View Full Version : Gardner Propellers

Robert Gardner
06-19-2008, 03:36 PM
My name is Robert Gardner. My Uncle Bill was William H. Gardner Jr and he manufactured Gardner Propellers in Forest Park IL. I would like to contact anyone who used or had knowledge of my Uncle. After WW2 he went out of business as the metal variable pitch prop took over the business.

Robert Gardner

06-19-2008, 09:39 PM
If you have anything written on the Gardner history, I'd love to get your permission to include it on my Gardner web page. Unfortunately, I have nothing to contribute.


Robert Gardner
06-20-2008, 12:37 AM
My Uncle Bill Gardner was a very interesting man. He attended Dartmouth but never graduated. His interest in airplanes led him to design propellers. He opened a factory in Forest Park IL through the financing of his father who was a banker. My father was a lumberman and had his lumber company on the same property. I used to go down to the Propeller works and watch them build propellers. It had a wonderful smell of the glue room where they laminated the wood to make the propellers. He had two employees who were German and were expert craftsman in their trade. In WW2 he made club propellers for the air corps. After the war the propeller business started to fall apart due to the variable pitch props made of metal. He could not compete with them and moved his shop to Wisconsin and tried making golf club heads. This failed and he eventually got a job in Peoria IL as a draftsman. After he retired he moved to Springfield IL with his wife and became quite active in AA. He did a prison ministry for AA. Eventually his health failed and he passed away from heart failure.

I really wanted to know if there is anybody who used his product and if there are any of his props around.

06-20-2008, 12:03 PM
Based upon my experience, Gardner props are pretty rare. Over the years I've seen perhaps four for sale and three of those were on eBay.

May I use your dialogue above on my website? Thank you.


Robert Gardner
06-20-2008, 12:15 PM
You may use my dialogue.

Robert Gardner

06-20-2008, 12:29 PM
There is one Gardner Propeller for sale at:


listed as ANTIQUE PROPELLER * $1.750* FOR SALE OR TRADE ... (posted June 16, 2008)

Robert Gardner
06-20-2008, 12:55 PM
I wish that I could buy it but right now the discretionary fund is low and the war department I'm afraid would not allow.
Thank you for that good information

Bob Gardner

Falcon Propellers
12-28-2008, 08:01 PM
Gardner props are rare and bring decent money on ebay. Does you family still have the rights?


09-02-2009, 01:17 PM
I have a Gardner Prop designed for the Kinner K5 engine. The serial number is 0001. Is there any way to trace this to the original owner?

02-10-2012, 07:44 AM
I have a Gardner Propeller serial # 40158. Is it of any interest to anyone? My uncle gave to me as a kid. Boy was I excited. Unfortunately I never got the rest of the plane!

Joe G.

02-27-2012, 07:34 PM
I also have a Gardner propeller for sale, and would be interested in offering if anyone is interested. It has the original finish and decals on it that say "Chicago Propeller', but I don't see any serial number. Can someone help with with where the location might be? Thank you.

04-10-2012, 01:45 PM
We are a Museum in Northern Illinois and just received as a donation a wooden propeller with a decal that reads: Chicago Propellers - W.M.H Gardner
The donor said he got it in 1948 - it was being disposed of and it was given to him instead of junked. He thought it might have been on a PT-19, but not sure. Forest Park, ILL still legible in center of decal. Hub has 8 bolt holes. Any idea where I would find a serial number if still on there? It's quite dirty and needs to be cleaned up. Any other information would be useful. Thanks. Judi. Poplar Grove Vintae Wings & Wheels Museum.

04-10-2012, 01:59 PM
I think Gardner stamped their drawing numbers on the hub itself, like many manufacturers. I'm not sure about "Chicago Propellers", i.e. whether it came before or after "Gardner Propellers".

When you get it cleaned up can you post a photo of it and a close-up of the decals?

Here's (http://www.modernwoodenpropellers.com/gardner.htm) the list of known Gardner design numbers.

04-10-2012, 02:54 PM
It is 8 feet long - has the scalloped reinforcements on the outside edges as seen in your photo. I'll get photos when cleaned up. the decal DEFINITELY reads at the top Chicago Propellers and at the bottom W.M.H Propellers, ... and I think it reads LtD... need to clean that up. I wonder if the metal hub is a later add-on. I can find no numbers on it. Metal sleeve goes through center of hub, 8 holes and 8 bolts with clevis pins.

04-10-2012, 08:39 PM
Clevis pins would be a little unusual, but the rest sounds like an older model Gardner propeller, perhaps from very early in the company's history.

A picture here might help. I'm not sure what makes you wonder if the hub is an add-on.

11-09-2012, 12:13 AM
I have a Gardner Prop #1521-3610. It measures 90" and has the metal hub and 8 bolts intact. I have been trying to find out more information about it.


06-05-2014, 02:34 AM
and i LOVE IT...

here is a link to the photos --- http://1drv.ms/1pSOi64
i will hang it (MOST PROUDLY) on my living room wall...

its worn, torn and patina'd(???), which makes me love it even MORE...

thanks for the forum opportunity to explore these vintage works of functional art...

1919(?) Gardner Wooden Airplane Propeller...

Built in Forest Park Illinois right around 1920...

click here for photos:

cracked in both blades, but this prop has GREAT PATINA...

another one for the "record books" of aviation history...

i have NO IDEA what the stamped letters and digits represent, but
there are A LOT of them...


06-05-2014, 06:44 AM
The links to photos don't work for me.

What are the numbers stamped on it?

08-18-2014, 08:08 PM
Hi, I'm about to return my father's Gardner prop to him, (he got it from my grandfather, who worked for the Stinson Aircraft Co. at one time) after cleaning it lightly and getting a display stand for it. Its numbers are: DES: 491 (which I believe means that it was used on a Continental 75 HP engine); Ser: 9851, and A.T.C. 710. Any other information that anyone may have would be appreciated, as I would like to conjure up a small brass plate for the stand with some provenance written thereon. Thanks, all.

09-16-2014, 06:58 PM
I have a propeller that I know to be from the WWII era. It was given as a gift to my great grandfather who was a civil engineer in the army. It is a Gardner propeller with identification numbers as follows:
DES. 491
SERA. 42729
A.T.C. 710

It also has it stamped on it:
80 horsepower and 2700 revolutions per minute

I believe that it might be from a Stinson, but am not sure. It is a double blade modern wooden propeller with a silver star in the center. (but this might just be because it was a gift.) Thanks for any help!

09-16-2014, 09:14 PM
It could have been used on something like the Stinson Voyager, one model of which used the 80 HP Continental engine. Typically, the prop is fitted to an engine, and it might apply to several different aircraft, but there's no way to be sure which one unless all the others are somehow excluded

I might be able to find something more about the type certificate number when I get home tomorrow.

09-17-2014, 07:21 PM
Thanks so much Dave! any information you can find out is extremely helpful.