Acme-Jones engine


Owen Stackhouse

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As our hobby grows, so do the services offered by various collectors and companies. Inquiries to this column have run the gamut from the restoration of steering wheels to those making new exhaust manifolds and pouring babbitt bearings. With this in mind, we present an idea whose time has come. Why not persuade GEM to compile an annual Buyer's Guide to products and services? We envision a little book that would contain the names and addresses of many different suppliers-everything from decals to cast iron parts. So far as we know, this would be the first attempt to assemble this information into a single book, and it is a project we think to be well worthwhile. If you would be interested in a directory of this kind, why not drop a line to the Editors at GEM. (By the way, they are totally unaware that ye olde Reflector is proposing the idea, so we suspect that if they start getting a substantial number of letters in this regard, it will come as a pleasant surprise.) (See Editor's Letter for our response!-Ed)

Quite often we receive inquiries regarding the availability of certain U.S. patents and trademarks. According to our most recent information, copies of patents can be obtained for $1.50 each. Trademarks are $1.00 each. A Postal Money Order is preferred-do not send cash in the mails. We suspect that personal checks, if accepted at all, will be subject to considerable delay. You must provide the Patent Number. Nothing else will do! They will not research for a patent on the basis of the date of issuance. Send your request to:

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Washington, DC 20231

This information should also be available at Federal Depository Libraries scattered throughout the country.

As is our annual custom, we once again caution all of our readers to operate their engines in a safe manner. The advent of summer is of course the time when engines are pulled out of dreary sheds, cleaned and tuned, all ready for a series of shows. Please operate them with care, remembering that most of these engines were built in a time when safety engineering was a relatively unknown term-it was presumed by the manufacturer that the operator had sense enough to keep loose clothing away from an unprotected flywheel key or to keep the fingers from getting a permanent pleat in the timing gears. Then too, be careful in handling the old iron. Don't strain your back in lifting old engines about. Get some assistance or use some power equipment. The show season will be a lot more enjoyable this way than if you arrive at your favorite show wearing a back brace, one hand in a cast, and using a cane because one foot is badly bruised from dropping the corner of an engine on your big toe! Ah, the miseries we sometimes inflict on ourselves in the name of fun!

Our letters this month begin with:

24/6/1 Q. Little Liz Engine  Several years ago, the Little Liz engine was pictured in GEM. Made by Birch & Birch, Crawfordsville, Indiana, it has the number 22 cast into the block, but has no nameplate or other markings. It is all original except for the handle on the cart. So far we have not heard of another one, but would be happy to hear from anyone having information about other copies of this engine, or information on the company, Richard A. Thompson, PO Box 338, Dallas City, IL 62330.

A. The Reflector has seen this little engine many times, and we have yet to hear of another. If anyone can be of help regarding this engine or the Birch & Birch firm, kindly let us know.

24/6/2 Q. Wood Hydrolic.  Recently we located a small bulldozer on steel tracks. The unit seems to be relatively complete with the exception of the engine, radiator, and the sheet metal and grille of the engine compartment. The only plate on the machine is on the hydraulic oil tank, next to the driver's seat. This may be only for the hydraulic unit or for the entire machine. It reads:

'Wood Hydrolic', Garwood Industries, Road Machinery Division Inc. Detroit, Michigan

I am most interested in determining the engine that was used, along with any other information pertinent to this machine. J. A. Blair, 415 Timothy Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23505.

A. We suspect the Garwood reference might apply specifically to the hydraulic system, and without a photograph it is very difficult to make a call. Perhaps you might favor us with a photo to provide further assistance.

24/6/3 Witte Diesel See the adjacent photo of my Witte Dieselectric engine. These were first built in 1934, and in 1939 a great tribute was paid to their reliability when Adm. Richard E. Byrd chose a number of Witte diesels to furnish power for the Little America Expedition to the Antarctic.

When I got my Dieselectric, it had no fuel tank-also no compression. After grinding the valves and cleaning the fuel and oil systems I now have it running. My engine is 9 HP, s/n D2023, and runs at 1200 rpm. The generator is 7.5 kva, single phase, 115/230 volts AC. If anyone would be interested in a photocopy of the manual or folders with the specifications, send a stamped envelope and I will try to help them. Wesley E. Love, Rt. 1, Arthur, IA 51431.

24/6/4 Case CC I'm looking for a source of Case CC decals. If anyone can help, please write: Marc Pierce, PO Box 467, Americus, KS 66835.

24/6/5 Q. Smith-Courtney engine Can anyone supply information on a Smith-Courtney engine made in Richmond, Virginia? Mine is 5 HP, s/n B4085. Please write: Virgil McCue, 597 Lincoin St., Summersville, WV 26651.

A. Now here's a new one for us! Send along some photos when you can.

24/6/6 Q. New Era engine  See the photo of an engine I am now restoring. This is a Little Giant engine built by New Era Gas Engine Company of Dayton, Ohio. The shop number is 4558, 375 rpm, and 5 HP. The date on the carburetor is July 23, 1901. Any information, particularly showing the muffler and cooling system will be appreciated. Thomas Bajyuk, 253 S. Longyard Rd., Southwick, MA 01077.

A. Here's a New Era model we have not seen before-this vertical style is not illustrated in American Gas Engines.

24/6/7 Q. Foos Junior. See the three photos of a Foos Junior engine. The trucks are original, as is the carburetor. Is this a kerosene engine with two lines and one needle valve? It is hit-and-miss with battery and high-tension coil. Every moving part was stuck, but the engine runs good now. What is the proper color? Owen Stackhouse, Box 175, Geneva, Iowa 50633.

A. Note the very interesting wheel design in 7-B. So far as we know, these engines were of the single-fuel design, especially since the hit-and-miss system does not lend itself to low grade fuels very well.

24/6/8 Q. Acme-Jones engine  See the photos of a 20 HP Acme-Jones engine rated at 20 HP. It has a 11? x 18 inch bore and stroke, 63 inch flywheels, pendulum governor, and hot tube or Wico magneto. The valve chest is on the left side of the engine, similar to the Pattin Bros. There is no nameplate, casting numbers, or any other identification. It uses an auxiliary exhaust port and has an oiler rack for the main bearings and crankpin. The valves are run from the crankshaft gear with an eccentric. The pendulum governor is attached to the intake valve. Any information regarding the true identification of the engine, the proper color, or anything at all that would be of help will be greatly appreciated.

I also have a Crossley engine with an enclosed crankshaft, solid disc flywheels, and a 41/2  x 7 inch bore and stroke. Any information on this model will again be greatly appreciated. Arvin Teige, Rt 2, Shevlin, MN 56676.

A. We can't supply any specifics other than those already noted in your letter, but find it interesting that this engine used an auxiliary exhaust. Very few engines were thus designed, but two notable examples are the Gade and the R & V sideshaft models.