A Brief Word

Alpha Engine


Bert Herrera

Content Tools

27/4/35 Alpha Engine Q. See the photos of a 3? HP Alpha DeLaval engine, Type F, s/n 55899. It is equipped with a Wico magneto, bracket no. W124 B, and two spark plugs. Anyone with info as to the purpose of the two plugs, and how the engine was wired, please advise. I also need the proper color scheme, and when it was built. Bert Herrera, PO Box 626, Laporte, CO 80535.

27/4/36 Pattin Bros. Q. See the photo of a Pattin Bros 20 HP engine, s/n 2002. I would like to know when it was built and what color it should be. This is a hot tube engine of two cycle design, and using natural gas for fuel. Any and all help will be appreciated. Timothy D. Beam, Rt 2, Box 56-C, Vale, NC 28168.

27/4/37 Lefthand LeRoi Q. See Photo 37A of a LeRoi single-cylinder engine with a 3? x4? inch bore and stroke. This is a left-hand running engine with a reduction gear output shaft. I need information as to the proper color, its age, and also some service information. Any help will be appreciated. Also see in Photo 37B a photo of our restored Meadows buhr mill. Does anyone know where I can find new rod and main bearings for a 1946 IHC LBB engine? Sam Spencer, 1285-A Lovett Rd., Orange Park, FL 32065.

Readers Write

27/1/16 John Rex Responds My copy of the Webster Numerical List shows that bracket 303K37 fits a Nelson Bros. 1? HP engine with an AK magneto, push rod assembly A325K37 and push finger 302K3. In 1925 this group listed at $7.00. Another bracket not listed in your Notebook is 303J78. This fits the Geo. Pohl 'Farmer's Favorite' engines having the large four-bolt ignitor. Also see reference to 303J90 in the March 1989 GEM, page 8 for another bracket not on your list. John Rex, 12 Gail Street, Chelmsford, MA 01824.

Our thanks to John for sending along this information. We're certain that there are numerous Webster brackets not yet listed, and this can be a valuable identification tool. As many of you know, the original list was acquired from the late Lester L. Roos of Geneseo, Illinois.

27/1/24 Gibson Tractors Several responses came in on this one, including a reference to an article found in the July 1985 GEM on page 2. This 'History of Gibson Manufacturing Company' provides some valuable information on the line.

Fordson Marine Engines We got some mail on this one too, including a letter from the Connecticut Yankee, 85 Dayton Road, Waterford, CT 06385. As many of you know, The Yankee has a large collection of Fordsons, along with a considerable amount of Fordson literature, including three different Fordson Directories. They list hundreds of accessories made for the Fordson tractors. There are over 300 pages of Fordson add-on products. On page 236 of the 1927 edition is an add-on for the marine conversion. I have heard there were as many as six different conversions such as this, but have proof of the one mentioned and this one.

27/1/31 Leaded vs. Unleaded We received several replies on this query. One writer put it this way, 'I'm old enough to remember the time when all gasoline was white. It didn't have any of the so-called side effects, as there was nothing added to plug up the fuel system. Adding [tetraethyl] lead to gasoline came after most of our antiques were built. It was intended as an antiknock for high compression engines.

'Not all the leaded fuel used lead. Champlin Oil Co. gasoline caused a sticky deposit in the whole gas line, from tank, shut-off valve, and carburetor. Fuel with lead caused a red powdery deposit, wherever there was any seepage. I think leaded gas came out in the 1930s, and then it was about 10 cents a gallon.'

As we have noted previously, there were many attempts to calm down high-compression engines, with tetraethyl lead being the one that the industry settled on. Some experiments were made using vapors from iodine, but apparently this one didn't pan out. Now we're using ethanol blends, and who knows where we might be even five or ten years from now!

26/11/25 Frazer Tiller In reference to this item about an unknown tiller, Jackie B. Ashburn, P.O. Box 295, White Stone, VA 22578, writes: 'I have some booklets (shop, parts and sales). I also have several photos of the Frazer Tiller, with attachments. One of the photos is of a Frazer tractor; maybe someone has more information on that, as I have never seen one.

'As to the Frazer tiller not being connected to the Frazer auto, one of my photos (photocopy shown below, RW-1) clearly shows Joe Frazer, who was president and chairman of the board of Graham-Paige and president of Kaiser-Frazer Corp. K-F and G-P jointly leased the Willow Run Factory.

'In February 1947, all Graham-Paige rights and properties were transferred to Kaiser-Frazer Corp. Graham-Paige Farm Equipment soon moved to York, Pa., where it was manufactured through 1949, with parts and service then from Auburn, Indiana.

'My photos are marked on the back, 'From Willow Run News Bureau of Kaiser-Frazer Corp., Graham-Paige Motor Corp.'

'Maybe this information will be of help to someone.'

Modelmakers Corner

Nothing to report this month.

A Closing Word

We just came into ownership of a Deyo-Macey engine catalog. As you may already know, the Deyo-Macey line was acquired by Massey-Harris. In reading through the catalog it appears that the R. H. Deyo Company was building engines by 1905, and perhaps earlier. Later on it was reorganized as the Deyo-Macey Engine Company. This Binghamton, New York firm specialized in orchard sprayers and associated equipment. For 1911 they illustrated water cooled engines in 2? and 3? HP sizes, along with an air-cooled model in 2 and 3 horsepower models.

The March 1908 issue of The Gas & Gasoline Engine Users Guide talks about the K &. M engine. This outfit was an engine, a car, a truck, and other things, depending on the need at hand. The writeup describes it as being ideal to run the washing machine, churn the cream, and take the family to the barn dance or the ice cream social. However, this article makes no mention of the company name or address, and so far we have been unable to find any further information. If anyone can supply the missing clues, let us know.

Some months ago, we published a picture of an engine built by the Parsons Company at Newton, Iowa. We've never heard a word about this one, so perhaps it is safe to assume that none of these engines exist. But then, who would have thought that a Secord & Orr engine would appear, yet there are photos of one in this month's column. We've written on and studied about engines for over a quarter century now, and new finds appear on a regular basis. Could there be a finer hobby?!