Documentary

Based on published materials, the following dates provide a chronology of Russell Bourke’s significant life events.

Please feel free to download and print the Bourke Engine Documentary.

Russell Bourke

Date Event
October 29, 1898 Russell Bourke born
1916-1919 Russell enrolled in Healds College, completed machine shop practice course, trained as an instructor in engines and maintenance by the Army Air Force.
1919-1921 Russell performed maintenance work on a fleet of trucks and cars. He also built and raced cars.
1921 Homesteaded a 640 acre mountain ranch in San Benito County, California.
1922 Russell started studying all of the old “masters” findings and mechanical designs.
1926 Russell and Lois were married on June 20, moved back to Petaluma, California and worked as a salesman and ventilation advisor for Must Hatch Hatchery.
1931 Took over a 1,200 acre cattle ranch on top of Sonoma mountain.
October 29, 1932 Silver Eagle completed and run for the first time.
May, 1933 Modern Mechanics, Andy’s Mail Box, introduction of the Bourke Engine to the world.
1935 Moved back to Petaluma, California.
1935-1942 Russell built the 140 cubic inch radial, built and tested the 4-60 radial outboard engine (tested on a water brake, have not been able to obtain test results), built the 60 cubic inch aircraft engine (the Silver “H”), tested the Silver “H” on a torque stand (have not been able to obtain test results) and converted the 4-60 radial to the 30 cubic inch outboard. The 2,000 hour durability testing started in 1939 and lasted through the early 1940’s.
1939 Bourke 4-60 mounted in a 1937 De Lux Ford Coupe. Russell tested acceleration and stripped the gears in the transmission.
1941-1945 During World War II, Russell worked for the Mare Island Navy Yard in charge of the Optical Machine Shop and then director of the machine shop.
1945 Russell and Lois moved to Oregon.
1951 Russell and Lois returned to Petaluma, California to retire.
1953+ The Experimenter, Russell living in Portland, Oregon.
1958 Letters sent to all major automobile manufacturers, to the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Governor Brown of California in an attempt to arose interest. All replies negative.Russ and Lois left Portland Oregon because associates, by legal maneuvering, had taken the “Bourke 400” jigs, dies, patterns, etc. out of Russell’s hands.
Fall 1958 Drive among EAA members to bring Russell to Hales Corners, Wisconsin to build a 120 cubic inch engine for EAA.
April 1967 Elwin Coutant offered to finance the Bourke Engine Documentary.
October 29, 1967 Russell’s birthday, Bourke Engine Documentary materials compiled and delivered to Elwin Coutant, exactly 35 years since the Silver Eagle was completed and run.
1968 Russell passed away.

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