The Western Engine Company History Books

Revised 2009 Edition Publication Notice

Introducing the Newly Revised Book Editions

A "Western" History
A Capsule History of the "Western Engine Companies"
The Western Engine Test Card Listings
A Compilation from the Western Engine Factory Test Cards
Book cover for the newly revised "A 'Western' History." Book cover for newly revised book, "The Western Engine Factory Test Card Listings."
The revised "A 'Western' History," is 124 pages long and nicely illustrated. It delves into the history of the Western Iron Works and its evolution into the Western Gas Engine Company; the Western Machinery Company; the Western-Enterprise Engine Company and finally its bankruptcy and buy-out of assets by the Vernon Tool Company. This revision also contains a bonus chapter entitled "The 'Little' Engine," a story about rescuing a long abandoned Western engine from a California oilfield atop some ruggedly mountainous terrain. The Western Engine Factory Test Card Listings book is 294 pages in length, and was compiled from the surviving Western Engine Company's engine test cards, which were inscribed with ownership and technical details for each Wester engine manufactured, and then further annotated to show repairs made to an engine. The book pages show statistics and specific details about ownership, location, technical specifications, and repair activity, and, when available, current ownership and additional historical information regarding certain Western engines.


$17.95 softcover, ISBN 096456704-0
124 pages with index.
137 illustrations, 7 charts and 14 tables.
Size: 8-1.2" x 11"
Weight: 10.3 oz.
$39.95 softcover, ISBN 096456705-9
294 pages with CD-ROM.
16 illustration, 7 charts and 29 tables.
Size: 8-1/2" x 11"
Weight: 1 lb. 13.5 oz.
SPECIAL OFFER: Both volumes purchased together as a set for only $50.00,
plus $7.00 postage and handling. Weight (per set): 2 lbs. 10.8 oz.
For purchase information please inquire at:

Limited Edition

Please be aware that the two Western Engine Company history book volumes are limited editions with only 200 copies of each volume printed. As such, book availability is subject to prior sale of remaining stock.


Book Revision Summary

The original two books A "Western" History -- A Capsule History of the "Western Engine Companies AND its companion book The Western Engine Lists, were self-published in 1989 with the intention that the major distribution channel would be through the Hathaway Ranch Museum. But while it did assist in the early distribution of the books, on May 21, 1990, the museum's founder and director, Nadine Hathaway, decided that she did not want to continue dealing with sales issues and the collection of sales taxes. Therefore, as of the aforementioned date, the books were no longer associated with the Hathaway Ranch Museum, although at the time I still continued to work closely with the Hathaway Ranch Museum on other projects.

A "Western" History
A Capsule History of the "Western Engine Companies"
The Western Engine Lists
A Compilation from the Western Engine Factory Test Cards
Book cover for A "Western" History. Book cover for "The Western Engine Lists."
"A 'Western' History," 61 pages, delving into the history of the Western Iron Works and its evolution into the Western Gas Engine Company; the Western Machinery Company; the Western-Enterprise Engine Company and finally its bankruptcy and buy-out of assets by the Vernon Tool Company. The Western Engine Lists book, 260 pages, was compiled from the surviving Western Engine Company's engine test cards, which were inscribed for each engine manufactured. The book pages show statistics and details about ownership, location, and other technical information regarding Western engines.
The above illustrated volumes are of the two books as originally published in 1989. The revised volumes have a significantly larger page count with lots of new information.

In general, the revision work included:

The book A "Western" History has been substantially revised and is now 120 pages long, not including front verso pages, but including appendices and index pages. The story begins with the Western Iron Works, who devised the first Western engine, the Model 1900 "Ratchet" type engine, an odd four-cycle engine that could run in either direction. The interim Model 1903 "Eccentric" type engine soon followed and quickly evolved into the highly durable Model 1905 "Geared" type engine that became the standard design that was to make Western into a formidable competitor and supplier of high quality engines. Success brought about numerous reorganizations, which, in turn, carried on the Western engine. After the Western Iron Works (1887) came the Western Gas Engine Company (1905), Western Gas Engine Corporation (1912), Western Machinery Company (1917), Western-Enterprise Engine Company (1924), Western Engine Company as a division of Vernon Tool Company (1939) and Western States Engine Service (1945 -- acquired Western engine assets in 1961). The book covers all of these companies up to the end of the line in 1979, plus more, and it contains many photographs, illustrations, and tables to help demonstrate the history of the "chain of Western companies."

The Western Engine Factory Test Card Listings book has been substantially revised and updated with new text and up-to-date ownership information when and where available. It is now 289 pages long, not including the front verso pages. Moreover, the some 3,052 engine listings have been checked for accuracy and up to date ownership and location information has been added when available. As a bonus, the Listings book comes with a CD-ROM containing JPEG images of each surviving engine test card and/or card set (consisting of one or more cards and/or attached notes), with a total of 7,047 individual images, thereby allowing the dedicated researcher to go into as much card detail as they are willing to decipher.