from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A crank used for starting machinery; specifically, in an internal-combustion motor, the crank by which the motor-shaft is turned, by hand, to draw in a charge of the mixture, compress it, and cause the first ignition. The engine will not, as a rule, start from rest until this starting process is performed upon it from without.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The human, obstinate thing started off at the first trial, and probably would have done the same thing last night had we given the starting-crank one more turn.
In the end he did go on, but not until he, the sergeant, Willie Thornton, and one of the sentries had worked themselves hot at the starting-crank.
it introduced the first electric starter, which quickly caused the difficult and dangerous starting-crank technology to become extinct.