Stephen F. Briggs and Harold M. Stratton began an informal partnership in 1908, Stratton was the investor and Briggs was the inventor. This partnership became the Briggs & Stratton Corporation and 95 years later they are the largest distributor of 4-cycle gasoline engines worldwide.
The company started off with their first venture into the auto-mobile manufacturing business, producing locks, switches and igniters. Starter switches became their early mainstay in 1910 because of the growing demand for automobiles. In 1919 they acquired the Motor Wheel, which was used to power bicycles, and led to the development of the Type "P" engine. This provided a reliable and portable means to power many types of machinery and revolutionized the 4-cycle gasoline engine industry. Briggs & Stratton could now provide power in all types of applications including: washing machines, garden tractors and generators.
The first lightweight aluminum engine became available in 1953 and changed the Lawn & Garden industry. This made lawn and garden equipment available to the masses and by 1957 the aluminum engine accounted for 80% of the engines shipped and Briggs & Stratton produced over two million engines that year.
Due to a fuel shortage and environmental concerns in the 1970s Briggs & Stratton began the development of an electric motor for use on lawn & garden equipment. In 1980 they introduced several new engine designs including the Industrial/Commercial line and even a battery powered lawn mower and electric power head.
Over the years Briggs & Stratton has expanded into many areas and today their engines can be found in almost anything: walk behind mowers, handheld trimmers, riding mowers, snow blowers, fishing boats, generators, welders, pumps and pressure washers.
Today there are several small engine manufacturers and a variety of products to choose from. To ensure your outdoor power equipment is performing at its best here are some simple small engine maintenance tips.
Click here for some common small engine troubleshooting tips or find your small engine brand below to shop for parts.