from the December 1996 issue of the
Sparta Economy Engine News
by Glenn Karch
Once again the subject is back to more information about Economy Gasoline Engines made by the Holm Machine Manufacturing Company at Sparta, Michigan. When production began at Sparta in mid 1909, the foundry was not up and running yet. Castings were being made by an outside supplier at Grand Rapids some 15 miles to the south. They were shipped by rail to Sparta for machining and eventual assembly into completed engines. The model A was their first production with some 1200 units being made by early 1910. Currently, ten of the model A engines are known to exist including four of the 2 HP, four of the 4 HP and 2 of the 6 HP size. Five sizes were produced, as shown in the chart above.
Even though most Sparta Economy engines were equipped with the Witry patent fuel system, a switch was made to the Essex brass fuel mixer by the end of the run.
When Sparta Economy engines were introduced, they had the identification tag as shown below. All were of the "Improved Model". One can only assume that they were Improved over the "Waterloo Economy" that Sears had been selling the previous year.
Luckily, an original Sparta Economy engine owner's manual and instruction book still exists. It has lengthy instructions and explanations, numerous illustrations, parts pictures and parts lists. The cover is shown at left.
Sparta Economy engines are still turning up. Just as this article was being prepared, a call came from Illinois about a recently acquired 4 HP model CX serial number 30221. The next article will be about the model B Sparta Economy engines.