Pierce/Seagraves distributor

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    I believe this is for a Seagraves fire truck or at least for a 24 spark plug engine. Is this correct?


    I’m sure others have seen this thing on a vehicle, but first for me, and all I can think about is timing and setting points on this monster….wow…very interesting contraption….


    you should see the one with the Mags……


    That is a first for me. I had no idea there was such a thing out there.


    Yikes! Kill them before they multiply!


    David, don’t you think this qualifies for the Darwin award to the mechanical engineer who designed this? Can you imagine trying to design the gear ratio/tooth setup/angles, etc? I bet that wiring glows on a humid evening…. Thanks for sharing, Bill!


    What is real interesting is the center distributor can be dismantled from the apparatus and be used as a V12 distributor.


    It was a slow day at the Pierce Arrow complex. Charles Tittering, one of the Engineers assigned to ignition systems, was doodling on his drafting board.

    The request had come from Corporate to design a redundant ignition system for Pierce V-12 engines, as there was some interest in a major contract for fire engines. And, of course, fire equipment needed to have redundant systems, ah well.

    Charles was in the dumps, as they say, not feeling well at all. He’d been awake most of the night, crying baby, and changed diapers early that morning on their new born son. His wife wasn’t feeling well, no kiss on the cheek for him on the way to work. Then, the two mile cycle ride to the Factory. Going down the steps to his office, he guided his bicycle down the center small ramp of the step. He well knew that the Pierce bicycle he rode was now made in Angola, not his hometown of Buffalo, but proud nonetheless that he was loyal to his employer’s namesake.

    As he conceived of a design for a dual ignition distributor, a mental picture came to mind, of his young son, as he changed the diaper. Central shaft, yes, and then a couple of appendages, although they would come later. So, if one would take the central shaft, let’s say, and add two offset….. wait, two offset distributors, only half the size thus easier to adjust…now the only issue is a handful of gears and working out the ratios, and finding caps and making a wiring diagram.

    He grinned, and went to the boards to draw the mechanism in detail. His grin was a direct result of thinking about his best friend, Todd McAdams, a master machinist in the machine shop, who specialized in fabricating prototypes for such applications. Todd will crap a Buick when he sees this, Charles thought, and proceeded to finish the drawing…



    Funny Boy!

    One only wonders what Charles Tittering would have designed if he and his wife had a girl child!



    Thank you, David and Peter, for making me Laugh Out Loud!


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