Old Letz burr mill


Ralph L. Smith

Content Tools

Since we have a large number of inquiries this month, 'A Brief Word' will be even more brief than usual.

In late May we made our annual sojourn to the big Swap Meet at Waukee, Iowa. We thought this event was tremendously large last year, but found it even larger this season. There were a lot of engines for sale or trade, along with lots of tractors, parts, accessories and other items. From the looks of things a lot of engines changed hands this year.

On May 30 the Reflector attended a small engine show at Seminole Valley Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Although it was of a more or less local nature, a great many engines were present, along with a number of tractors and a few steam engines. We are probably guilty of high treason, but instead of taking a gas engine to this one, we cleaned up our little freelance steamer and had a great enjoyment with the commingling smell of coal smoke and steam cylinder oil for a couple of days. Peer pressure exerted during this little show has, however, shown us the light, so we will be bringing gas engines out to future shows (perhaps).

Our first letter begins:

22/8/1 Q. W. M. Wallner, 2039 Laurel Road, Cave Junction, OR 97523 inquires where one might obtain ignitor parts for the John Deere Type E engines?

A. Here in the Midwest at least, John Deere parts are probably the easiest to find of anything. For those not so fortunate as to have a ready supply of used parts we suggest contacting some of the regular engine part suppliers, several of whom advertise regularly in GEM. We are confident they can supply almost any John Deere E parts you might need.


Jim Paquette, 60 A High St., Uxbridge, MA 01569 forwards a unique answer to the problem of cranking a large engine that has no compression release. On hit-and-miss engines, this can be achieved by holding in the detent lever, but on volume governed engines this can be a problem to roll the engine past compression.

See the sketches by Mr. Paquette. By drilling a small hole in the valve rod bracket and inserting a small pin or cotter key, the engine can be rolled over and at the desired time can be withdrawn with an attached cord.

22/8/3 Q. I have a 10-20 IHC tractor with a date of 12-26-29 cast into the frame. Despite the fact that IH did not change from gray to red until November, 1936 I can find no trace of gray, only red paint. Abo, it has no brake but instead has a factory-built cast iron cover over the end of the brake shaft. The cover does not appear in the parts book. Also did IH build a 10-20 Riceland tractor? Lloyd A. Merchant, 4310 Smith Road, Dimon-dale, Ml 48821.

A. It is quite possible that your tractor might have been red right from the factory-in fact, the absence of a brake suggests this tractor might have been built for some special application, although we can't imagine why the brake would have been eliminated and the shaft covered. We can't tell you whether the 10-20 was ever built in a Riceland version. Perhaps some of our knowledgeable readers might be able to help.

22/8/4 Q. I need information on a two-cylinder, two-cycle marine engine built by St. Lawrence Engine Co.Ltd., Brockville, Ontario, Canada. Information on the ignition system is especially needed. Dale Wright, 1495 NE I8 Ist St., N. Miami Beach. FL 33162.

A. We can't tell you a single thing about the St. Lawrence engines but hopefully there is someone in this hobby who might.

22/8/5 Q. Can you tell me the year built for the following IHC Type M engines; AW61060 and AW8017, also theĀ  exact color match for the Type M engines. Alfio Sapienza, 55061 Bittersweet Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545.

A. AW61060 was built in (late) 1927 and AW8017 was built in 1925. Getting an exact color match for the green finish on Type M engines is almost impossible for several reasons. First of all, even IHC did not maintain a close match throughout the production run. Implement manufacturers in general seem to have bought the year's supply of paint on contract, and it varied substantially from one year to the next, even when coming from the same supplier. The usual shade of green is very difficult to match with colors now available - we have a color chip from a local paint factory that used to supply this color, but it is somewhat darker than any IHC green we have seen, so we question whether it is of the proper shade. We don't mean to be evasive but we're not sure whether the exact color match you refer to is available, given the circumstances. The closest match we have found is DuPont 7498D Green.

22/8/6 Q. Can you tell me the correct color for the I-30 McCormick-Deering and how many were made of the regular I-30, along with the years built? R. R. Golden, RR 1, Box 88, Armington, IL, 61721.

A. We assume the I-30 was DuPont 93-27625 gray. About 5001-30 tractors were built 1930-32 with an HD prefix on the number. Presumably these were retrofitted from the regular farm equipment line into industrial models. The I-30 with the IB prefix was offered from 1931 to 1940 with about 5,000 copies being built.

22/8/7 Q. Can you tell me the age of a Duplex-Superior engine, #75127, 4 1/8 bore and 5 inch stroke, speed 500,2 HP, and using a Webster magneto. Mel Jameson, 2550 Silvercreek Drive, Franklin Park, IL 60131.

A. We honestly doubt that Duplex built the above engine, but suggest that first of all you compare the Webster magneto bracket number against the list recently published in GEM. If a crossmatch occurs, that might indicate who actually built the engine. Large companies often bought their engines though they had nothing at all to do with its manufacture.

22/8/8 Q. I would like any information, proper color etc. on my Foos Jr., 1? HP engine, s/n 50306. Ralph L. Smith, 3752 Minerva Lake Road, Columbus, OH 43229.

A. (See photos above of the Foos Jr. engine). Mr. Smith indicates that he had a question as to the authenticity of the paint scheme, but we believe the dark green finish, together with the red lettering and white shadow to be absolutely correct as it stands. (Sure would be nice if all our photos could be published in color.)

22/8/9 Q. Would like information on my Fairbanks-Morse engine, s/ n303761. It 15 a headless engine with a water hopper, but was wondering if there were other models of this size? What is the proper color? Chris R. Thyrring, PO Box 7159, Halcyon, CA 93420.

A. Your engine appears to be of 1918 vintage. Fairbanks-Morse did offer the 1 Vi HP size in a headless version, later discontinuing it in favor of a throttle-governed design with a water cooled head. The closest match we have found is a DuPont Dulux 9372001 green.

22/8/10 Q. Fred Appleton, PO Box 486, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 asks: I have a small Nelson Bros, vertical air cooled engine, valve-in-head design, and ? H.P. Would like to hear from anyone with photos or diagrams of the Eisemann magneto system, and need help in getting the carburetor to work. Although most of these had the Wico flywheel magneto, mine has the Eisemann, and I have seen a couple others the same way. Would like to hear from anyone with any information, other owners, etc. or anything at all in regard to this engine.


I recently found a Cushman Model 2, Type A engine in pieces and need help getting it back together. Will be happy to hear from other owners, or someone having information concerning this engine. Dick Schallau, 601 West 11th St., Spencer, Iowa, 51301.

22/8/12 Q. Can anyone identify this small garden tractor? There is no nameplate on it. A bicycle wheel serves as a speed reduction unit with the coaster brake chain drive. It originally carried a Briggs & Stratum Model N engine. R. D. Corley, 314 N. Coolidge, Enid, Oklahoma, 73703.

22/8/13 Q. I have a Monarch engine, Model #1, made by Royal Engine Company, s/n 18308 (See photo). Along with trying to find the proper Webster bracket, I would like to obtain any information regarding its age. Also would like to know the year built for a Fairbanks-Morse engine, s/n 793716. James Wright, PO Box 141, Brandamore, PA 19316.

A. Our files are completely devoid of literature on the Monarch engines, but the Fairbanks-Morse engine you refer to was built in 1936.

22/8/14 Q. Can you tell me the month and year built for a Farmall F-12, s/n FS41852? Is there a list of Farmall serial numbers that can be obtained someplace? Bob Coffey, 1201 Longview Drive, Rogers, AR 72756.

A. We can't tell you the exact month, but it appears your F-12 was built in late 1936. A compilation of IHC serial numbers is included in the book 150 Years of International Harvester authored by the Reflector several years ago.

22/8/15 Q. We have just acquired a John Deere 1? HP 'E' engine and would like to know when it was built. R. K. Brehm, 22 Tyler Road, Lexington, MA 02173.

A. Several months ago a discussion was made concerning the ways to determine the year built from the serial number. Since we are not yet sure who is correct in this matter, we suggest you direct your inquiry to Les Stegh, Corporate Archivist, Deere & Company, John Deere Road, Moline, Illinois. For anyone following this advice, please write to Mr. Stegh, DO NOT PHONE HIM. Ostensibly the Deere people have other things to do during their workday, and a flurry of phone calls will completely disrupt their schedule.

22/8/16 Q. Can you identify this engine (see photos below). I believe it is a Fairbanks-Morse Style T, but have never seen one with this type of cooling tank. Also I cannot find the serial number stamped anywhere on the cylinder or head. Recently I wrote to Fairmont Railway Motors to determine the proper color for their engines, and they replied that it is Santa Fe Red. I cannot find this color under DuPont or other companies. Rick Rohrs, 1125 Broad St., Princeton, NE 68404.

A. Your engine is definitely a Fairbanks-Morse as you suggest. The auxiliary cooling tank was a simple method of converting an engine set up for running water cooling into one that required only occasional replenishment. While not at all common, Fairbanks-Morse did build some vertical engines using this system. Try the end of the crankshaft for the serial number. Some of the early FBM engines also have the date of manufacture stamped on the end of the crankshaft. Perhaps someone familiar with railroadiana can fill us in on Santa Fe Red-the color no doubt refers to a color used by this rail line.

22/8/17 Q. Can anyone tell me the year built for a Hercules 5 HP engine, s/n 191039? Also for a John Deere 1? HP engine, s/n 315994? Jesse Spongier, 6184 Lawman, Drayton Plains, MI 48020.

A. So far as we know, no serial number lists exist for the Hercules line. Regarding the John Deere, kindly refer to our answer in 22/8/15 above.

22/8/18 Q. Last August 1 purchased a Centaur Tractor. So far I have not been able to find any information on it. The tractor is a Model M2, s/n 48644. The data tag

indicates that this tractor was built by LeRoi Company. I would like to find any information, service data etc., regarding this tractor. DougMiller, 318E. 650N., West Lafayette, IN 47906.

A. Although we cannot locate precise information on the M2 tractor, LeRoi Company's Centaur Division tested their KV-48 tractor at Nebraska in 1948 under Test No. 402. This particular model used a LeRoi engine, so indeed the entire tractor was of their manufacture. Perhaps one of our readers might have specific information for the M2 model.

22/8/19 Q. Do you have any information on the Buda engine line from beginning to end of production, also on Eisemann magnetos? Lester Richey, Box 74, Big Piney, Wyoming, 83113.

A. Our conversations with various people at the Harvey Works of Allis-Chalmers (formerly operated by Buda) indicated that the early Buda records had been destroyed some years ago, with only sketchy information remaining on parts of the later years. Thus, our answer is negative in this regard. We have very little data on hand regarding Eisemann magnetos. Here again, when magneto shops were closing one after the other years ago, the old manuals were available for virtually nothing, yet how many of us were wise enough to box them up and take them away!

22/8/20 Q. Can anyone identify the engine in the photos given below? There are no markings whatever, and the flywheels, cam, cam gear, follower, rocker arm support, and the entire assembly are of solid brass. Some approximate dimensions are: Bore and stroke, 2? x 2? flywheel diameter, 6? x 1? inch face. Weight, 50 pounds. The entire valve assembly is contained in the square block on top of the head. I will be most happy to hear from anyone with any information regarding this engine or how to get it running again, and will gladly pay for photocopies. Thomas Edward Gipson, Route 1, Box 48, Decherd, TN 37324.

A. Tom, we think you have come up with a real 'oddball' here. Although we have never seen anything quite like it, perhaps someone out there has, and hopefully you'll get it running again.

22/8/21 Q. I'm restoring a 1928 International Truck, Model 54-C which is powered by the same engine used in the 10-20 McCormick Deering tractors. Can anyone advise the proper colors for the engine block and its components, likewise the proper color for the transmission. What is the proper red for the frame and running gear? Bill Riser, 730 Dallas St., Jackson, MO 63755.

A. Despite a lot of data on various things built by IHC, the Reflector has never acquired much regarding their trucks. This, despite the fact that we have always admired the early IHC truck models. We are hopeful that some of our readers have done some restoration work on the IHC trucks and will be able to lend a hand.

22/8/22 Q. Dallas Few, 560 Twilight Trail, Seville, OH 44273 sends a photo of a small unit made by Pond Garden Tractor Co., Ravenna, Ohio. We've heard that an engineer dismissed by Pond went to Ford Motor Co. and drew up plans like the Pond, with Ford building a few of these tractors in the 1930's. Another rumor has it that Ford sued Pond for making these tractors with Ford parts. We're curious as to who sued who or if any of these stories are true.


A. We always enjoy hearing of the background details with various farm equipment companies, so if anyone has information regarding this tractor, kindly let us know.

22/8/23 Q. We have an old Letz burr mill, Model 220, Type A manufactured at Crown Point, Indiana. Right now, we would like to know the correct color scheme, and have detected some medium blue enamel. Any information, approximate date built, etc. will be appreciated. P. Brown, 134 Wexford, Belleville, MI 48111.

A. We believe you are correct on the blue color, but our recollection is that it also had some orange paint. In fact, we are certain that the entire mill was blue, except that the steel hopper and the wood skids were a bright orange enamel.

22/8/24 Q. Can anyone tell me if the piston of an' upright Maytag is the same size as some of the later model Maytag engines? Mine measures 2 inches in diameter, total length, 2 7/16 inches; wrist pin diameter, 7/16 inch; and distance from top of wrist pin hole to top of the piston is 11/16 inch. Jared Beck, Box 178, Ree Heights, SD 57371

22/8/25 Q. I am restoring a single cylinder engine by Clinton Motor Works, Cincinnati, Ohio. It is rated at 1? HP @5oo RPM. Can anyone advise approximate date built and the proper paint color. The engine is incomplete-no magneto or drive is evident. Any information at all will be appreciated. Wayne R.Butler, 15 A Rowan Road, Epsom Auckland 3, New Zealand.

A. Although the Reflector has nothing on file regarding this engine, one of our many readers might be able to help.

22/8/26 Q. I recently acquired a Nelson Bros. ? HP air-cooled horizontal engine. According to an advertisement from Nelson Bros., this engine was designed especially for washing machines. Designated as the 'HA' 'its specifications are the same as the (vertical) model VA ? HP'. The fuel and oil pumps are badly rusted and I need some help in figuring out how to make them work again. Any information or photocopies will be greatly appreciated. Rex A. Whiting D.D.S., Box 146, Heber City, Utah 84032.

A. Both the HA and VA air-cooled models are rather scarce. We've never worked on one so we can't tell you how the pumps work, although we know that they used a rather unique oil pump system along with a pump-operated fuel system. Whether this was achieved with check valves or ported pump cylinders we do not know.

22/8/27 Q. See the below photos, one of an old horsedrawn disc and another of a Planet Jr. walking cultivator. Are these tools fairly common, and what is the approximate vintage? The disc has no name, only KK 112 stamped on the seat bracket. Pete Van Donsel, 4380 N. Overland Rd.,Oneida, WI 54155.

A. S. L. Allen & Co. of Philadelphia started building garden tools way back in the 1800's. By the 1890's the walking cultivators had taken the general form they would assume for the next fifty years, and were in fact changed very little for a long time. However, the general design of your cultivator indicates that it was probably built around the turn of the century, give or take ten years in either direction. We have no idea as to the make of the disc you submit, but will comment that a sizeable number still rest in groves and other out-of-the-way places.


Early IHC Famous Verticals

Ray Rylander, 805 E. San Rafael St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903 writes regarding a recent query of his that his vertical Famous has no water, pump and absolutely no place to mount one. The engine has no bosses on the crankcase, no special cast crankcase breather, and no eccentric on the cam gear. Ray's engine is s/n 2502, making it a very early engine. Apparently some of the very early verticals used a rather tall water tank of small diameter so that the water circulated by thermosyphon action. If anyone can shed further light on this early cooling method for the Famous Verticals, kindly contact Mr. Rylander.

22/5/34, R & V governor parts Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Ave., San Jose, CA 95124 writes that he had similar problems with an R & V governor made of pot metal, but found that Mathew Clarke who advertises in GEM makes a specialty of this crucial element.

22/5/32 Barco gas jack hammer Dick Hamp, whose address is above, writes that he has a manual and parts book for the Barco which he will copy for a nominal fee.

22/5/28 Magneto brushes Michael Bond, 3594 Test Rd., Richmond, IN 47374 writes: Take an old dry cell battery cut it open, and remove the carbon electrode in the center. Put it in the lathe and carefully turn it to the desired shape. Use an X-acto knife and cut the case in several places to get at the electrode. Be careful in doing so or the carbon rod will be ruined before you get to it. After it is machined or fitted, it will run for a long time, a least I've had one in use for the past four years. (Plain carbon rods are still available at some welding supply houses, and some electric motor brushes are round-they too can be refitted to do the job. The Reflector).

22/5/22 NOS part designations. We got several letters on this one, including the standardized notation as used in automotive parts. Perhaps it might be well for GEM to adapt these notations as a part of the regular classified section so that every buyer knows what every seller is talking about. The classifications are:

NORS New old replacement stock (A new part made by an aftermarket supplier). NOS New old stock (A new part made by the original manufacturer). We might also add in regard to correspondence:SASE Self-addressed, stamped envelope, preferably the large size.

22/2/12 Unidentified engine

Carl Zipperle, RR 3, Box 322, Vernon, TX 76384 sends a photo (see below) of his Union Giant engine which although larger in physical size, is virtually identical to the one submitted earlier by Robert Schmauss. The name tag states: Union Foundry and Machine Co., Ottawa, Kansas. In the background is Mr Zipperle's 1930 Model A Ford Cabriolet which has been in his family since 1943. It was parked in the barn in 1951 and in 1986 it was tuned up and serviced, after which it went on a 230 mile trip, followed by another 200 mile trip this year.

22/6/24 Witte serial numbers

Quite by coincidence the folks at National Oilwell dropped us a line noting that they had fallen far behind in responding to questions of serial numbers on Witte engines. Mr. T. G.

Johnston, Plant Manager at McAlester Works offers his personal apologies for any delay.

The folks at National Oilwell are very cordial indeed, and on behalf of all our readers, we at GEM wish to thank them for their efforts. For the benefit of anyone looking for year-built information, kindly send the serial number, horsepower, and any other nameplate data to:

Mr. T. G. Johnston, Plant Manager, National Oilwell, McAlester Works, PO Box 1328, McAlester, Oklahoma, 74501.

In this same regard, Jim Beau-champ, 27855 W. California, Lathrup Village, MI 48076 writes that his reply from National Oilwell revealed that his engine was one of two experimental engines built, with Jim's engine being shipped March 25, 1932. Since only two were built, Jim is curious as to whether the other one, s/n 92624Y might still be in existence. Should you have it, or know where it might be, Mr. Beau-champ will be most happy to hear from you.


Only one letter this month, so we assume all you modelmakers are getting done with your projects in time for this summer's shows. We do take note though, that the model Atkinson engine recently spoken of was published on page 25 of the September, 1985 issue of GEM.