Engine Co. Detroit, Michigan.
in 1859 in Amherstburg, Ontario Canada. Ben and his British born wife,
Lucy H. Middleditch moved to Detroit in 1880 and started their own
general machine shop business. Ben Middleditch became very popular in Detroit as a engineer and manufacturer of
machinery and engines.
In the early 1900's Ben started another
company (Middleditch Engine
Company) manufacturing two cycle stationary farm engines and marine
patent used for the Middleditch engine design & fuel feeder was filed May 25, 1905 by Daniel M. Tuttle of
Canastota, New York. A year & half later patent was approved
on Jan 1, 1907. This patent was purchased by the Middleditch Engine Co.
from Mr. Tuttle. Avertisements for the Middleditch engine Company only
appear for a couple of years 1911 & 1912 and the engine company was only in business for 6 or 7 years.
Oct 1912 time
period Bessemer Engine
Company of Grove City PA. purchased the Middleditch Engine Company
including it's stock of engines, patterns, jigs & patents. In
addition they also purchased the early two piece
Automatic fuel feeder-injector patent # 926,892
from (brother's) John & Frederick O. Peterson. This is the universal fuel feeder which enables small engines to
operate successfully on kerosene, Naphtha, low grade distillates.
However Bessemer did not purchase the patent for the one piece fuel
feeder patent # 1,026,425 by Frederick Barthel.
The right's to this patent were
owned by Detroit Engine Works. The stock of Bessemer engines purchased
from the Middleditch Engine Co. were rebadged with the new Bessemer "Gaso-Kero" name
Phillip Middleditch (Older brother of Benjamin Middleditch) was born in Amherstburg, Canada in 1856. Phillip was the proprietor of a company (Petoskey Iron Works) located at 315 State Street Petoskey, Michigan. City directories show PIW in the Petoskey area around the 1906-1910 time period. PIW's sold marine engines that looked very close to the marine engines that Detroit Engine Works produced. Benjamin Middleditch helped his older brother design and manufacture the company's first engines. This was a very small company that was only in business for a few years. PIW was also a sales agent for the Alamo Engine Co. The Petoskey Iron Works business was sold around the 1911 time period and the manufacturing of the Petoskey two cycle marine engines ceased. New owners continued in business as a repair shop and agent for Alamo engines. Phillip Middleditch died in 1914.
Farm Equipment Dealer Vol 9, Dec, 1911
Popular Mechanic's Magazine Dec, 1911.
Original Middleditch letter dated March 6, 1912.