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"Peerless" Steam Engine

The first Peerless steam engine was built in 1881 by the Geiser Manufacturing Company in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. The Geiser Manufacturing Company was known for its high-quality steam engines and threshing machines. Unfortunately, the founder of Geiser, Jacob Geiser, passed away in 1901. Later, in 1912, the Emerson-Brantingham Implement Company of Rockford, Illinois, acquired Geiser Manufacturing Co. Under Emerson-Brantingham, the Peerless steam engines continued to be produced until the mid-1920s.


In the early 1900s Geiser began incorporating Pickering governors into its steam engines for precise speed control. The governor’s purpose was to regulate the speed of the engine, ensuring consistent and steady operation. Thomas R. Pickering, an engineer, ran a factory power plant in the mid-1800s. Frustrated by the lack of precision in existing technology for controlling engine speed, Pickering set out to create a more finely crafted mechanism. His invention, the “Pickering governor,” featured revolving balls that acted against curved flat springs. Incorporated into the valve assemblies of steam engines, this governor allowed operators to achieve more consistent speeds. The popularity of the Pickering governor led to tremendous growth for the Pickering Governor Company.


The combination of Geiser craftsmanship and Pickering governors ensured efficient and reliable performance in steam engines. These machines played a vital role in powering farms, factories, and various industries.


Despite its eventual closure, Geiser Manufacturing’s legacy lives on through its iconic brand name, Peerless, and the impact it had on early American manufacturing and steam technology. The Peerless Steam Engine represents an era of innovation, craftsmanship, and industrial progress.

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