Seeking Horton drive manual or correct assembly

I have adjusted my Horton drive, which powers a 10x15 C&P several times. There are still issues with speed control, proper placement for the springs, and the clutch plates creating too much drag. I would appreciate any advice and direction to achieve correct working order and a manual or schematic would be a bonus. Thank you in advance.

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Blast from the Past, may be of use, maybe Not,!
Sticky clutch plates, on virtually every thing, WITHOUT Dismantling, at all, C.T.C. (Carbon Tetra Chloride)
With the plate or plates disengaged, m/c. turned by hand C.T.C. sprayed in/on, dripped in/on, funneled in/on, between the plates, residue caught in absorbent granules, cotton waste etc.
98% success rate, irrespective if it were, multi-plate, Motorcycle clutches, with CORK inserts, Auto/Car Clutches with Mintex/Ferodo, inserts, Machinery Clutches, with alternate Steel/Fibre plates etc.
C. T. C. Was the best Bar none, must be a modern equivalent, with that principle in mind.
Racing certainty, Bert Munro used it, when he Ripped up, Your/The, Salt flats

We tend to think that, POSSIBLY, Craig Breedloves, new project, @ MACH 1.4 ish, and estimated 34,000 pounds of thrust , will NOT be Needing sponsorship, from C.T.C. or any modern equivalent. Watch “that” space.??
Good Luck.

I admire your courage in mentioning carbon tet, Mick. Thankfully you are not in the U.S. because even that innocuous suggestion would soon see your house surrounded by an EPA SWAT nutso demanding you surrender and be fitted with an orange perp suit for even mentioning a chemical second only to atomic radiation in danger potential. . In California, such tip is ground for immediate banishment - if not outright execution :o)
Anyhow, with Carbon tet long heading the ‘wurold’s wurst chemical’ list (according to ‘They’) a similar liquid serves near purpose: Naptha. I know, I know, that sends out the panty-wad vibes as well, but nonetheless it does perform admirably.

I wonder if these same eco-nuts realized that back in the day both carbon tet and naptha were the bachelor’s pals. Not too much could not be cleaned using those liquids.
And please, for the ‘Instant Internet Chemists’, I am well aware of the hazards of the aforementioned materials. I also understand the phrase: ‘Everything in moderation.” :o)

I can still smell that carbon tet, at the newspaper the linotype mechanics used that stuff for cologne.

Ahh, Bilco typewash. Right back to 1967 a kid hanging around The Somerville Printing Co. Doing oddjobs in a trade that has served me wool (still does)


It wouldn’t hurt to dial back the rhetoric a little.


[EDIT: The following paragraph is Satire. Do not do this. Ever.]

I would suggest scrubbing the friction surfaces with asbestos pads soaked in a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyl and dichloro diphenyl trichoroethane. Friable asbestos is the best, as it has the best scrubbing abilities. You can apply a paste to lead(II) chromate to test for even contact between those surfaces. Don’t use gloves, they’ll interfere with your ability to feel the cleaning process. When you’re done, clean up any asbestos dust with compressed air, and wash the other stuff down the drain.

[EDIT: Satire ends. The remainder of advice in this post is based on current (2014) understanding of what is safe and what is not safe.]

Alternatively, you could try brake cleaner. Unlike carbon tetrachloride, it’s actually available at your local car parts store.

It looks like Horton is still around:

Their history mentions that they made industrial clutches in their early days, so I think it’s still the same company. There’s still a chance that they might have documentation.

I came across this:

Is this the same as your clutch? Having some photos to go off of might help with the discussion.

Not the same Horton company—the pulley being discussed here was introduced well before the 1951 start up date of the company referenced in Keelan’s post.

Friable asbestos and compressed air to clean up the dust sounds like a killer of an idea. Good advice is not necassarily found in these columns.

In their haste to demonstrate uber-knowledge, the ‘Instant Internet Experts’ all too often fire before taking aim. Then, in keeping with their straining-at-the-leash ego, demand others fall in line with their concept of expression. Sigh.


Part of my advice was satire. I need to make it clearer: my initial instructions describe the use of PCBs, DDT, the toxic part of lead based paint and the most dangerous form of asbestos. I was poking fun at the crowd that always suggests using something that has been banned because of either health or environmental concerns. It no way would I expect anyone in their right mind to follow the advice, or to even be able to acquire the materials described.

The non-fiction of my post starts with brake cleaner.


Carbon tetrachloride is known to cause brain damage.


I think this is the same Horton. While their modern revisionist history claims the company started in 1951, that is when the current incarnation of the company was formed from the ashes of the original Horton:

“The company’s colorful history dates back to 1902. The original company, which got its start making wagon bodies, was liquidated before its rebirth in 1951. Then Hugh K. Schilling and some investor associates purchased the seemingly minor remnants of the dismantled company-two unexpired patents on variable-speed clutch pulleys, and a list of unfilled orders for customers who hadn’t heard from Horton in months.”


Of course the chance that any documentation survived that transition is quite slim.

Relevant patents:

Governor-controlled clutch:
Driving mechanism for printing-presses:
Variable-speed driving mechanism:

All assigned to Horton Mfg. Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The modern day Horton is in Roseville, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis.

Interesting: Two of the patents credit Charles P. Strite as the inventor. The man credited with inventing the electric toaster is also Charles P. Strite. I wonder if they’re one and the same?

Many thanks to all commentators. The patent information was a great find and perhaps my father, a steel fabricator can interpret the technical jargon for me. The practical machinist web site shows a photo if the same Horton pulley/clutch that I have. Also, I am fortunate to live in NW PA so I will buy some brake cleaner, consult the local cadre of gear heads, and keep trying to get the Horton back to proper working order one adjustment at a time. Best regards.

Thank you, Keelan, for sharing your personal experience with carbon tet. You should have let a window remain open.

Stuff was banned before I was born.

Keelan, there’s no point in arguing with Forme. He’s the very definition of an internet troll. I find it best to scan over his comments every now and again for the rare nugget of useful information buried in the flood of vitriolic invective and bitterness. Directly replying to him, though, is an exercise in futility.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

I appreciate Keelan’s humor, but the sad part of Briar Press is that there are people who will not understand the subtle jabs taken on occasion and might actually do some of these dumb stunts. There is a certain gospel truth to anything posted here especially for the new comers.

For my separate construction company, both of us partners have EPA lead abatement certifications primarily for lead paint, yet in the back of the office I have several tons of nice new type. My business partner is also certified for asbestos abatement. The irony of all this was several years ago when we were removing asbestos pipe wrap from steam pipes in the county courthouse basement while at the same time we had a contractor up on the bell tower installing lead sheet roofing and flashing on a walk way around the clock works.

We are not that far away from medieval technologies - or thinking.


You do make a good point. I added an edit to make it clear that I by no means thing that anyone should bust out the banned substances.

Advances in technology are being conflated with advances in civilization. Sure, we have pocket sized computers and a global network that connects everyone all the time, but when I was out building a fence this weekend, I still used a shovel and pick axe to dig the holes, the same way it’s been done for hundreds of years.

Thank you for the upgrade to ‘Troll’. I was rather hoping for the title:Judgemental Twit, but note that position is already filled. :o)