the hole into the oil well on the Star is much smaller than on the later Douglas
Photo 4 looking from the top shows magneto mounting bolt holes on the Star whereas they are on the flywheel timing gear side casting on my later engines. I noticed from the link to the generator motor they are on the flywheel side cover also. Where are they on the early motorcycle engines?

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #40 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 06:50 »
I've had a brief look into the Randwick generator duggie engine and some of the background.
I don't think it has any connection with these Star engines, except as someone suggested
it may have involved putting a generator engine back into motorcycle use.

The Randwick engine involves the Australian Navy and a Catholic priest !
The Navy was intensely interested in the use of radio for ships, well prior to WW1.
And a Catholic Priest by the name of Archibald Shaw was greatly interested in radio prior to WW1,
experimenting and manufacturing radios in a factory in his backyard in Randwick.
Along with assembling a radio mast there, all of 240 ft tall.

I found this text, which summarizes the gist of it.
Note the mention of dynamo machinery, which I think refers to the Douglas engined (sorta) generator sets we are interested in.
The address is possibly No 4 Dutruc St in Randwick, quite a large house. There is mention of leasing further land from the Church,
without specifying quite where or what this was.

"During a great part of the war the export of wireless gear from Great Britain to Australia was necessarily suspended, and the Australia was forced to rely entirely upon local factories for the provision of these delicate instruments. The Williamstown workshops, established in 1912, proved inadequate, but the gap was very satisfactorily filled by Father Shaw’s wireless telegraphy workshops at Randwick near Sydney. The value of this service on the part of an institution which was already involved in great financial difficulties can hardly be exaggerated ; the number of ships and lives saved by its means will never be known.

The Naval Board in August, 1916, took over Father Shaw's workshops, utilising them not only for the manufacture and repair of wireless apparatus and machinery, but for making, for other Commonwealth departments, dynamo-electric machinery, electrical apparatus, etc.,of which supplies were then almost unobtainable.

https://historyandheritage.cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/blog/2014/08/04/world-war-one-the-home-front-radio-telegraphy-in-australia-1914-1818

And
https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2218.0

There was also a large Navy Stores Depot just down the road in Avoca St Randwick, out behind Coogee,
Its still operational, although now called Randwick Barracks, and most of the Navy stores are demolished and slated for housing development.

Quite how this all ties together I know not, it would be interesting to know the details of who put the generator sets together.
I'm sure it would be in Navy Records - somewhere ?
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 06:57 by EW-Ron »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #41 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 08:07 »
Great find Ew-Ron,

Here is a biography on Father Shaw - all very interesting and adds some spice to the story!. I guess he blatantly copied the Marconi and Telefunken equipment - but he must have had access to good machine shop equipment and skilled personnel to be able to manufacture these? - I wonder how he managed that before the war?

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/shaw-archibald-john-8404

Maybe the copy of the Marconi Generator set was made after the acquisition of Shaw's workshop by the Navy, hence the "R.A.N." on the engine? i.e. have there been any examples of Douglas / Marconi set copies without the R.A.N name on them seen by anyone?

-Hutch


Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #42 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 08:15 »
Now this has opened up a lot of new information.....

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/126313959?searchTerm=Shaws%20wireless%20workshop%20randwick

The article on wireless wizardry has some very good pictures.....

EDIT:- and this article

http://messui.polygonal-moogle.com/valves/NW199003.pdf from Electronics Australia


-Hutch
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 08:30 by Hutch »

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #43 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 09:14 »
Nice finds. That radio factory is amazing, and that producer gas engine is a monster !

More details on the Randwick engines, including pics of the complete sets, and in use even

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/249805-marconi-500watt-pack-wireless-set/

"Photo of recently acquired generator unit built to the Marconi design at the RAN factory in Sydney in 1916"


Mmmm, that lettering makes me wonder if there is some connection to the STAR SYDNEY crankcases, that is too much of a coincidence ??
https://gwfattachments.s3.amazonaws.com/monthly_2017_05/59265f264ba1e_Enginerear-lessflywheel.JPG.9ed4b94bac3753a9a3932f1add3f8455.JPG
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 09:26 by EW-Ron »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #44 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 09:17 »
EW-Ron - you just beat me to it by seconds! :-)

I guess if this had been uncovered earlier in the thread we might have got there a bit quicker by a less convoluted route ! :-) Such is life! Great pictures of the generators sets and its use in action.

Did  Pulford, Court-Rice and/or Douglas work for Father Shaw or the R.A.N. after they took over the works at Randwick?

cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 21:54 by Hutch »

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #45 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 09:33 »
Somewhere in Navy records is going to be the full story of this ?
All we have to do is unearth it ...

Its interesting that the Navy tried to keep the use of radio to themselves.

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #46 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 09:49 »
The Navy records maybe buried pretty deep..... :-)

Offline tck

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2004
  • Posts: 357
    • old racer
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #47 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 14:44 »
Am I alone or do Ian Penrose pictures only partially download?

Offline Doug

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2004
  • Posts: 4323
  • Location: Glen Mills, PA, USA
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #48 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 15:45 »
I just tried downloading a few; they saved locally o.k. 

-Doug

Offline tck

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2004
  • Posts: 357
    • old racer
Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #49 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 19:42 »
well I can see all others but Ians looks like this


 

motorcycle