More On Oilers

Kim Dobbins wrote: "This info on oilers really puzzles me. I have never seen or heard of a Bowen oiler. In my years of messing with this stuff, all the oilers I've ever seen are Winckley. What do Bowens look like?"

I think that the Releases for the spring shackle oilers are very confusing. Let me continue the discussion by adding pictures and drawings of the oilers that I found at HFMGV (hence the change of venue from email to web page).


Spindle and Shackle Oilers

The factory drawings for the Model NRS commutator oiler, N-1083 specify the oiler to be a #4-H Bowen Oiler. Last summer I purchased a used NRS commutator that still had the oiler attached. Here is a picture of the oiler and I might add that it looks just like the drawing in the Research Center.



Several of the local "collectors" are into oilers and grease cups. Their primary interests are the glass oilers found on large stationary steam engines and "Lunkenheimer" grease cups. They have some literature on the subject. One of them has a 1906 edition of a Fairbanks Company catalog (its about 3 inches thick, filled with pictures of products that anyone in manufacturing or engineering might want to purchase. The small oiler page was quite enlightening. It indicated that oilers came in a number of different styles and sizes. These styles and sizes seemed to have been standardized by the different manufacturers. Style "H" was used to lubricate electric motors and line shafts where the oiler would be located on the bottom. This is consistent with the location of the commutator oiler on the Model N. The size 4 indicates that the thread was 1/8" pipe thread. Sizes for H oilers in the catalog ran from #1 to #5. The illustrations shown in the catalog did not look quite like the illustration shown in the Ford drawing for the oiler, however a search through one of the collections turned up these oilers, which appear exactly like the oiler illustrated in the Fairbanks catalog. Notice that the oiler on the left is marked "Bowen Mfg. Auburn, NY U.S.A."

Here is a closeup of the oiler marked as "Bowen".

Among the different types of small oilers listed in the catalog, one was the style "N". The illustration of it was of what we think of as the standard brass spindle oiler. Size 4 N was for a twist oiler with a 1/8" pipe thread. There was no mention in the Fairbanks catalog about a vendor for this part, and I was left with the impression that these oilers were being made by a number of different firms, all virtually identical. By the way, the 1906 price was about $10.75 per hundred. I have been going over all of the twist type oilers that I have and that the local collectors have and so far they are all generic - no indication of a manufacturer. Most look just about like the one from my torpedo pictured below:



The "Special Winckley Oiler" adopted in September 1916 for the 1917 models looks very different. Here is a close-up of this oiler:

I believe that the oilers pictured are NOS and that they still have most of their original "Raven Finish" intact.

Go on to next page: Early Spring Oilers


Model T Contents