Letters & Miscellanies

Bottom-of-the-sea engine, Aero motor Pump Engine, Bragging Rights and Memories

Pump Engine

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Aeromotor Eight-cycle Pump Engine.

I am retired and an avid antique engine collector, and I enjoy the challenge of working on and getting my engines running. This is an Aeromotor eight-cycle pump engine made in 1905. This picture was taken at Point Pleasant, W.Va., in October 2003, at the West Virginia Farm Museum. I bought this engine from a friend who moved to Spencer, W.Va., from California several years ago. At one time, he had a big collection of engines. This engine was in good condition when I got it. I made the cart to mount it on and started pumping water at engine shows. It is definitely a big attraction. Alfred L. Nichols, 1738 Otto Road, Spencer, WV 25276

John Deere Memories

To the editor:

When I saw you last, you said something like, 'If I would have been born 30 years sooner, I would have seen some of the changes in farm machinery.' There is something to that statement.

I was born in 1923, about 10 miles southeast of Topeka, Kan. We lived on high ground and to get to our place required driving up a long hill, which was sometimes difficult with mud roads and low-powered Model Ts. I still remember the threshing crew -with steam engine and smoke -coming up the hill to our place. The fellow who ran the engine would let me and one of my brothers ride with him on the engine.

When I was about 10, my dad bought our own threshing machine, which was powered by a John Deere Model D. I was just old enough to use the hand clutch. My dad was very careful to level the threshing machine. He would unhook the machine and I would drive the tractor out, turn it around and, with help, back into the belt. No kid was happier than I was when it lined up the first time. I sat on the tractor, stopping and starting as needed.

In those days, everyone used water in the radiator. The Model D has a short water tube running from the block to the carburetor. Using a valve, a small amount of water was added to the intake to, I believe, keep the valves from clicking and to add more power. Because of this, I had to add water to the radiator every few hours. Would you believe that even today, whenever I pour water into the morning pot of coffee it reminds me of that old John Deere?

We also had a 1-1/2 HP McCormick-Deering engine that was used to run the washing machine, pump water and run the corn sheller. I don't ever remember when it wouldn't start. We also had a Model T truck with a Watford two-speed transmission and a two-speed Ruckstel differential. We had a 300-gallon water tank on the truck.

On a Model T, if one of the transmissions got out of gear there was no brake. With a long hill, we did it this way. We stopped at the bottom of the hill, put everything in low (three transmissions) and started up the hill. With the gas tank under the seat and no fuel pump, there was a chance of running out of gas. This was overcome by having a tire pump hose fastened to the gas tank. One of us drove, as the other pumped as hard as he could. In those days we had no insurance or drivers license. We just did it.

We were the first in the neighborhood to get a combine. With all that machinery, none of us got hurt, although there were some narrow scrapes. One day, Dad had the horses hitched to a hay wagon, which was hooked to a hay loader. One brother was following too close, and one of the tines on the loader caught him in the pocket of his overalls, starting him up the loader with the hay, but the horses stopped when my dad hollered 'whoa.'

There were a lot of hard times, but a lot of good times, too. I am the youngest of six boys, no girls. We used to make a lot of our toys. Rainy days were always good. Neighbors would come over to talk. As we became adults, we left the farm. All six of us were in WW II and came home unscathed. Merton H. Wilch, 5140 S.E. 3rd St. Terrace, Tecumseh, KS 66542

Bragging Rights

I want to show off this Waterloo Boy 5 HP Model H, serial no. 233875, I purchased. The Waterloo Boy is the smoothest running engine I ever had. Harry Lescher, 1879 Church Road, Harleysville, PA 19438, (610) 287-7654

Corrections and Updates

The Web address published in the July 2004 issue for model designer Dick Upshure was incorrect.

The correct address is: http://hamiltonupshur.tripod.com

In the July 'Flywheel Forum,' 39/7/3, we printed the wrong phone number for Alan Diamond. The correct number is: (619) 460-7573.

Reader Steve Barr (stevebarr@ameritech.net) has managed to track down the patent on Rick Monk's Kent mixer featured in the May 2004 issue of GEM.

A cast plate on the mixer notes a patent date of April 8, 1908, but it turns out the patent, no. 885951, was actually awarded April 28, 1908.

To view the full patent, go to http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/ srchnum.htm

Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265; rbackus@ogdenpubs.com

Seafaring Engine

Just thought you would appreciate seeing an old engine on the bottom of the sea near Kwajale in Island in the Philippines. A small octopus lives in the water jacket. I think the magneto may need drying out before starting! My daughter, Linda, took the photo while scuba diving recently. Like myself, Linda loves old engines! Don Fluke 6059 W. ARCO Highway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Hartford Old Engine and Tractor Show

The Hartford, Mich., show is always on Labor Day weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Attendance was up and the weather was nice for the 2003 show in Hartford, Mich. International tractors and engines, plus Wheel Horse garden tractors were featured.

We had five Parrett tractors at our show; three were four-cylinder and Dave Peterson brought his two six-cylinder Parretts.

Wayne and Mary Rose brought two oil field engines (a Superior and a Reid engine), plus Wayne's four-cylinder Parrett. Wayne also brought his rare Orient 1903 car. It has tiller steering, a 4 HP engine and a body made of oak. The car has a unique friction-drive system.

It was once owned by a rural mail carrier in Baroda, Mich., but was retired because it was hard to steer on the sandy back roads.

Wayne, who has owned the car for over 35 years, says Orient started in 1900 and folded in 1907. He doesn't know how many cars they made. Wayne will have a 1916 Parrett tractor he found as a basket case out West at our 2004 show.

We had four Friday tractors and two Love tractors. One was a 1936 Tractor, made by Love and owned by Frank Prillwitz. Carl Davis brought his rare, mint-condition 1959 Model 581 offset tractor to the show. Our next show is Labor Day weekend 2004. Robert Hall Jr. 444 Olds Ave, Hartford, MI 49057-1355