A Brief Word

Unidentified Engine


Content Tools

Day by day we continue assembling details for our planned tour to Australia in February/March 2001. Australia has a special mystique, and the tour we have planned includes lots of 'iron' as well as lots of beautiful scenery. Our driver is very interested in 'iron' and this is a big help. He also has a brother who's deeply into our hobby, so we are trying to encourage him to accompany us. We have found that it really helps when we have contact with 'locals' who know about those special things, and can also lead us to 'iron' we would never see otherwise. By the time this copy is in your hands we should also have details together for an extension tour to New Zealand, following the main tour to Australia. To contact us, see our address in the ad that ran in the June issue (page 84), or email us at:

We await details of the release date for our new book, Standard Catalog of Farm Tractors, to be out soon from Krause Publications. The advertising department fouled up a bit in advertising the book as having 700 photos, when in fact, the total is about 1,700 or perhaps more. This will probably be the most comprehensive history of the farm tractor ever published, and will range from the beginnings up to the 1950s.

One of the problems with the book was figuring out how to contain the mass of material that is presented. Another was deciding on a cutoff date, and still another was in finding photos that came to us after the copy was closed. Given the space that was available to us, we arbitrarily established a cutoff date of about 1950. This wasn't a solid rule, since in some cases certain models ran into the 1960s. Rather than do a cutoff in mid-run, we decided to extend certain models until the end of their production run.

This book will also be composed entirely of digital images, as compared to the old standard of negatives/photographs/halftones and finally the printing plates. Most publishers now are able to do direct imaging from the digital scan direct to the printing plate. Our personal preference is still with the old method, but given the intense competition in the publishing business, and the huge amount of extra time involved, the digital imaging method is becoming the only cost-effective means. It does seem a shame though, to have several thousand dollars invested in camera and darkroom equipment that pretty much has been idled with a powerful computer, scanner, and a handful of Zip disks on which to store the images.

35/8/1 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an unidentified engine with a date cast into the block of 5-25-29. It has an 'A' cast into the oil filler boss. The gas tank and magneto are not original. It has a Zenith carburetor, and a ball bearing crankshaft. Any information would be appreciated. Bill Brack, 2454 SW 2nd Ave., Ontario, OR 97914.

35/8/2 Kiekhaefer Chain SawQ. See the photos of a two-man chain saw an aunt in California gave me. It has a Mercury engine, Model KB7-AY, s/n 143812, Year 1947, 11 HP. It was built by Kiekhaefer Corporation, Cedarburg, Wisconsin. I need to know the fuel mixture , and would like to hear from anyone having some operating tips. Any help will be appreciated. If I have any brave friends I will try to get it running. Wayne Rogers, 14268 Persimmon Crk. Dr, Chandler, TX 75758.

35/8/3 Majestic Engine Homepage

Jimmy Priestley has been compiling extensive historical information and an owner's list on the Majestic engines for many years. The fruits of his labors are available on the internet at: He is always looking for Majestic engine owners; his regular mail address is James W. Priestley, 117 Lind St., McMinnville, TN 37110-1922.

35/8/4 Alpha Engine

George F. Pilger, 285 Sinn Rd., Cowlesville, NY 14037 has an Alpha engine, Type E-171, HP W1?, s/n 680, as shown on page 122 of American Gas Engines. If a s/n list exists, he would like to know when this engine was built.

35/8/5 Taylor Vacuum Engine

Kirk J. Gostkowski, 46 Fulton Blvd., Commack, NY 11725 has a Taylor that he is working on, and so far cannot find any information. It is a 2HP model, s/n 14797, Type C, from Taylor Engine Company, Elgin, Illinois.

Kirk would appreciate your help. As most of you know, this engine was a combination engine/vacuum pump used for milking machines. You can also contact Kirk at:

35/8/6 Fairbanks EngineQ. Have you ever wondered what an engine looked like that was advertised in an estate sale? In the June 1999 GEM, page 65, it shows a Fairbanks Improved 4 HP engine that was to be auctioned off in western New York. I was the lucky bidder, so I am sending these pictures of the cleaned up engine. I would like to talk to anyone who has one like it. Stiles Bradley, Box 25, Pavilion, NY 14525.

35/8/7 Fairbanks-MorseQ. What is the year built for a Fairbanks-Morse engine, s/n 780453? Stan Agacinski;

A. Your engine was built in 1934.

35/8/8 Cushman Etc.Q. What is the correct color for the Cushman Cub? Please also advise as to any information or sources of information on the engine used in the golf carts made by AMF/Harley Davidson. Any information would be appreciated. David E. Sundeen, PO Box 1704, Trenton, FL 32693.

A. The Cushman Cub is gray, comparable to DuPont 32565. Can anyone help on the AMF/Harley-Davidson question?

35/8/9 McCormick-DeeringQ. What is the year built of a 3 HP McCormick-Deering engine, s/n B1520? Robert R. Young, RD 1, Box 96, Kimball, SD 57355.

A. Your engine was built in 1918.

35/8/10 Engine Clipart

After looking through thousands of clipart catalogs without ever finding one picture of an old engine, or any other farm equipment, I think it would be a good project for GEM or someone to come out with a CD, maybe even in conjunction with an existing clipart company. A lot of us would use it, if it was available. Dean W. Larson, 4553 E. Holland, Fresno, CA 93726-2713.

35/8/11 Reo Lawn MowersQ. Does anyone know of a parts source for Reo lawn mowers? Tom Cox, 3511 Clydewood Ave., Richmond, VA 23234-2425.

35/8/12 In Response to 35/6/18C

Frank Wilsey, 2702 Whitney Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215 writes in response to Mr. James Hoffmeister: Your B & S engine is probably either a Model NS or WI. The NS has a 2-inch bore and stroke, producing 1 horsepower, and would have been built between 1940 and 1954. The WI has a 2 x 1? inch bore and stroke, producing ? horsepower; it was built between 1938 and 1957. It was an 'industrial' version of the B&S washing machine engine... the standard version was a Model WM. Eclipse used the WI on some of their reel mowers.

35/8/13 Oops! A Follow-up

Mr. Ray LeClair, P.O. Box 389, Winchendon, MA 01475, in his inquiry in the May 2000 Reflections column (35/5/5), was interested in learning not just the colors of his engines, but also needs help in determining the year of manufacture. Anyone out there with that knowledge?

A Closing Word

The response to our articles on lathes has been surprising. The number of very old lathes still operating is also a surprise. We have always surmised that there are still a lot of ancient lathes at work, but the letters we've had tell us there may be far more of them than we once thought.

Dierk Roberts, 3023 Dusk Drive, Weatherford, TX 76088 (email: sends along a couple photos of a Lathe No. 4 from the April 2000 GEM (page 6). The machine shown here is from Chas. A. Strelinger Company, Model N189, but it is missing some parts. If you can be of help in this regard, kindly contact Mr. Roberts.

So far we haven't heard from anyone regarding the specialized South Bend lathe we recently illustrated (with the special fixtures for machining differential boxes). But then, we'll keep coming up with additional machines, common and uncommon, in the next few months.

Much of this material comes from a run of American Machinist, beginning in 1877 and going to 1948. Also, we have extracted various things from our complete run of Machinery that we bought from the Franklin Institute Library a few years ago. On top of that, we have a sizable collection of old machinist books. One big two-volume set was between the walls of an old house. Published in the 1880s, this interesting pair of books apparently was stored overhead in an attic. Somehow or other they ended up between the walls until the house was demolished a number of years ago.

Several months ago we responded to a reader for a paint color on the Cushman Cub engine. Our answer was that it was comparable to DuPont 7498 Green. We then received numerous comments that it was DuPont 32565 Gray. If you recall, we later conceded the point, not only from memory of the Cub, but from having one with faint shades of gray. See the photo from a recent acquisition. Here is the Cushman Cub mounted to a John Bean sprayer, and just as green as grass!

Somewhere we had this feeling we had also seen Cubs that were green, but until we happened across this piece of literature, we couldn't figure where it was! Therefore, we suppose it would be correct either way. If you come across a green Cub, chances are it served its career on a Bean spray outfit!

We'll see you next month.

The purpose of the 'Reflections' column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM. Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17608-0328.