A Brief Word

Water Pump


Robert G. Hester Jr

Content Tools

Just before assembling this column in early November, we had a visit from Walter Reiff of Stuttgart, Germany. Walter is well known in England and in Europe; he travels to a great many shows selling books, models, and numerous other items. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S., and makes it a point to attend the National Farm Toy Show held at Dyersville, Iowa, every year. In visiting with Walter we asked about the H. M. T. Show in Holland. Walter tells us it's as big as the Ageless Iron Expo at Ankeny or perhaps bigger, and with more variety.

We've also talked with a couple of others who have been there, and understand the H. M. T. to be a fantastic show. As noted previously, we'll be hosting a tour group to Germany and Austria next summer, eventually closing out our journeys with a full day and more at the H. M. T. Show. This writer hasn't been there, so we can't tell you firsthand, but if our information is correct, this ought to be a show to see, at least once!

By the time this issue is in your hands we should have the final itinerary for next year's tour; up till now we've been working with a rather condensed version. The problem is that it is quite difficult to line up visits so far ahead of time, yet it is essential that we get moving on the tour several months in advance. For instance, it now appears that a major change will be to use American Airlines rather than the one selected previously. With this change, we'll leave Holland by our coaches, travel through Belgium, on up to Calais, France, through the Channel Tunnel and on to Heathrow Airport in England. This is a beautiful and scenic drive! See our ad in the last issue of GEM, or for further information write to C. H. Wendel's European Tour, Box 257, Amana, IA 52203. You can also e-mail us at

Ye olde Reflector has been immensely pleased with the sales of our new Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements. Thus far the sales figures have exceeded any book we've ever written! We think this points out the immense interest that has evolved in the farm implement and machinery scene in recent years. As we've said before, the tractors and engines are mostly in the hands of collectors by now, and the price continues to escalate. We have contended for some time that farm machinery will be the next collecting wave, and this seems to be coming true. Just recently a fellow offered us a four-hole Sandwich all-wood corn sheller at a very reasonable price, and although we really don't have the space for it, somehow we'll have to find a way to get it shedded!

Occasionally we'll get a complaint that a book we sent out was not received. We've heard the same thing from other people who use the postal service...either the package was not received or looked as if it had gone through a burr mill enroute. Please bear in mind that when someone sends something, they assume it was received if they don't hear otherwise...the vast majority of advertisers try to do right by their customers, but sometimes Murphy's Law intervenes ... if anything can go wrong, it will!

Recently a GEM reader sent us some interesting information on the Superior Feed Grinders. See the letterhead and letter dated January 11, 1912. Also see the order blank and ordering instructions. While specific details are lacking, it is apparent that Superior was still building a gas engine or two at this time. Our thanks go out to Alan Diamond, 9345 Lemon Ave., LaMesa, CA 91941, who was kind enough to share this material with us.

33/1/1 Horse Power Robert A. LeBaron, 5801 E. 5th St., Tucson, AZ 85711 had written numerous letters and articles in GEM, and notes that there have been several queries regarding horsepower. He sends along some information about how the term originated, and we paraphrase it herewith for your information:

Originally the term horse-power referred to the rate at which a horse works. A horse walking at 2 mph for 8 to 10 hours a day should not be required to pull more than 1/10 to ? its body weight. For a horse weighing 1200 pounds, the ? formula would give a pull of 150 pounds. In one hour the horse would then do 150x5280x2, or 1,980,000 foot pounds. Divide this by 60 and you have 33,000 foot-pounds per minute. Scientists have agreed to take this rate of work as the unit of power and call it one horsepower.

If an engine has 25 horsepower, this means it can deliver 25 x 33,000, or 825,000 foot-pounds per minute. Similarly, a 500,000 horsepower hydroelectric dam would theoretically develop 500,000 x 33,000 foot-pounds per minute. This 500,000 horsepower would convert to lifting 100 tons to a height of 15 miles in a minute's time!

33/1/2 Racine Sattley Engine Q. I have a 1 HP Racine Sattley engine, s/n 14081. What is the year, and what is the proper color? Ron Hodge, 5931 Sommers Rd., Windsor, OH 44099.

A. We have the early Sattley engines listed as being black, the late ones are a dark green, similar to DuPont 7498. There are no s/n listings for Sattley.

33/1/3 Red Wing Thorobred Q. See the photos of a Red Wing Thorobred Motor, single cylinder, 4-cycle marine engine. It is 4 HP, with s/n 6154K.Can anyone supply further information on this engine? Henry G. Liot, RR 1 Grafton, Ontario K0K 2G0 Canada.

A. It seems to us that someone has either the serial number records or some other information on Red Wing, but offhand, we don't know who that some-one is. Can anyone be of help?

The Superior Mfg. & Mill Co.

Springfield, Ohil.

Mr. John Anderson, January 11/12. PRAIRIE du ROCHER, ILL.

Dear Sir:

We have had some correspondence with you in regard to our line of SUPERIOR DUPLEX GRINDING MILLS and we do not wish to be breaking in on your time but would like to ask whether or not you are interested in the same. If so and you have not as yet supplied your wants along that line why not consider purchasing one at this time.

We have mailed you our catalogue, which reveals the merits of the SUPERIOR DUPLEX over that of other makes of mills. We know that you are interested in up-to-date farm methods. That is the reason we take an interest in you and give you all the information we can pertaining to the SUPERIOR DUPLEX. There is very little to add to what we have already said about this mill. We very much wish to have an opportunity of showing you this mill. We want you to see for yourself whether it will pay you to have one of these mills on your farm. This is a question that nobody can answer for you. We honestly believe that it would not only pay you, but that it would pay you handsomely. The only way to prove it is to insist on you purchasing one of these SUPERIOR DUPLEX mills and if, after you get the mill in successful operation, it does not do all we claim for it in our catalogue, we will not expect you to keep it.

The Mill is exactly the same mill manufactured for a number of years by the O.S. Kelly Western Mfg. Company of Iowa City, Iowa, and are quite famous throughout the United States and foreign countries.

Our mills grind all kinds of grain, shelled corn, ear corn and cob, with or without the shucks, clover hay or alfalfa, alone or mixed with grain, cotton seed and in fact anything that can be used for feeding purposes.

It is true that there are cheaper mills manufactured and sold on the market but we are not trying to see how CHEAP we can build our mills, but how GOOD and anyone purchasing a SUPERIOR DUPLEX makes a wise investment, for they are principally adapted for the farmer's use and will last him practically a life time giving him little if any trouble.

We enclose order blank and trust you will favor us with an order by return mail.


33/1/4 Hercules/Economy Question Q. I recently bought a Hercules/Economy engine. They look alike; could you please tell me the proper color for either engine? Did Sears & Roebuck sell just Economy, or both? Edward C. Keller, 49 W. 105 Ellithorpe Rd., Hampshire, IL 60140-8630.

A. The Economy engines were sold by Sears, but came from Hercules at Evansville, Indiana. Economy engines were red, while most Hercules engines were green. There were a few differences also in the design. Hercules also built engines for several other companies.

33/1/5 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of a two-cylinder air cooled engine. It is missing the carburetor and the air shroud. All castings have a B6XXX number cast into the part. The cylinder is a 2 inch bore and the engine uses a Splitdorf Model S magneto. The flywheel has an internal gear cut into it. Any information would be appreciated.

I also need information on a Root & Vandervoort 2 HP Triumph model, s/n BL14423. What is the proper color and when was it built? Are decals available? I would like to correspond with anyone having one of these engines. The tag says is was 'Mfd. For Wm. Gregory, Los Angeles, California.' Was he a John Deere dealer?

A. First of all, we have DuPont 5316 Green listed as a comparable color match. There are no s/n records. Decals are available from some GEM advertisers.

Although John Deere sold R & V engines for several years, they did not have exclusive rights to the R & V line. This is evidenced by various advertisements of the company over the years, and of course, they could not have advertised these engines if all the production was being sold exclusively by Deere.

33/1/6 Novo Engine Q. I have a Novo vertical engine, 3 HP, s/n 62613, and was wondering about the correct color for it. Any information would be appreciated. William B. Brettkrentz, 600 Church St., Hartford, WI 53027.

A. The Novo is a dark green, similar to DuPont 4190. Your engine was shipped to Viking Pump Co., Cedar Falls, Iowa, on March 7, 1921, and was equipped originally for battery and coil ignition.

33/1/7 F-M VA Diesel Engine Q. I would like information on an 80 HP Style VA Fairbanks-Morse, two-cylinder, two stroke diesel cotton gin engine. How much does it weigh? Has anyone trailered one of these to shows? How is it started? Is there a modern way to start it? How and why does fuel ignition occur? Mike Gusmus, Rt 1, Box 279, Saltillo, MS 38866.

A. Your engine will weigh about 21,000 pounds more or less, depending on the type of flywheel, etc. All of these engines use air starting. Since your engine is designated as a YVA (Type Y, Vertical, Style A), it was likely built in 1924 or 1925, since the engine was renamed as the Model 32, sometime in 1925. We have no photos of your engine, but the YVA and the Model 32 both have the new style head and utilized a compression of 480-520 psi. These engines start readily under normal ambient temperatures. Despite their size, they utilize compression ignition, just as with any other diesel engine. The earlier YV engines used a lower compression, thus there was a need for the 'hot head' system. A gasoline torch or electric glow plugs were needed as a starting aid.

33/1/8 Detroit Tractor Q. I found a tractor in a farmer's back yard. It is d Model 44-16, s/n P1303B from Detroit Tractor Corporation, Detroit, Michigan. It has a V-4 engine and looks like it has a forward and reverse transmission with chain drive to the drive wheels. It is both front and rear wheel drive with 15 inch tires. The tractor is blue in color. Can anyone provide any information on this tractor? Leo Knapp, RR1, Box 636, Corinth, VT 05039.

A. We have no information on this one. Can anyone help?

Q. 33/1/9 I have a Hercules 1 HP engine, s/n 374596. I would appreciate information on when it was built, and possibly a photocopy of an instruction book. Any help would be appreciated. Larry Metzgar, 10900 10 Mile Rd., Ceresco, MI 49033.

33/1/10 Old Water Pumps Q. See the photos of two old pumps. In 10-A and 10-B is one from A. Y. McDonald Mfg. Co., Dubuque, Iowa. It has a 1 inch suction and a 1 inch discharge with a 4-inch stroke. The expansion chamber is not original.

In photos 10-C and 10-D is a pump from Kewanee Private Utilities Co., Type 22, Kewanee, Illinois. Any information on these pumps would be appreciated, including the proper color for them. I would also welcome information on older F & W (Flint & Walling) and open-geared Myers pumps as well. Robert G. Hester Jr., 11711 Raulerson Rd., Riverview, FL 33569.

33/1/11 Mighty Mite Tractor Q. See the photo of a Mighty Mite Model 14 tractor as built by Jacques Power Saw Co., Denison, Texas. I would like information on this tractor, including the original engine that was used. Is there anyone in the Sherman-Denison area that worked at Jacques in the 1940s? I would like to hear from you. Raymond Fenley, 640 E. Jemigan Rd., Copper Canyon, TX 75067.

33/1/12 The Gopher Engine Q. I am restoring The Gopher engine, and would like to contact somebody that has one. I need to know how the side shaft works. Paul O. Boe, RR 2, Box 170, Hatton, ND 58240.

33/1/13 Ottawa Log Saw & Engine Q. Recently I acquired an Ottawa engine and log saw, 4 HP, s/n TE7396. It is like the one on page 366 of American Gas Engines, except that it is missing all the wood parts, the gas tank, and the ignition system. Can anyone supply dimensions of the wood, provide help with the ignition system, etc.? Also the correct color-scheme and when built? Any help will be appreciated . I will answer all letters and gladly pay for any photos. Larry G. Shulda, 330 Oak Drive, Route 5, Box 534G, Waco, TX 76705-5944.

33/1/14 LeRoi Engines Thanks to U. George Briggs, 150 Wine Rd, PO Box 27, New Braintree, MA 01531 for sending along some information on the LeRoi engine line. For some reasons, LeRoi information has been difficult to locate, so this is greatly appreciated. Included are three pages of general model information that provides at least a few clues to this extensive line.

33/1/15 Information Needed Q. David A. Kolzow Sr., 145 Mallard Ave., Iowa Falls, IA 50126-9042 sends along a couple of engine photos. In 15 A is shown a little model that might be from Cole's Power Models, but the origin of the 'Champion' base is unknown. Photo 15B shows what is probably a Carlisle & Finch engine; it is nearly identical to the illustration on page 82 of American Gas Engines. Any information on these engines would be greatly appreciated.

33/1/16 Charles Hargreaves, 2910 Maple Rd, Manistee, MI 49660 is searching for the exact year of manufacture of s.n. 6792 model H sloop-hood International pickup made between 1915-20. Please assist if you can.

Modelmaker's Corner

From Heinz Kornmuller, Hauptstrasse 92, 2492 Zillingdorf, Austria, comes the accompanying photo of an IHC Famous model, complete with low tension ignition. Herr Kornmuller is a model maker, sometimes building models on request.

A Closing Word

A query in this month's column once again reminded us that many collectors are somewhat baffled by early oil and diesel engines, and this despite the fact that the diesel has virtually come to dominate the tractor business, and is widely used wherever engines are needed. The early diesels operate in much the same way except that they are bigger and heavier.

The first thing is to separate the oil engine from the diesel. Oil engines use a somewhat lower compression, usually not much over 190 to 225 psi, and sometimes substantially less than this. They need external assistance for starting, usually a glow plug of some sort, heated by a gasoline or propane torch. Once the engine is warmed up, there is usually enough residual heat for ignition. Oil engines almost always use some type of pre combustion chamber as an essential part of their design. This provides a highly heated area and upon compression raising the temperature still higher, ignition occurs automatically. This pre combustion chamber is not to be confused with the energy cell such as used in the Lanova and other designs. The latter was largely intended to provide the swirl needed for efficient burning of the fuel, not as a primary means of initiating combustion.

Fairbanks-Morse & Co. was a leader in diesel engine development, and in studying that company's history, it is easy to see the evolution of the so-called 'full diesel' engine vis-a-vis the semi-diesel or oil engine. Our book, Fairbanks-Morse: 1893-1993 explains many of the ins and outs of diesel engine development.

When F-M came out with their redesigned Type YVA diesel in 1925, compression was up to about 500 psi, and this was sufficient for self-ignition without the need for external starting means. Subsequently F-M and others modified their designs for better efficiency and easier starting, along with less weight.

Since this issue will be the last to come prior to the New Year, we take this opportunity to wish each and all of you our very best for the coming Holiday Season and the coming New Year!