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Manufacturers Index - Century Electric Co.
Last Modified: Aug 4 2016 9:01PM by Jeff_Joslin
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Century Electric Co., Single Phase Electric Motor

This important maker of electric motors was established in 1900 and incorporated in 1901. By the late 1970s they were owned by Gould Inc., and motors were labeled "Gould/Century". By 1993 the name was Magnetek Century Electric, Inc.

Dating a Century Motor

The following table allows a date of manufacture to be determined for any Century motor manufactured between 1938 and 2010. The Serial Number as stamped on the data plate will consist of one or two letters followed by one or two digits. The letter(s)s can be looked up in the table below. The digits indicate the month: 1=January, 2=February, etc.

Year Code Year Code Year Code Year Code Year Code
1938 R 1939 S 1940 T
1941 U 1942 W 1943 X 1944 Y 1945 Z
1946 AA 1947 AB 1948 AC 1949 AD 1950 AE
1951 AF 1952 AG 1953 AH 1954 AJ 1955 AK
1956 AL 1957 AM 1958 AN 1959 AP 1960 AS
1961 A 1962 B 1963 C 1964 D 1965 E
1966 F 1967 G 1968 H 1969 J 1970 K
1971 L 1972 M 1973 N 1974 P 1975 R
1976 S 1977 T 1978 U 1979 W 1980 X
1981 Y 1982 Z 1983 BA 1984 BB 1985 BC
1986 BD 1987 BE 1988 BF 1989 BG 1990 BH
1991 BJ 1992 BK 1993 BL 1994 BM 1995 BN
1996 BP 1997 BR 1998 BS 1999 BT 2000 BU
2001 BW 2002 BX 2003 BY 2004 BZ 2005 CA
2006 CB 2007 CC 2008 CD 2009 CE 2010 CF

Information Sources

  • Historical information came from a quick search of Google Books.
  • Serial number information came from an owwm.org forum post.
  • 1949-12-25 St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
    Another Pioneer Firm. ANOTHER pioneer electric motor manufacturer in St. Louis is the Century Electric Co., organized in 1900, incorporated the following year. An unusual circumstance in the history of Century Electric is the fact that two of the original members of the firm are still directing its destinies. Edwin S. Pillsbury is president and chairman of the board. R. J. Russell is vice president and secretary. The first Century Electric shop, with its force of three workmen, was in an old church at 1011 Locust street. Russell recalls that the shop force "whittled out" one motor at a time. On Thanksgiving day 1903, company officers and workmen tested the first repulsion start induction single-phase motor manufactured by themselves. This first motor was sold to the Rosenthal-Sloan Millinery Co., and the Century staff lost no time in collecting the purchase price, Russell says, so there would be money to build another motor.