The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents:

Alan Ingersoll

January 6, 1919—March 2, 2005

Joe Martin Foundation "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award winner for 1998

A designer of machinery and a builder of museum quality models

Alan Ingersoll was selected as the second winner of the Joe Martin Foundation "Outstanding Metalworking Crafstman of the Year" award in 1998. Alan's selection was recommended by Bob Washburn and the staff at Strictly I.C. magazine for his lifelong contribution to building small internal combustion engine models.

About Alan Ingersoll...

Mr. Alan Ingersoll of San Mateo, California was selected as the second recipient of the Joe Martin Foundation's "Outstanding Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award. For 1998, Joe Martin asked Mr. Robert Washburn and the staff at Strictly I.C. magazine to select a nominee from among those who had come to his attention over the years in dealing with builders of small internal combustion engines. The selection criteria sought a person who had contributed a considerable amount off material and whose craftsmanship was of uncompromising quality. In addition, the size of the projects build should be at the small to miniature size of the building scale. Not to be judged as a "popularity contest", the winner should be one that everyone could agree produced work that was head and shoulders above all the rest when it came to craftsmanship. Upon seeing photos of Mr. Ingersoll's Curtiss biplane project, Joe Martin agreed that Mr. Ingersoll was indeed the proper nominee for the 1998 award.

Shown below are some photos of one of Mr. Ingersoll's project. The Curtiss biplane project spanned over twelve years and is now on display in the Hiller Aircraft Museum in California. The model includes a running V-12 model engine that is just 9" long.

The Joe Martin Foundation would like to thank Mr. Robert Washburn for his time and research in nominating Mr. Ingersoll for selection. In addition, thanks go to Dr. Robert Kradjian for helping Mr. Ingersoll get to the NAMES show in Detroit to accept his award. "Dr. Bob" is a long-time friend and admirer of Mr. Ingersoll's work and has obviously learned much from watching and listening to him. The model he built and entered in Strictly I.C.'s engine-building contest won "Best in Show" honors at the Michigan show.

In addition to building the Curtiss biplane, Alan has designed and built a number of machine tools over the years. He has even produced a small milling machine of his own design in limited numbers.

Dr. Bob Kradjian poses with the Cygnet mill designed and built by Alan Ingersol. He donated it to the Foundation in 2005, and Craig Libuse of the Foundation was on hand at the Men, Metal and Machines show in Visalia, CA  to accept the donation. See below for more photos of the mill or click on the photo to view a larger image.


With great regret we announce that Al Ingersoll passed away from natural causes in March, 2005.

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Here are some photos of Alan's Curtiss  biplane project:

(Click photo for larger image.)

This Curtiss Wright P 6E biplane model is built to 1/6 scale and includes a complete V-12 engine. The airframe is modeled in stainless steel tubing exactly like the original. The project was built from scratch over a 12-year period and is typical of the work of master modeler Alan Ingersoll. At the left is a photo of the real plane, and below are photos of the model. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.

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The model V-12 Curtiss D-12D engine is a masterpiece requiring knowledge and skill in many areas from machining to cam grinding. No castings were use. Each piece was machined from solid stock. Mr. Ingersoll designed and built his own machinery to grind the cam. Shown to the left is the crankshaft in place in the engine block. Above it is the oil pan. Below are some more photos of the engine under construction and some of the drawings Mr. Ingersoll made or used. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.

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  The completed engine removed from the biplane was displayed at the NAMES show in Michigan in 1998 when Alan attended to receive his award as Metalworking Craftsman of the Year. The bore is .80" and the stroke is 1.062". The engine is only 9" long and weighs 6.5 pounds. The twelve cylinders displace 6.46 cubic inches. Below are some photos of the completed engine. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.

Below are some more details photographed when the engine was on display at the 2004 Men, Metal and Machines show in Visalia, CA. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Alan also designed a benchtop mill for use in his projects. He called it the Cygnet. He made seven of the mills and sold six, keeping one for his own use. He eventually sold it to Dr. Bob Kradjian of the Bay Area Engine Modelers club who kindly donated it to the Foundation. Included is a wooden block holding collets, chucks, flycutter and other tooling. It is to nice a machine to just be displayed on a shelf, so we have put it to use in the craftsman's shop at the Foundation offices where it will be used by the resident craftsman for small milling projects. Here are some photos of the mill that displays yet another facet of Alan Ingersol's machining skills.

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New Submissions Welcomed

If you have additional information on a project or builder shown on this site that your would like to contribute, please e-mail We also welcome new contributions. Please see our page at for a submission form and guidelines for submitting descriptive copy and photos for a new project.

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