Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
A guide to the Hicks Engine plans and marketing materials, 1918-1950
HDC1092 (SAFR 17336)  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (466.10 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement

  • Title: Hicks Engine plans and marketing materials
    Date: 1918-1950
    Date (bulk): 1919-1940
    Identifier/Call Number: HDC1092 (SAFR 17336)
    Creator/Collector: Hicks Iron Works Hicks Engine Works Yuba Manufacturing Co. (San Francisco, Calif.) Bay Specialties Company (Martinez, Calif.)
    Physical Description: 2879 items
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Hicks Engine plans and marketing materials (SAFR 17336, HDC 1092) contains mainly fabrication drawings for Hicks engines and parts, and assembly lists for Hick's engines produced between 1918 to 1950. A small number of documents include 2 offset printed illustrations of engine parts for a catalog, 5 original illustrations of engine parts on over sized boards, and photocopies of a catalog, an order form, a manual, and a price list. This collection is cataloged to the file level and is open for use with staff assistance.
    Physical Location: San Franicsco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC1092 (SAFR 17336), Hicks Engine plans and marketing materials, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-00779
    SAFR-01138; SAFR-01230
    Bay Specialties Company was originally owned by Mr. Alex Thomson. The collection of fabrication plans, Hick's engine parts, and related documents were donated to the National Park Service by his grandson in 1994. While in the process of closing the shop, the grandson decided the material should be placed in an archives and museum.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    The Hicks 8-h.p. single cylinder four-stroke engine was popular with fishermen, particularly along Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco, CA where it was the engine installed onto most Monterey fishing boats from the 1880s until the early 1950s.
    Hicks engines were produced by James L. Hicks who established Hicks Iron Works, later Hicks Engine Works, during the late 19th century, in San Francisco, CA after immigrating from Ireland in 1850. Mr. Hicks worked as a machinist from 1870 and later refined and simplified the single cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine. By 1910, Hicks Engine Works was a notable part of the drive to produce and manufacture gasoline engines in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Hicks 8-h.p. single cylinder four-stroke engine was popular with fishermen, particularly along Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco where it was installed in most Monterey fishing boats. The Hicks engine was a favorite of Bay Area fishermen because it was easy to start, durable, reliable, steady, economical to operate and repair, and parts were easily accessible because manufacturing plants were local. James L. Hicks records his occupation as 'machinist', 'gasoline engine manufacturer' and 'retired' in the 1870, 1910 and 1920 censuses respectively. By 1920 his age is 88.
    Subsequent to Mr. Hicks' retirement, Yuba Manufacturing Company manufactured and produced Hicks Engines from 1918 to 1945. The Hicks 'heavy duty' marine gas engines were sold through the Hicks Engine Sales Company from two locations: 351 California Street in San Francisco, and 920 Howard Street in Martinez, California. The Yuba Manufacturing Company plant in Benicia, California, 1898-1957, was known for producing large metal parts and equipment for industries such as dredging, mining, and lumber. To meet demand during a time of high demand for fabricated iron and steel, The Yuba, as it was known in Benicia, contracted other companies, such as Bay Specialties Company in Martinez, California to manufacture and distribute Hicks engines and parts.
    Bay Specialties Company, 1939-1950, located at 191 Howe Road, Martinez, California, was started by Alex Thomson, the donor's grandfather. In addition to distribution and manufacture of Hicks engines and engine parts, the company also made parts for liberty ships, submarines and firearms.
    Note: Yuba Manufacturing Company donated company records to the Meriam Library California State University, Chico, Chico, California 95929-0295. For collection details, visit the Online Archive of California.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Hicks Engine plans and marketing materials (SAFR 17336, HDC 1092) contains mainly fabrication drawings for Hicks engines and parts, and assembly lists for Hick's engines produced between 1918 to 1950. A small number of documents include 2 offset printed illustrations of engine parts for a catalog, 5 original illustrations of engine parts on over sized boards, and photocopies of a catalog, an order form, a manual, and a price list. This collection is cataloged to the file level and is open for use with staff assistance.
    On 21 July 2009, material from accession SAFR-1230.1 was added to this collection. This addition is 2 photocopies of a timing diagram for Hicks Type Y marine engine made by Yuba Manufacturing Company. The drawing number is AY513, measures 47 x 60 cm, and is dated January 29, 1929. The material is integrated intellectually with the AY series 1.09 and is physically stored with other over sized AY type drawings.
    On 16 August 2010, material from accession SAFR-1230.3-5 was added to this collection. The accession consists of 1 carburetor parts list with illustrations on the verso, 1 photocopy of the same, 1 photocopy of Hicks Marine Engine order form, and 1 photocopy of Manzel Brothers Company lubricator manual.
    On 17 August 2010, material from accession SAFR-1138.1-3, 7 was added to this collection. The accession consists of 1 plan titled Dimension Table by Yuba Manufacturing Company, drawing number DY-506, 1 catalog, 1 brochure, and 1 order form and parts list. The latter three are photocopies.
    On 10 September 2010, material from accession SAFR-1230.6 was added to this collection. It consists of 3 frames (images) on a 35 mm negative strip of Hicks engines.
    On 22 September 2010, material from accession SAFR-00779 photo collection items (2) was added to this collection. It consists of 1 black-and-white photographic print of the Yuba Engine Factory, measuring 17.5 x 22 inches and mounted on paperboard; and 1 promotional photographic print for a two-cylinder Hicks engine, measuring 8 x 10 inches.
    This collection was formerly titled Yuba Manufacturing Company records.

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection is organized into 5 series.
    Series 1, Fabrication plans, is organized into 18 subseries, each of which correspond to a particular Hicks engine type. Please see sub-series descriptions for details.
    Series 2, Assembly Lists, is organized into 8 subseries, each series describes a particular Hicks engine type. Please see sub-series descriptions for details.
    Series 3, Bay Specialties Company Hicks engine orders filled on August 22, 1945.
    Series 4: Catalog, brochures, and order form.
    Series 5: Oversized graphics and other documents. This series includes two accretions.
    This collection was partially processed several years before it was cataloged and described. The arrangement correspondes to the physical organization of the collections as it was found at the time of processing, but it is not known if this arrangement was original to the collection or imposed during the initail processing.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Marine engines--Design and construction
    Motorboats--Gasoline engines
    Internal combustion engines--Design and construction
    Internal combustion engine industry--California--Benicia
    Internal combustion engine industry--California--Martinez
    Internal combustion engine industry--California--San Francisco
    Hicks Iron Works
    Yuba Manufacturing Co. (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Blueprints
    Diazotypes
    Photographs
    Engineering drawings
    Commercial catalogs
    Boat engines
    Technical drawings