What does NOS mean and what was the original switch on the 1948 TE-20? April 15, 2016.
NOS stands for New Old Stock. The term is used to describe items that are new but are old in years, having been produced a number of years ago.
Briggs and Stratton of Milwaukee, WI, is the same company that manufacturers small air-cooled engines. The division that made keys and locks, particularly ignition switches, became a separate division and later a separate company that is still in operation today. It was Briggs and Stratton’s experience in making precision die-cast items out of metals like aluminum, zinc, and other alloys that revolutionized the ignition lock industry. These items were originally made from machined brass, but Briggs and Stratton pioneered the making of lock parts out of die cast zinc that required little, or no machining slashing manufacturing costs.
TE-20’s used Lucas electrical parts including, starters, generators, distributors, voltage regulators, starter switches and ignition switches. Lucas is no longer in business, but there are after-market companies making replacement parts, and whole assemblies. American built TO-20’s used starters, generators, and voltage regulators made by Delco Remy. Ignition switches, starter switches, and light switches were supplied by Cole Hersee. The TE-20 ignition switch was originally supplied by Lucas.
The ignition switches for the TO-20 were supplied by Cole Hersee using assemblies supplied by Briggs and Stratton. The TO-20 ignition switch can be substituted for the original TE-20 ignition switch.
If your question about TE-20 switches relates to the starter switch, that too was made by Lucas as indicated above. There are two versions of the starter switch, the round version, and the triangular version. They are interchangeable,but the round switch is what was originally used in the TE-20’s. It is possible to disassemble and rebuild those switches. If you need additional information about that rebuilding process, let me know and I will see to it you get the information.