Prior to 1900, Mr. J. Adolphe Lambert had a foundry in Ste-Marie-de-Beauce and in 1911
he relocated his foundry in Robertsonville, Quebec as the region had many mines
and the iron ore was plentiful. The new foundry burned down in 1912 and was
rebuilt in 1913 along with a modern machine shop.
Mr Jean Thomas Bisson, a machinist by trade, had invented a gasoline engine
around 1909 and he became employed by Mr. Lambert at "La Fonderie de
Robertsonville" in 1913. Soon after the foundry was rebuilt in 1913, Lambert
decided to build the engine Mr. Bisson had invented, in his new foundry
and machine shop in Robertsonville. It is not known what prior arrangements
were made between Lambert and Bisson about these gasoline engines, but Bisson
worked as a superintendent at the Robertsonville factory for more than 25 years.
The engine is sometimes referred to as the "Lambert", but in a 1916 adv.
in "Le Canadien" paper, the engine was referred to as the famous gasoline
engine "ROBERTSONVILLE". In this adv., it was said that the Robertsonville
was built in 1-1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 horsepower sizes. Another
publicity from the twenties lists the engine sizes at 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10,
12, 15 and 20 horsepower.
In their better years, the company saw as many as 300 engine a year being
sold but there were also many years were only a handful of "Robertsonville"
were being built. Some of the early engines came with battery/coil ignition but the
vaste majority of the "Robertsonville" had the well known Webster low tension
One feature that makes the Robertsonville so popular with the engine
collectors is their "S" shaped spokes on the flywheels. Not all Robertsonville
engines came with the "S" spokes. Apparently all Robertsonville engines of
5 horsepower and smaller had the straight spokes throughout the entire
production. The larger Robertsonvilles also had straight spokes towards
the end of production. In other words, only the early Robertsonville of over
5 horsepower have the "S" shaped spokes.
In conclusion, the fire red "Robertsonville" was designed around 1910 and
were built in no great number, from 1913 to as late as 1946.