Unidentified Engine


George Manning

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Over the past few weeks the Reflector has acquired considerable material regarding various phases of mechanical development, with most of this being deaccessioned material from the Franklin Institute of Phildelphia. Among this material is a substantially complete run of Machinery, a magazine published for the machinist and manufacturing trades.

Several years ago this writer compiled a book entitled American Gas Engines Since 1872. We knew then that despite its 584 pages, this book was by no means 'complete' in that it listed or pictured every internal combustion engine of American origins. Perusing our newly acquired files of Machinery certainly bears testimony to that fact! For example, we just ran across an article in the April, 1907 issue which describes in detail the Hurd & Haggin Marine and Railway engine. Of the four-cycle vertical type, its six cylinders were capable of 38 horsepower at 750 rpm. The engine described in this article used a 4? x 5 ?-inch bore and stroke to attain its 38 horsepower. Two other sizes were available; a 6? x 7 model with an output of 77 horsepower, and an 8? x 9?-inch size rated at 160 horsepower. As the opportunity presents itself, we will try to include photographs, drawings, and descriptive data on engines that are new to our research and present them here in GEM.

As reported earlier, the Reflector is in the process of assembling materials for a book on sawmills. We don't envision a book of tremendous size, but we do plan to include a lot of pertinent data on management of sawmills, along with many illustrations of mills and related equipment. Thanks to many of our readers who have already responded with information and materials. Sawmill operation has always held certain mysteries for the most of us, and we hope to set some of these into print while there is still a chance. We'll keep you apprised of our progress from time to time.

Our first question this month is:

23/8/1 Q. Can anyone supply information on the engine in the photo? It is of aircooled design and the head also has cooling fins. I would appreciate any comments on this engine. George Manning, 2401 Brink-wood Drive, Richmond, Virginia, 23224.

23/8/2 Q. I would like to hear from someone with information on a John Deere engine, s/n 320326. (See Photo). Need to know the specific year built. It is the only John Deere Model 'E' in Holland. These engines are very rare here. Fairbanks-Morse is more common.

The Dutch Tractor and Engine Club now has over 1,500 members and growing about 300 members every year. At least every two weeks in the summer we have a show, and have lots of spectators, young and old.

This winter I have been writing a book on stationary engines-the first one in the Dutch language. It covers some U.S. engines, some British engines, some German and French, and one Italian make. And of course, a lot of Dutch makes. All together with nice pictures and old adverts. Hard cover colored, inside is black and white only. The book costs approximately $25 U.S. money.

So now you are more or less up-to-date with the Dutch engine movement. Look forward to hearing from you about the John Deere engine. Waiter E. Van Gulik, Trompweg 1, 7441 HN Nijverdal, Holland, Europe.

A. Thanks for your letter Walter! It is always interesting to hear from collectors in other countries, particularly since most of their engines are built much differently from ours. We commend Mr. Van Gulik for providing some written history of the internal combustion engine in the Dutch language!

23/8/3 Q. I have started restoration on an Economy engine: Improved Model, No. 32441, 1 HP.

Since this is my first experience in restoring an engine, any help will be appreciated, especially since there is no Economy like it in American Gas Engines. When I finish this one I hope to work on a Fairbanks-Morse 6 HP Model Z engine. William M. Kay, 635 North Main St., Belton, South Carolina 29627.

23/8/4 Q. I have a Ferro Type T engine as illustrated in the photo. It is a 3 HP size.Do you have any information on the Ferro Company or this engine, other than that on page 171 of American Gas Engines? Any guesses as to when it was built? E. Strain, 400 2nd Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.

A. First of all, it's purely a guess but we would suggest something from the 1920's for this engine. Ferro built a lot of engines, apparently specializing in the marine styles. So far we haven't uncovered a lot of material on them though. If there's anyone out there with some history of Ferro, we sure would appreciate hearing from you. Then we can share it with all the GEM readers.

23/8/5 Q. Ed Saulsbury, 914 West 3rd, North Platte, Nebraska 69101 writes:
I'd like to get some information on a Roote & Vandervoort engine, 'Manufactured for John Deere Plow Company, Omaha, Nebraska.' Are these engines John Deere green? Did John Deere Plow Company have their headquarters in Omaha?

A. We have DuPont Dulux 93-5316 green listed for the R & V engines. It is somewhat darker than Deere green. R & V had a sales arrangement with Deere for these engines, and at that point in time John Deere Plow Company had a number of branch houses around the country. To our knowledge however, the main headquarters for Deere has always been in Moline.

23/8/6 Q. What is the color for a Waterloo Boy 2 HP engine, and what is year built for s/n 21712? Gordon Braislin, Jericho Road, Sherman, Connecticut 06784.

A. There is no serial number info on Waterloo Boy that we know about. The color is DuPont 93-5316 or 93-6202 as close as we can tell. The latter number is slightly darker, and we suspect is probably a bit closer to the original. As we we've said many times before, the color usually was not consistent over the years-we're used to thinking in terms of standardized paint numbers, but back in the time these engines were built, it was a matter of combining certain proportions of color to achieve the desired result. Since the basic components probably varied to some extent, it seems very unlikely that a certain paint color remained exactly consistent over a production run of perhaps twenty years.

23/8/7 Q. See the below picture of my first engine. I'm new to the hobby, and I'm not sure of the make, but think it may be an Economy. Any information on the engine, including the proper color will be appreciated.Stewart R. Sickles, 5208 N. Hillcrest Drive, North Street, Michigan 48049.

A. The engine appears to have been built by Hercules, and due to the green paint still remaining, was likely sold as a Hercules rather than an Economy. The Hercules green is Rustoleum 1382 Forest Green.

23/8/8 Q. I have a 3HP Fairbanks-Morse engine, s/n 565981. It is of the hit-and-miss style, and is identical to the 1? HP dishpan model except mine has spoke flywheels. How scarce is this model, and approximately when was it built? C. H. Hobrat, c/o Citizens Bank, Box 220, Mower, Georgia 31638.

A. Your engine was probably built in 1923. Although we have no precise production figures for this particular model, they do indeed exist, but appear to be fairly uncommon.

23/8/9 Q. I just acquired an Edwards engine, s/n 18252, and would like to know when it was built, plus the proper paint color. George Kazia, R.D. #1, Box 109, Muncy, Pennsylvania 17756.

A. We have no serial number info on the Edwards nor do we know of any in existence. We would agree that the Edwards is painted a very dark blue that's almost black, or perhaps one might say a black color with a hint of blue. We would suggest that DuPont Dulux 93-035 might be fairly close to the original.

23/8/10 Q. See below photo of a Power Master engine, s/n 19643, Model 2104, 6 volts, 150 watts @ 2250 rpm. It has one main bearing with a 1 -9/ 16 inch bore and uses a spark plug with a 3/8 SAE thread. So far no one can tell me anything about this engine. R. D. Heidel, 2816 S. Campbell Street, Sandusky, Ohio 44870.

23/8/11 Q. Jerry Kerchner, R.D. #2, Box 783, Stevensville, Maryland 21666 writes that he experienced considerable difficulty with new Champion 34 spark plugs in a Maytag Model 92 engine. After considerable experimenting he found that the outer electrodes of the plug projected down into the cylinder too far. The piston would strike these and of course spoil the gap setting. Flattening the outer electrodes down to the surface of the plug body eliminated the problem however.

A. One probable cause of this trouble would be that the ?-inch pipe thread for the spark plug has worn somewhat over the years thus permitting the plug to be turned farther than was originally intended. The new plugs might also have the threads cut a few thousandths deeper than the originals, allowing the new plug to be turned in slightly more than before.

23/8/12 Charles B. Kaulffers, R.D. 3, Box 574, Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania 18353 has recently acquired a Gibson tractor using the Wisconsin AEH engine. He is most desirous of hearing from anyone who can advise on this tractor, such things as year built, paint colors, etc.

23/8/13 Greg Jones, 1305 Queens Street, Oak Grove, Missouri 64075 sends some copies of oldtime letterheads concerning farm equipment companies. Some of these are indeed very ornate!

23/8/14 Q. What is the year built for a Pilter Type YA, 2HP engine, s/n 25296. It was built by Stover. Also what is the proper paint color? G. P. M. Ryks, Roggelseweg 133, 5987 NC Helden, Holland.

A. This engine was built in December 1910. We believe it was a very dark greenish black.

23/8/15 Q. I'd like some information on a Root and Vandervoort 2 HP vertical engine. It was manufactured for John Deere Implement Company of San Francisco. What is the year and color of this engine? What is the history of the R & V Company? How does a thermosyphon cooling system work? Dennis Uhlich, 609 Pelican Court, Livermore, California 94550.

A. Part of your query is answered in 23/8/5 above. A concise history of the firm is included on pages 432-435 of American Gas Engines. The thermo-syphon cooling system depends on the natural tendency for heated water to rise to the top of colder water. When a cooling tank or radiator is attached to a cylinder jacket with suitable passageways, the heat generated by the engine will heat the water in the jacket. Since the heated water will rise, it is of course replaced by cooler water coming from the tank or radiator. One major requirement is that the water passages be quite large so as to permit free movement of water within the system.

23/8/16 Q. I've just acquired a vacuum pump built by Gardner-Rix of Chancy, Illinois. It has a flat-belt drive and a great deal of embossed lettering. On top it says, Gardner Governor Company, Quincy, Illinois. The following patent dates are included: September 20, 1910, August 22, 1911, August 18, 1914. Any information on this unit will be appreciated. It was possibly used on a milking machine setup. Chris R. Thyrring, P. O. Box 7159, Halcyon, California 93420.

A. We have nothing to offer on this particular unit, although we are entirely familiar with the Gardner governor as used on steam engines and the like.

23/8/17 Q. Can anyone identify the engine in the photo? Dan Baumetz, RR #2, Hutchinson, Minnesota 55350.

A. We're not sure who sold it, but we're sure that it was built at Waterloo, Iowa. From its general appearance, it could have been sold as the Sandow of Sandy McManus at Waterloo, or as a Smythe, to name but two. Several different companies sold this particular engine style, using their own paint color and nameplate to render it as part of their line. From all appearances, the actual manufacturing was done in the shops of Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company, despite the eventual paint color and nameplate hung on the finished engine.

23/8/18 Q. See the below photo of an engine-generator unit I acquired last year. If anyone can supply further information on this unit it will be greatly appreciated. The nameplate reads: Farmelectric, The Ford Parts Plant, No. 1336 Model F160, Watts 1500, Volts 40, RPM 1200, Farm Electric Utilities Corporation, Engineering & Machine Company, Woodberry, Baltimore, Maryland.

It does indeed have some Model T Ford parts, including the coil, timer, piston, rod, valves, radiator cap, and perhaps others. I will certainly appreciate hearing from anyone with information on this outfit. Herman Rieben, 3082 Brisdane Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38118.

23/8/19 William Hlavac, RR 1, Box 247, Montgomery, Minnesota 56069 would like to know the proper paint color and striping scheme for a Lauson-Lawton engine, also the year built of his 3 HP model, s/n 1823.

23/8/20 Dick Moss, P.O. Box 3363, Crestline, California 92325 is a new collector who needs information, color scheme, and decal availability for a 2? HP Alamo gas engine. If you can help with the above, kindly contact Dick at the above address.