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jcspiggle
10-27-2017, 10:28 AM
Hello,

I have recently come into possession of a Curtiss propeller that I would like to know more about. I live in Rochester, NY not too far from the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY, so I reached out to them first. I figured if I took it there they might be able to help identify it. Unfortunately, they replied saying that they do not have company records that would aid in any efforts because the propeller manufacturing was contracted out to more than 10 different companies. They recommended that I engage this forum for expert info. That's high praise for all of you!

The propeller is made of Mahogany from what I can tell. it is about 8'6" in length from tip to tip. There are 8 bolt holes, with a 9th dowel hole on one side. The hub is stamped with "-109-464-STANDING-R-P-M-1600-" on the top, and "-X 14319-" on the bottom. The right blade is stamped with "-CURTISS-PROPELLER-", "#752", and a small circle with what appears to be "C.E.O. 1" inside. The left blade is stamped with a "2" next to a four-pronged or fanned symbol. In each circle of the symbol there appears to be a letter. I can make out a "U", "S", ? and "A". That third letter is difficult to determine. Could it be an "N"? USNA for the Naval Academy?

I've attached some photos. If there is anything else that I can provide to make identification easier please let me know.

Thank you in advance for any help! I'm very excited to have this propeller, and I look forward to taking care of it with honor.

Dbahnson
10-27-2017, 02:05 PM
Nice looking prop that looks to be in original condition (a BIG plus for collectibles) and based on the hub impressions in the wood it looks as if it was mounted and used.

I've attached a scan of a Cook field document from 1921 that lists some of the many propellers used at that time and although it's not a very clear document it does looks as if yours is listed on it as used on an "Ordnance D" aircraft with a Hisso 300 engine. The number X14_19 is fairly clear and I think the blurred number is more likely a "3" than an "8". Also the right hand tractor and the diameter of 8 ft 6 inches match. Standing RPMs were listed as 1550 but I've seen variability in those stampings compared to other listed data.

I just looked in Peter Bowers book, Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 and copied two pages (183, 184) referring to the Orenco D aircraft. Orenco stands for "Ordnance Engineering Company" which used a 300 HP Hispano Suiza engine, so I'm 99% sure that your propeller is a match for that aircraft, of which Curtiss apparently won the contract to build 50 planes.

It's quite true that a number of propeller manufacturers built propellers for the Curtiss company, but yours was almost certainly manufactured by Curtiss themselves.

Be sure not to try to "restore" or otherwise attempt to make it look better. It's MUCH more valuable in original condition, and although not related to a particularly noteworthy aircraft is still relatively rare in the whole scheme of things.

EDIT:

It's even listed on Wikipedia as Orenco D (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orenco_D).

jcspiggle
10-27-2017, 03:44 PM
Wow! That was fast and thorough! Thank you sincerely for this info and help. It means a lot to me, and I cannot wait to share the info with my family. I will take very good care of it, and I will refrain from any restoration efforts as you mentioned.

I am officially hooked on this now. I can't wait to learn more about this propeller, the Orenco D, and other models of this vintage.

Thanks again, and God bless!

Dbahnson
10-27-2017, 10:50 PM
You might consider taking this information back to the Curtiss museum and see if they have any additional thoughts or interest in it.