REFLECTIONS

A BRIEF WORD

Garden Tractors

23/8/23A

Manuel E. Castro

Content Tools

23/8/21Can anyone identify the engine in the photo? It uses a Wico B-1 magneto. The prefix 'VW' is ahead of every casting number, but there is no other identification on the engine. Ray Rylander, 805 E. San Rafael St., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.

23/8/22Raymond Aakjar, Sharon Station Road, Sharon, Connecticut 06069 sends this photo of a small two-cycle engine of unknown make. The lever on the side of the engine controls the spark.

A. We think it very possibly might have been used for railway handcar duty, but can't tell you the maker.

23/8/23 See the four photos of some garden tractors I have acquired. 23A is a Walsh Standard. Can anyone tell me the year made, proper colors, etc. The next photo 23/8/23B, is a Simar Rototiller made in Geneva, Switzerland and 23/8/23C is a Gravely one-wheel garden tractor. The final one, 23/8/23D is the chassis of an unknown make. Manuel E. Castro, P.O. Box 364, Santa Margarita, California 93453.

23/8/24 Q. David K. Vaughan, 1736 Missouri Street, Costa Mesa, California 92626 has a collection of old outboard motors, and would like to hear from clubs, literature collectors, and other enthusiasts in this regard.

A. We know that there are some clubs, etc. involved with outboard motors, and hope that some of their members will be in touch.

READERS WRITE

Johnson UtilimotorThanks to Arthur DeKalb, Van Alstyne Drive, Pulaski, New York 13142 for sending us some photocopy material on the Johnson Utilimotors. Art has a large amount of this material, and will be glad to help interested parties. Of course we assume those interested will be kind enough to reimburse those supplying photocopies and information for the copying cost and the postage!!

23/5/1 Groton Manufacturing Company See the photo from a very old picture postcard. It illustrates the shop interior of the Road Roller Plant of Groton Manufacturing Company, Groton, New York. Bruce Hall, Route 90, Box 95, King Ferry, New York 13081.

Caterpillar Serial Numbers

Several people sent in additional Caterpillar serial number information. An abridged listing is shown herewith:

  Model

Serial No. Identification

Year Started

Year Ended

Gas or Diesel

10 Ton

15001, 34001

1925

1925

Gas

5 Ton

19001, 40001, 43001

1925

1926

Gas

2 Ton

25003, 70001

1925

1928

Gas

Ten

PT1

1928

1933

Gas

Fifteen

PV1

1929

1933

Gas

Fifteen

7C1

1932

1933

Gas

Fifteen (H.C.)

1D1

1932

1933

Gas

Twenty

8C1

1932

1934

Gas

Twenty

PL1

1927

1933

Gas

Twenty Two

3F1, 1J1

1934

1939

Gas

Twenty Five

3C1

1931

1933

Gas

Twenty Eight

4F1

1933

1935

Gas

Thirty

S1001, PS1

1925

1932

Gas

R4 (Thirty)

6G1

1935

1944

Gas

Thirty Five

5C1

1932

1934

Gas

Thirty Five Ds1

6E1

1933

1934

Dsl

Forty

5G1

1934

1936

Gas

Diesel Forty

3G1

1934

1936

Dsl

Fifty

5A1

1931

1937

Gas

Diesel Fifty

1E1

1933

1936

Dsl

Sixty

101A, PA1

1925

1931

Gas

Sixty Five

2D1

1932

1933

Gas

Sixty Five Ds1

1C1

1931

1932

Dsl

Seventy

8D1

1933

1937

Gas

Seventy Diesel

3E1

1933

1933

Dsl

Seventy Five Dsl

2E1

1933

1935

Dsl

R-3

5E2501

1934

1935

Gas

R-2

5E3501

1934

1937

Gas

R-2

6J1, 4J1

1938

1942

Gas

R-5

4H501,3Rl,5E3001

1934

1940

Gas

D4 (RD4)

4G1, 2T1, 7J1, 5T1

1936

1947

Dsl

June GEM Opening comments

Dr. Bob Seeley, RR3, Box 176, Warrensburg, Missouri 64093, offers some timely advice for our new collectors:

One aspect regarding collecting and restoring old machinery is cost for our budding engineers. I encourage them to look for engines that are not especially high on the collectors list. For instance, the last engine that I obtained cost $15 at a country auction. It was a Briggs & Stratton engine dating to around 1925. The B & S Company is also very helpful in supplying information on their early engines. The Wisconsin engines are more competitive and the company has a charge for their manuals.

The young collector should concentrate on those pieces of machinery that are not high priced. Obtaining an engine merely for parts has an advantage. Alerting the local salvage yards can be useful. I believe many or most of our restoration organizations have spent too much time in restoring the past rather than encouraging the value of the present and the future.

GEM readers might also be interested in knowing that First Class letters to Canada now cost 30?, but letters to Mexico are 25?. So far I have found no explanation for the higher rate to Canada.

23/5/22 NOT a Cushman!Boy oh boy! Did we get mail on this one! We incorrectly identified the subject engine as being built by Cushman, when in fact it now appears that this engine is actually a Hercules-built model of 1?-2 HP. Designated as the Model 15JK, it was built in 1930 and 1931 and sold by Sears-Roebuck. This engine was finished in brick red with the usual Economy 'butterfly' or 'propeller' decal atop the water hopper.

Major distinguishing features of the Hercules and Cushman looka-likes are:

Hercules (built 1930-1931):

1. Carburetor atop the head (cast iron carburetor).

2.  Magneto about mid-side.

3. Main bearings are bronze bushings.

4.  Flywheels are press fit and taper keyed.

5.  Painted brick red.

6. Decal on top of hopper, toward the front.

Cushman (built in the later 1930's):

1. Carburetor on side of head (carb of brass or pot metal).

2.  Magneto at rear of engine.

3.  Main bearings are roller bearings.

4.  Flywheels held on by large nut.

5.  Painted yellow, blue or red.

6.  Decal not on top of hopper.

The Model JK followed the earlier XK (1928-29), and it superseded the E, EK, F, FW, H, and other models. The 'E' in the serial number did not stand for 'Economy,' it was simply a model designator.

The engine of 23/5/22 is the Model 25JK, 2?-3? HP model built in 1931. Apparently this was the last year Hercules built engines for the farm trade.

23/5/23 and 23/5/26

Dave Babcock, 3491 E. Deckerville Road, Cass City, Michigan 48726, sent us some information on the Cushman-Hercules affair noted above, and also notes that the engine of 23/5/23 was built by John Lauson Company, with most being sold as 'Alpha' DeLaval, John Lauson, or Lansing (when used in a cement mixer of that name).

The engine of 23/5/26 is positively a 14 HP Buckeye trencher engine, with Dave noting that Buckeye built most of their own engines.

Aermotor Windmill Address:Back in January 1988 GEM, a reader asked for information on the Aermotor windmills. Gene Petross, RR5, Box 35AB, Cleburne, Texas 76031, gives us the address: Aermotor Windmill Corporation, Box 5110, San Angelo, Texas 76902; (915) 658-2795.

23/5/24 Johnson UtilimotorIn response to the letter from Jim Paquette, I wish to submit the following:

These engines were manufactured by Johnson Motor Company, the same people that built Johnson outboard motors.

The patent plate shows 1,390,376; 1,279,750; and 1,300,637.

Photo 23/5/24A shows a Johnson with a cast iron flywheel, brass housing behind flywheel to house the mag coils, brass cap for cast iron gas tank and a kick-start pedal.

Photo 23/5/24B illustrates a Johnson with an aluminum flywheel similar to Maytag twin. Also has aluminum gas cap for cast iron gas tank, and a kick start pedal that is different from the other engine shown. This engine also has a bracket attached to the base that supports a ball bearing for the crankshaft. Submitted by Ernest Werner, RR 2, Box 256, Millstadt, Illinois 62260.

Also concerning the Johnson Utilimotor, we received a substantial amount of historical data from Mr. Duane M. Reynolds, 11 Maple Ave., Homer, New York 13077. An outline of his research is as follows:

The Johnson brothers built their first engine at Terre Haute, Indiana in 1903. Their interest was primarily in marine engines, and all were of two-cycle design.

In 1914 they built their first air-cooled engine of two-cylinder opposed design. It was used on the Johnson Motor Wheel, and greatly resembled the Maytag Twin.

Johnson got into the magneto business through their 1918 buyout of Quick Action Ignition Company. This is the same firm that provided the Wright brothers with a magneto for their famous plane at Kitty Hawk.

The Lawn Boy lawn mower built today by OMC is a direct descendant of the Johnson Utilimotor.

We could add more here, especially since there were several excellent letters on the matter of the Johnson motors. Thanks to everyone who submitted materials!

23/6/6 Farmall AV ModelsSeveral letters came in regarding this query. Here's a boiled down version:

The BN was a narrow tread version of the Farmall B. While the B had a tread adjustment range of 64 to 92 inches, the BN had treads from 56 to 84 inches. About the only major difference was the longer rear axle housing and the longer axle shafts. The AV tractor was a high clearance version of the Farmall A tractor.

23/8/10 M-M UTU TractorsSeveral letters were received on this matter, so we have taken the liberty of combining the salient portions of each:

M-M tractors have the s/n tag on the transmission case, and it also gives the model. The model EE and RE engines were used in the R and ZT tractors. The EE in the R was 165 cubic inches, and the RE in the ZT was 185.8 cubic inches. This same basic engine was increased to 206 cubic inches and used in the ZA model.

The first M-M tractor in Prairie Gold was the Z of 1936. It also had red wheels. Early R and Z tractors had a red pin stripe on the bottom of the hood louvers. The front wheel hubs were all Prairie Gold, as they were painted with the tractor.

On tractors with steel rear rims, the hubs could be red or Prairie Gold. The old Z tractors with cast wheels were all red, and all others with cast rear wheels had Prairie Gold hubs.

Decals for the M-M tractors have been made up by several enthusiasts:

Dan Shima, 409 Sheridan Dr., Eldridge, Iowa 52748.Jack Maple,, RR 1, Box 154, Rushville, Indiana 46173.Kenneth Funfsinn, RR 2, Mendota, Illinois 61342.Lester Wenzel, 519 Third St. NW, New Richmond, Minn. 56072.

For a serial number listing of M-M contact:

Dale Mercer, RR 2, Box 205, Pendleton, Indiana 46064.

For detailed and timely information on M-M contact:

The Prairie Gold Rush, RR 1, Walnut, Illinois 61376.The M-M Corresponder, RR 1, Box 153, Vail, Iowa 51465.

Further correspondence on M-M indicates that for late 1948 models, all of 1949, 1950, and 1951, the year built is in the fourth and fifth digit of the serial number. Thus 011490020 is a 1949 tractor.

Central Tractor Farm and Family Center at Des Moines, Iowa can supply the proper paint colors, and there are probably others too. White Farm Equipment has the proper colors at this writing.

Another correspondent gives us a White part number 207002234 for the Prairie Gold, or DuPont Dulux 020. The red for the wheels is equivalent to Ditzler Acrylic 70385, and the demountable rear rims should be silver in color. On some of the last UTU models the front and rear hubs were painted Prairie Gold, along with the tractor-the red wheels being mounted later.

MODELMAKER'S CORNER

No correspondence this month.

A CLOSING WORD

In perusing a January, 1912 issue of Machinery magazine we note that one of their readers suggests ordinary shellac as a thread sealer for air and gas pipe joints. It is said to have the advantage of breaking loose with relative ease should it be necessary to disassemble the lines at a later time.

One further comment on shellac- it was, and is used to protect cork carburetor floats from gasoline. Remember however, that if you use fuels containing alcohol there is a distinct possibility of problems. Alcohol is the solvent generally used with shellac, and of course if it is in the fuel, it will tend to soften the shellac, and you will probably have a heavy float. One possible solution might be to recoat floats of this type with an epoxy compound that is completely impervious to all fuels.

Did you know? Most of us are quite familiar with the Stover engines built at Freeport, Illinois. What is often overlooked however, is the fact that D. C. Stover was a prolific inventor in many different fields. For instance, the ordinary back-pedal brake found on bicycles the world over was patented by D. C. Stover and W. A. Hance nearly a century ago under Patent No. 418,142 of December 24, 1889.

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