Matag Mason Jar-Gas
The Maytag Company of Newton, Iowa manufactured small two-cycle gasoline engines primarily for use on washing machines. These engines appeared first as an upright single around 1911 and the horizonal twin was terminated in 1952.
The ½ HP Fruit Jar Maytag is, without a doubt, the most sought after, and the most colorful of all the Maytag engines. I believe production on this engine was started in March 1918 and ended about mid-year 1919, thus making them produced less than two years. The reason they were called “Fruit Jar” was because a Mason fruit jar was used for the gas tank. Of course, this made them very dangerous. In those days, women washed in the kitchen in the winter time. With a roaring fire in the kitchen range, one can only wonder how many accidents occurred. Because of the danger involved, it seems very strange today why these engines were ever produced. It is hard to find a reason why any engineer or company would come up with such a poor design. However, we are glad they did so we have this very rare and interesting engine to search for today to add to our collections.