from the April 1997 issue of the
Sparta Economy Engine News
by Glenn Karch
Here’s the tale of two of the "look alikes." The fall 1913 Sears general catalog shows a 1 HP Economy engine that has one bolt flywheels, a tag on the front and a decal on the side of the hopper. It is priced at $28.95 with the Elkhart magneto a $12.95 option, however, very few were so equipped. All other size engines in that catalog except the 2 HP are of the newly designed CX model.
A special gas engine catalog of 1913 shows the same engine except that it has been rerated to 1 1/2 HP with no other apparent changes. It is now priced at $32 95.
The 1 HP Economy with the flyball governor made its appearance around #29,000. At about #31,000 through #36,000, the production of the 1 HP and the l 1/2 HP seems to be commingled. Sometime after #36,000 all were rated at 1 1/2 HP; and oddly enough, they were likely completed after parts supplies and equipment had been moved to Evansville, Indiana. Some of these small size engines have casting dates on them. Listed here are the ones I am aware of:
There are about 2000 of the 1 HP flyball governor type made with 29 currently known. There were about 2000 of the 1 1/2 HP size made with 23 currently known.
The highest serial number of a Sparta type Economy engine currently known is 40,156. As you can see from the picture, someone has seen fit to cut the hopper off of it and very carefully convert it into a tank cooled.
It and several other late 1 1/2 HP size have a different tag a. shown here. They are no longer "improved."
Since last reported, nine more Sparta Economy’s have been added to the list for a total of 349. A 2 HP Waterloo Economy has also shown up. Next time it's the other two "look alikes."