Antique Engines & Machinery
Improved Rider

Engines of this type were used exclusively for pumping water. They were used in hotels, factories and residences. They were well suited for these purposes because unlike steam or gasoline engines, they did not require a trained engineer or dangerous fuels. This Improved Rider engine was fueled with wood or coal. Anyone who could build a fire could run this engine.

Hot-air engines were also useful on steam railroads and farms where large volumes of water were needed. Because the engine did not require tending, a fire could be built, the engine started and then left to perform its work. When the fire died, so did the engine. In effect, the engine could be set up to run for a desired period of time, pumping the required quantity of water, and then it would shut down on its own.

Hot-air engines rely on the expansion and contraction of air, as it is repeatedly heated and cooled, to exert pressure on a piston and perform work. The idea was first envisioned by Henry Wood in 1759. This engine was designed by Alexander K. Rider in 1875 and built circa 1910.

Rider Video

Cylinder Bore

8 inches

Piston Stroke

11 inches

Shipping Weight

3200 pounds


100-200 r.p.m.

Price in 1906


Fuel Requirements

7 pounds coal per hour

Pumping Capacity

2000 gallons per hour

Effective Output

0.4 horsepower

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