Antique Engines & Machinery
The Samson Oil Engine

Hugh Campbell built his first internal combustion engine in Halifax, England, at the age of twenty. His success led him to establish the Campbell Gas Engine Company, where he built two-cycle engines to avoid infringing on Nicolaus August Otto's patent of the four-cycle design. Campbell's engines used a separate charging cylinder, similar to the design by Dugald Clerk and to the Reid engines that were later built in the United States.

In 1894, four years after the lapse of Otto's patent, Campbell began manufacturing four-cycle engines fueled either by oil or by suction gas. In 1906, Campbell introduced the

Samson, an engine that was well built, but economical to produce. The use of the eccentric driven push rod and the belt drive governor saved considerable labor in the manufacturing process.

Campbell engines were not only used in England and Europe, but they were exported to South America and Australia. Hugh Campbell lost control of the company in 1926, but it survived in various forms until 1970, when production of engines ceased.

Shipping Date

January 16, 1907


Clark & Fauset, Brisbane, Australia

Cylinder Bore

5 inches

Piston Stroke

11 inches

Shipping Weight

1500 pounds


270 r.p.m.


30 inches x 4 inches

Fuel Requirements

1.15 pounds Russoline oil / hp / hour

Working Load

4 brake horsepower

Campbell Video
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