This was the first year that ye olde Reflector took the GEM banner to the Waukee (Iowa) Swap Meet. The results were very gratifying. All of us here extend a genuine note of thanks to the literally thousands of people who stopped by our display. Your support is very much appreciated. Believe it or not, there are tedious days for writers too. At those times, we gain new impetus by simply recalling your support and encouragement. One person in particular offered ye olde Reflector some tremendous help and encouragement on a current project. This person would never expect a public token of gratitude, so we'll leave off the name and we'll still be able to convey the message. Thanks for being so interested!
At present ye olde Reflector is working on an in-depth study of Oliver, Hart-Parr, and related companies. In fact, this work has been going on for well over a year. Many of you have asked us when it will be done. We'll give you the same answer we gave the publisher: we don't know exactly. Publishers always seem to have professional schedulers who probably have nothing else to do. We can understand their desire to write everything into neat little boxes, with one section being completed a certain date, another section sixteen days later, and so on.
The problem with historical research is that accurate scheduling is well-nigh impossible. First of all, there is the information gathering process. This sometimes takes a year or more. This process includes photographs, production data, and whatever else can be located. If there are several different companies or corporate entities involved, this adds considerably to the research load.
Once the bulk of the material is located, it is possible to assemble an outline of the book. Even this phase has its pitfalls. The worst one is finding some new material after the outline is completed, and then trying to put it in place without having to rework the outline. In fact, this is one of the reasons ye Olde Reflector takes so much time in the research phase. We attempt to find everything possible on a given company before ever starting the outline. Ultimately this provides a better book, although the process takes more time.
After the book outline is completed, comes the actual writing. This phase is the most enjoyable, of course. In this phase, we usually have books, magazines, and literature strung all over the office, and usually it is laid out a certain way for a certain purpose.
Well, a project nears completion, and then comes those dreaded packages from the publisher. Proofreading to do. Ugh! We can unequivocally tell you that there can be no more boring job in this world than proofreading. It requires to read every single word, comma and period in the book. For someone who reads very quickly, and in fact uses scanning much of the time, this is a tremendously difficult job. We usually work at it for an hour or so, and then do something else for awhile. We truly believe that if we were forced to proofread eight hours a day, it would guarantee that we would soon be fitted for our own personalized rubber room.
The way things stand now, we hope that the Oliver project is completed within a year. We are now starting to write sections of the book, but this of itself requires considerable time. We are also firmly resolved to continue with in-depth research that provides readers with accurate information. So please be patient with us. We're going as fast as we can, and indeed we have some more projects ready for the oven.
One further comment in this connection ... in meeting so very many people at the Waukee event, I think a few were a bit surprised to see ye olde Reflector in a pair of overalls . . . rather, I think they might have expected a three-piece suit, or dress pants and sport shirt at the very least. Well, the old saying applies, 'You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy.' 'Nuff said!
If you have any desire to join a tour group to Great Britain in 1993 and some engine rallyes over there, we want to hear from you. We're not sure of anything at this point . . . prices, length of tour, time of year, or anything else. The idea is embryonic at this point, and in fact, we don't even know what the maximum size of the tour group might be. The point is this ... if you would have a genuine interest in going on an engine tour of England, probably in the latter part of 1993, drop us a line. If there is insufficient response, it'll save us a lot of work. If there is a good response, we'll go ahead with getting more information and details for you.
If you would like to go, send us a letter or postcard, stating the preferred time of year, and the number in your party. To save the GEM office a lot of work, kindly address your communication to: Gas Engine Magazine, Tour Survey, Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.
This month we begin with:
27/8/1 Independent Harvester Company Thanks to Dale Russell, 6033 N. Richmond, Wichita, KS 67204. Dale has done a great deal of research on Independent Harvester Company. This company was organized December 27, 1904 at Piano, Illinois. Although best known as a harvester builder, Independent also built some gasoline engines. Dale also tells us that he has located an Independent engine with sufficient paint to derive a comparable color. It is DuPont 52050 Blue, and the engine is trimmed in gold. If you would like to get more information on Independent, perhaps Dale would make photocopies for you. Like with others from whom you might expect photocopies, include a few bucks to cover the cost of copying and postage.
27/8/2 United Air-Cooled Q. See the two photos of a United air-cooled, 1? HP engine. My first question is on the fuel system. What parts of it are original? There is a fuel check valve on the pick-up tube in the fuel tank, and another on the mixer elbow. When I got the engine there were no fuel lines on it. Also, the part sitting on the fuel tank is a choke plate. Whoever made it went to a lot of trouble. It has rolled edge around spring wire. I also need a drawing and dimensions of the bolt that holds up the ignitor trip rod, since mine is missing. Any information will be appreciated. Paul Frasier, 12234 Harris, Carleton, MI 48117.
A. All that should be necessary on the fuel line is a foot valve at the bottom of the fuel line. Perhaps one of our readers can provide the other necessary dimensions.
27/8/3 A Real Bird We received a photocopy recently of an unusual trade card. It was sent over by Charles R. Nichols, 67 Summit, Philmont, NY 12565. The original card is from Advance Mfg. Co., Hamilton, Ohio. It shows a bird perched atop a Hamilton Advance engine, with the statement that the 'Hamilton ... is a bird.' Old trade cards are very interesting. Those on gas engines are very hard to find.
27/8/4 New Way EngineQ. I recently acquired a New Way Model C, H, 5 HP engine. See the photo. Can any of the readers tell me when it was built and the color scheme of the engine? Any information will be appreciated. Gordon Peters, RR 3, Box 77, Aurora, NE 68818.
A. If you can provide the color scheme, please contact Mr. Peters. We know of no way to date this engine with any accuracy.
27/8/5 Fordson Tractor Q. See the two photos of my Fordson tractor. Do you have any information about a TACO governor, Model B-3, built by Tractor Appliance Co., New Holstein, Wisconsin? This governor is on my tractor. The standard Ford timer goes on top of it. All my linkage was missing and I don't know how to hook it up to the Fordson carburetor, or how the spark advance should be connected to it. Any information will be appreciated. Alexander C. Black, 3105 9th St., Douglas, AZ 85607.
A. Can the Fordson collectors be of help?
27/8/6 Witte Engine Q. Can you advise the color for a Witte engine, 7 HP, s/n B31168? Also its age? What is the rated speed? Peter]. Dureiko, 25 Linden Place, Rockville, CT 06066.
A. Your engine was built in 1926. Witte recommended mixing 1 pint of Rust-oleum Black with 2 pints of their Forest Green.
27/8/7 Thank You! A tip of the fedora to Eric Buhle, 722 Southport St., Elmira, NY 14909. He graciously sent us a little book on the Johnson Utilimotor. Thanks!
27/8/8 IHC #4-A Spreader Edward Sindt, RR 1, Box 82, Rock Rapids, IA 51246 recently found a copy of the above spreader and wants to restore it. Can anyone provide him with correct color scheme and similar information? If so, please contact Mr. Sindt.
27/8/9 Show Committees Mr. O. M. Ramsey, 2038 Maples Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46816 writes us with some worthwhile observations, especially for show committees:
It would serve a most definite need if the shows would give some indication in their promotional material as to the Handicapped Accessibility at their functions. Believe me, when you have the problem personally, you wouldn't believe some of the indifference I have encountered. Law enforcement officers will still tell me to park out in the back forty; keep up or keep out! Last summer a big Cadillac ran me down in a gas station and then skipped out. His passengers were still in the station when I walked in front of his car. A wheel chair does not function very well in tall grass and loose soil. A hint ahead of time is much appreciated.
To this we emphatically add: Folks, here's a good idea. All it takes is a few words telling whether you have handicapped accessibility. Unfortunately, those of us who aren t handicapped often have short memories.
27/8/10 Little Jumbo Q. I have a 1? HP Little Jumbo, #9182. When was it built? I also need decals, or a photo or sketch of same. Any help would be appreciated. Also, the year built of the following Witte engines: B17383, 25 HP; B14668, 7 HP; 90609, 2? HP. Neil Brady-Browne, RR 1, Site 120, C #8, Comox, B.C. V9N 5N1 Canada.
A. We have no idea of what the Little Jumbo decal is like, and we do not know of anyone reproducing them. Can anyone provide this information? The 25 HP was built in 1924, the 7 HP in 1925, and the 2? HP in 1930.
27/8/11 Kimberley Boat Works We understand that Warren Kimberley Jr. of New Hartford, CT has opened a museum of wooden racing boats, early snowmobiles, chain saws, and out-boards. Our information has it that it is located in conjunction with his Kimberley Boat Works at Hartford. Since there are no regular hours, visitors are asked to call ahead at 482-1825.
Everybody's going to shows this time of year, so this column is very short. We'll catch you at some of the shows.