A Brief Word


Content Tools

I am very pleased to report that work is moving ahead on our planned visit to the 8th Australian National Rally scheduled for March 2001 in Tasmania. Our friend Dudley Russell, a native of Tasmania, has done much of the work in organizing the tour. As a collector, Dudley knows that it is important to collectors that they see some 'old iron' nearly every day, and that's exactly what he is planning. Of course, we'll be seeing some fine scenery too, but have no doubt-this will be an 'old iron' tour! At this point we can't tell you exactly where we'll be going and what we'll see, but perhaps by next issue we can tell you more. By the May or June issue of GEM, we will probably be running a formal advertisement of the tour, but we offer a suggestion: If you are interested in going to Australia next February/March, drop a line to ye olde Reflector right here at GEM. That will help us in planning. The tour will be limited to one coach, or about 40 people. If there is enough interest, we might also have an extension to New Zealand.

Talk about power! Those big 747-400 planes that make the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney carry 50 tons of fuel, and have a maximum gross liftoff weight of 450 tons! Those big jet engines will accelerate to liftoff in about 50 seconds!

Our new book, Standard Catalog of Farm Tractors, was to have been released in May 2000. We fear that it may be delayed somewhat. Our editor at Krause Publications was involved in an automobile accident. Jon Brecka was driving home on slippery roads when broadsided by a pickup. This was just before Christmas. He was dreadfully injured, and as of this writing (February 6) remains in a coma. As the rest of his body heals, his brain might also heal. Even if he regains consciousness, it is now thought that he will never work again. So, other editors at Krause are dividing up his work, and what would have been an easy deadline is now in jeopardy.

Computers are a great invention, and we use one every day. However, these great inventions sometimes have their disadvantages. Due to an inadvertent download onto my puter, a whole bunch of things were disrupted, including my email address of We couldn't understand why our email suddenly dried up, and then discovered that about a week's worth of messages were in cyberspace. We finally got our provider to patch this address into another email service we already have, and now we get our messages again, but those sent before the patch are alas, in deep space somewhere. The big problem is that we also have temporarily lost our address book! Well, so it goes ... we still wouldn't dream of being without our computer!

Speaking of email, we have no problem at all when you send in your queries this way, but please include your regular mailing address. Lots of our subscribers do not use email, so they have no way of contacting you with a response!

We've had all kinds of things to keep us busy this winter, but come warm weather, we want to get started on our 1914 Buick engine. It has an interesting background. Shortly after buying the car, the owner had an altercation with a locomotive, and the locomotive won. The car was a wreck, and someone bought the engine to use as a power plant in a home machine shop. Eventually it fell into disuse, and remained in place for some years. It then went through a couple of different collectors, and finally came to our place about ten years ago. The engine ran beautifully (it obviously has been run very little) and we always had plans of restoring it. Finally, in 2000, the old Buick will be running again, 85+ years after it left the factory! The moral of the story is that we hope that all of you are thinking along the same lines, and will present the gas engine fraternity with some new restorations this year!

Our first query this issue is:

35/4/1 In Response 

Tony Bakken, in Memphis, Tennessee, responds to 35/2/29 on page 8 of the February 2000 issue. He tells us that this item is a two-cylinder, 5 HP Mercury chain saw engine, the same as the Mercury outboard. Apparently there were a lot of these used by the military in World War Two, and a great number were used on two-man chainsaws built from the 1940s into the 1960s.

35/4/2 Unidentified Tool 

Emile Hermary, RR 1, Red Deer, Alberta T4N 5E1 Canada sends a photo (q.v.) of an unidentified tool. Can anyone be of help in identifying it?

35/4/3 Unidentified Engine 

See the photos of an unidentified two-cylinder marine engine. It has no nameplate and also is missing the spark mechanism. Jim Windle, 400 Foxrun Rd., Powhatan, VA 23139. email:

35/4/4 Neptune Outboards 

Roy Nagel, 620 Fox River Drive, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 writes us regarding 35/2/20 and an engine by Muncie Gear Works. He comments:

Muncie Gear Works made a number of outboards that were marketed using the name Neptune, and possibly some others. Yours appears to be the smallest in the line, and is rated around 1.2 or 1.5 horsepower, depending on the year. I have a 2 horsepower 1941 Neptune Model 11 B2/s/n 43316C. I'd say yours is approximately the same vintage, but I don't have records to nail down the exact year of production. My late father had another 2 HP Neptune that we used for fishing when I was a kid back in the late 1940s on Long Island. I suppose that's why I picked this one up when I had a chance. I also had a 2-cylinder 4 HP Neptune of my own back in the 1950s but I've only got the one 11B2 now.

Roy also sent along some photocopies of Neptune literature which is already in our files. Thanks!

35/4/5 Another Response 

Charles W. Skinner, RR 1, Berwick, Kings Co. NS BOP 1E0 Canada comments that the engine of 35/2/29 is a Mercury from Kiekhaefer Corporation. He also notes that further information is available on the net at:http: // 

Mr. Skinner also inquires about a Novo engine, s/n 9657, but we have no data on engines prior to #40,000.

35/4/6 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an unidentified engine. Stamped into the crankcase is: J. Scheib Maker Feb. 12, 1921 49 Laing Street No town is given. Unique features include a sight glass in the fuel tank. The tank is also split to form an oil tank with line running to sight feed at the crankcase. The plug is fired by a Bosch DA2 magneto with direct-gear drive and no impulse. There are six gears: crank gear, cam gear, cam gear pinion to intermediate gear, magneto gear, and governor gear. A Schebler carburetor is used, and the open valves are set 90° to the crankshaft. Both valves are actuated by a single cam lobe, using an intricate rocker arm arrangement. This engine has a 27/16 x 2? inch bore and stroke. The most unusual' feature is the fitting of the head, cylinder, and crankcase. No gaskets are used anywhere on the engine; instead a tongue and groove arrangement is used. The only other marks are on the fuel cap which says Petroleand on the oil tank which saysHuile. Any information on this engine would be appreciated. John Zychski, 7660 Marsh Rd., Marine City, MI 48039.

A. We would certainly believe the Scheib engine is a one-of-a-kind, with J. Scheib probably having been a first-class machinist. We don't know the geographical area from which you got the engine, but we would suggest you start looking through the street directories of various phone books, or perhaps even look for these on the internet. Laing Street is a rather unusual name, so chances are when you come across it, you will know the city where it was built. A bit more detective work, such as at the Hall of Records or County Recorders Office might then unearth some information on this fellow.

35/4/7 Cushman Engine 

Frederick Paulus, 1307 S. Wabash Ave., Hastings, NE 68901-7068 has a 1919 Cushman horizontal engine, and would like to know the proper color. We have gray listed as the proper color but do not have an exact color match. Can anyone furnish us with a paint number?

35/4/8 Asked and Answered 

In 35/1/4 Raymond Tjarks asks the identity of a tool. Douglas Clever, 1613 Twp Rd 1153, Rt 4, Ashland, OH 44805 responds that it is called a Never-Root Hog Tamer. It cuts across the tip of the nose with a curve at each side, and severing same in the middle, leaving two projections on each side. (Some of our folks here at GEM comment: The poor hog!) 

35/4/9 Dynamo Cutout Q. See the photo of a small cutout used on low tension ignitor-fired gas engines. Can someone tell me when Briggs & Stratton made such a fine little switch, and perhaps the cost? Kenneth W. Keck, 229 Maple, Benld, IL 62009.

35/4/10 Jaeger Engine 

Elmer Stumpf, 1116 West Dayton, Fresno, WA 93705 sends a photo of his 2 HP Jaeger engine, s/n 367551 and would like to know if anyone can tell him when it was built.

35/4/11 Information Needed Q. W.D. Birkeland, 26010 SW Baker Rd., Sherwood, OR 97140-8407 would like to know the paint colors for the following:

Nelson Bros, jumbo

Fairbanks-Morse (dishpan model)

Fairbanks-Morse 'Z'

A. The Nelson Bros, is listed as DuPont 2015 Green; the F-M Dishpan model is DuPont RS910; and the F-M Z is DuPont 72001 Green. The DuPont SpectraMaster shows many other reds very close to the RS910, and it will be a lot cheaper to get one of those. RS (Red) (Solid) colors are very expensive.

35/4/12 Twin City JT Tractor 

Roy Pickett, 6154 Battle Creek Rd., Bellevue, MI 49021 (email: has a 1936 Twin City Model JT and has looked a long time for a radiator. We suggest studying the ads in this magazine. Aside from that, can anyone lead him to a source?

35/4/13 Bean Sprayer Engine Q. I have a Stover CT-2 engine, s/n T268032, and a Bean Sprayer engine, s/n 1602. Can anyone help me with date built and paint colors for these engines? Also have a small vertical steam engine built by J. C. Born & Brother, New York, New York. If anyone has any information, please contact Charlie Davis, PO Box 516, Ariel, WA 98603 (email:

A. The Stover was made in 1940. CT engines are somewhere near Ditzler 44616 or DuPont GS188. If using DuPont try to find something close to the GS (Green) (Solid) The solids are always quite expensive. We don't have color data on the Bean.

35/4/14 T. Shriver & Co. Inquiry Q. I have a diaphragm pump from T. Shriver & Company, Harrison, New Jersey. It is Size 00, Patent No. 1445844, s/n 68821. Can anyone advise if this company is still in business? Any information would be appreciated. Melville Hands, RR 3, Caledon East, ONTLON 1E0 Canada.

35/4/15 Stud Removal 

Bruce D. West, 10684 Liss Rd., Willis, MI 48191-9722 responds that he enjoyed a recent article about removal of broken stud bolts, and was glad to see that there was no mention of the various stud extractors. Bruce also comments there was a recent article in the Rolls-Royce Owner's Magazine where the aluminum block and head of a V-12 engine were stuck; the owner sawed off 128 studs using the headgasket space for the saw! After separating the parts, the remaining studs were drilled out!

35/4/16 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two photos of an unidentified engine/air compressor. The carburetor reads: Michigan Wheel, Grand Rapids, Mi. Any information on this unit would be appreciated. Richard Meyer, 3277 Allen St.,Hudsonville, MI 49426.

35/4/17 Fairbanks-Morse Q. What is the year built for the following Fairbanks-Morse engines: 473850, 486273, and 760196? Thomas H. Earnest, PO Box 62032, San Angelo, TX 76906-2032.

A. They are: 1920, 1920, and 1930 respectively.

35/4/18 Information Needed Q. Any information on a 40 HP West Coast gas engine made in San Diego? The tag is gone. Would like to correspond with other West Coast owners. Does anyone have any literature about the company for a copy? It was used in southern Arizona at a gold mine. I have the mill that it ran. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Dan Barson, 1210W. Butler Drive, Chandler, AZ 85224.

35/4/19 In Response 

to 34/12/3 in the December 1999 GEM, the unknown engine is a Lauson RAU-719. The engine was built from about 1930 to about 1933 or 1934. The RAU was rated at ? horsepower at 2,200 rpm, with a speed range down to 1,200 rpm. A basic description of this engine and its companion models can be found on pages 18 and 19 of the December 1996 GEM.

Also, what is the year built for a Witte engine, s/n 20650? Mac Sine, PO Box 518, Painted Post, NY 14870-0518.

Your engine was built in 1915. Thanks for providing the information on the Lauson. 

35/4/20 In Response 

Wyett H. Colclasure, 307 S. Washington St., Kinmundy, IL 62854-2149 writes that in 34/10/4 (October 1999 GEM, pp 2 & 3) the governor weights in 4A look like thos on a Little Jumbo Model P engine. Also the detent arm and roller in 4B look to be the same as those on a Model P, 1 HP engine.

35/4/21 Scott Stationary Engine Q. See the two photos of a small marine-style Scott Stationary engine that was purchased in Canada. The engine has no conventional source of ignition. Where a spark plug would normally be installed, there is nothing but a fine screen exposed to the combustion chamber. There are no wires or electrodes, and there is no magneto or contact breaker on the engine. However, some sort of bracket has been broken off the crankcase. It might have been for a breaker or for a water pump. Does anyone have any ideas regarding this engine? Any help would be appreciated. John Swigart, 1269 Ashover Dr., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.

A Closing Word

In the last issue we began a series of articles about machine tools. We continue this time with a foot-treadle lathe of a century ago; at least this one was on the market at that time. Actually, foot-powered lathes began to gain some acceptance by the 1870s. The one shown here was built by W. F. & John Barnes Co., Rockford, Illinois. It had a 7-inch swing and weighed 210 pounds. The $40 price tag included a faceplate, two pointed centers, a spur center, hand rest, wrenches and the drive belt. However, a $15.00 countershaft attachment was available, permitting the lathe to be operated by steam or other power.

A significant feature was the use of a hollow spindle, since early lathes had a solid spindle. Ye olde Reflector stumbled past one of these machines about 30 years ago, grumbling about the princely sum of $5! We have often wished that we hadn't been so stingy and had rescued this historical piece.

We'll try to find an illustration of a pole lathe in a coming issue. These are still used to a limited extent in England. We have seen people using these ancient lathes while there, and it is simply amazing to watch how quickly a skilled operator can turn out an attractive piece.

It is also interesting that there are vast numbers of ancient lathes still in use, many of them approaching the century mark, and a great many of them well over 100 years in age. With careful setup and reasonable care, many of these machines are capable of turning out excellent work after all these years.