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It was the year 1910 when a young man in England by the name of Wall invented the Motor Wheel for bicycle propulsion.  It was called the Wall Auto Wheel.

This machine had a wire spoked wheel which was driven by a chain from the one HP engine.  The Auto Wheel used a two lobe cam-shaft, geared 4 to 1, with an air cooled cylinder.  This wheel was quite a fad in England in 1914.

In Milwaukee, USA, a firm by the name of A O Smith Company bought the United States manufacturing rights from Wall.  The A O Smith Company made some changes in the construction of the Auto Wheel.  Namely, they changed the wire wheel to a disc wheel, driving the wheel directly from the cam shaft, doing away with the chains.  The cam shaft had 4 exhaust lobes and was geared 8 to 1.  Also, the Smith Wheels were mounted on the left side of the bicycle, and the Wall was mounted on the right side of the bicycle.

October 1914 the first Smith Motor Wheel was put on the market.  The 1914 and 1915 Smith Motor Wheels were known as the Model A.  They were identical with one exception: the flywheel on the 1914 was plain, while the 1915 flywheel had "Smith Motor Wheel" in raised letters.

In the years of 1914 to 1918 Smith made many thousands of the Motor Wheels, all red.  Like the Model T Ford, the Smith Wheel remained basically the same, with minor changes.  The 1914 and 1915 had a shallow crank-case with no oil sight gauge.  1916 to 1918 had a deeper crank-case with a glass oil sight gauge on the side. The 1916 had no drain plug, but it had bronze main bearings.  Later in 1916 and 1917 they added the oil drain plug and roller bearings on the mains.  The first 1916 models were the Model B, then late in 1916 and 1917 the B, A models.  Then in 1918 came the a model, which was still basically the same, except the intake port was held in by a C-clamp arrangement instead of the screwed in plug type intake port.

Smith Motor Wheel

Like Ford once said, "You could have any color Ford as long as it was black", you could have any color Smith, but they were all red.  The Wall Wheel was black with gold stripe.  Then, in May of 1919 the manufacturing rights of the Motor Wheel was sold to two young men, who wanted to build a small motor.  These men were: Briggs and Stratton.  This new company made the next major change in the Motor Wheel by making the cylinder a larger bore to 2½ inches.  This made a better running wheel by doubling the power to 2 HP.  They also equipped the wheel with a flywheel magneto.  This was the first Briggs and Stratton engine.

These Wheels from 1910 till 1925 were used on all kinds of vehicles, sleds, bicycles, buck-board cars, rail-road repair vehicles, etc.

Original publishing date unknown, but before 1982

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