This tiny flame licker engine was built by a machine shop owner in Huntington Beach, CA (name unknown). These engines are variously called “vacuum,” “flame-licker,” or “flame-gulper” engines. They work by drawing hot gasses or a flame into a cylinder to be cooled. Admission of the hot flame into the cylinder is controlled by a valve. There is a power stroke every revolution. On the outward stroke of the piston, the valve is open, and the flame is drawn into the cylinder. Just before the top of the stroke the valve is closed and the resulting drop in pressure draws back the piston for the power stroke. Placement of the flame in relation to the valve opening is critical for proper operation. This engine has twin 2-1/8″ diameter flywheels.

Exhibit added: March 2, 2011 - Last modified: March 30, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship