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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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Photo courtesy: Jim Massey

DUBUQUE GASOLENE ENGINE COMPANY. The Dubuque Gasolene Engine Company was established and incorporated in 1910. The only product manufactured was a 1.5 HP, 500 RPM throttling governor 4-cycle engine with spark plug and battery ignition. The engine used a 3/4 inch Model T Ford piston, connecting rod that was cut and lengthened, carburetor, and Ford spark plug.

By 1911 sales reached $75,000. The company's motto, "Nothing is good enough that could be made better," was reflected in its guarantee that all of its engines were free of defect in material and workmanship during the life of the engine and while owned by the original purchaser. The company would replace free of charge any part that developed a defect in material or workmanship.

In an article for The Gas Engine Magazine in August 1987, John Knepper of Dubuque wrote that no company sales literature or picture of the engine had been found. It was also not known the engine's price or how it was painted. The firm existed on city records for only five years, 1910-1915.

Knepper was able to purchase, restore, and later sell the only known engine known to exist from this company. The engine had been found by a Bellevue collector and left unrestored but in good original condition with no parts missing, damaged, or worn.

"The Dubuque Engine," Photo courtesy: John Knepper



John Knepper

"The Gas Engine Magazine," August, 1987