It's A Hit 'N Miss Engine!
A hit-and-miss engine or Hit 'N' Miss is a type of internal combustion engine that is controlled by a governor to only fire at a set speed. It was conceived in the late 19th century and produced 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. They powered pumps for cultivation, saws for cutting wood, generators for electricity in rural areas, farm equipment, and many other stationary applications.
The engine was typically belted to the device being powered by a wide flat belt, typically from 2 - 6 inches (5 – 15 cm) wide. The flat belt was driven by a pulley on the engine that attached either to a flywheel or to the crankshaft. The pulley was specially made to have a circumference slightly tapered from the middle to each edge (imagine an over-inflated car tire) so that the middle of the pulley was a slightly larger diameter. This kept the flat belt in the center of the pulley.
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There is so much history in the museum. An important part of our role is researching all of our large artifacts and creating informative interpretive signage for our visitors.
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