These engines, built by Cooper & Co., of Mount Vernon are among the oldest surviving agricultural steam engines to show the evolution from the portable, skid-mounted engine (ca. 1860) to the horse-drawn engine (1875), through the self-propelled but horse-guided engine (1875) and finally to the self-propelled, self-steered traction engine (1883). Such engines powered the conversion to mechanized farming, which was a great hallmark of the Industrial Revolution.
This compressor was a product of the combined technology and design heritage of both the C. & G. Cooper Company of Mount Vernon and the Bessemer Gas Engine Company of Pennsylvania, which had merged in 1929. Ralph L. Boyer, the chief architect of the GMV, worked for Cooper-Bessemer from 1926 through 1965.