Ottawa saw


Robert Hall, jr.

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23/12/27 Q. See the two enclosed photos of an Ottawa saw, s/n 17697. As the photos show, it is an upright engine, and is rated at 6 HP. Is this a one-of-a-kind, or did they produce a great many of these? The Ottawa name is cast into the engine base, although the motor looks like a Wisconsin. Robert Hall, jr., 32564 Cable Dr., Dowagiac, MI 49047.

A. Our understanding is that Wisconsin built these engines for Ottawa. We believe your machine also included a buzz saw blade that could be set vertically for bucking up logs, and could be set in a horizontal position for felling. Presumably this machine was intended to replace the earlier drag saw (and in fact, a drag saw attachment may have been available for this outfit), but the introduction of the chain saw quickly rendered these machines obsolete. We have no information as to the number sold.

23/12/28 Joe Gross, 96 National Drive, Grafton, OH 44044 recently acquired a 7 HP Empire engine and would appreciate hearing from other Empire owners so far as restoration, color scheme, etc.

23/12/29 Q. See the photo (below) of our 1942 John Deere LA tractor. The rear rubber is original, and each tire has a 1-inch red rubber 'patch' on the sidewall. (It is visible in the photo.) What was the significance-possibly an identification for wartime rationing?

On our IHC 3 HP 'M' engine with the early type igniter and low tension magneto, there is no nameplate nor does there appear to have been one. Our 1? HP 'M' of similar vintage has a large nameplate on it. Was the 3 HP IHC produced during the IHC struggle with the U.S. government? The serial number lists in your book, 150 Years of International Harvester show prefix letters for all the 'M' engines, although our 1? HP 'M' is 73441 with no prefix letters. Bill Loftus, RR 2, Delhi, Ontario, Canada.

A. Oftentimes, IHC included the prefix letters for the serial number in the original nameplate etching-only the number itself was hand-stamped onto the plate. It's hard to imagine an IHC engine without a nameplate. Somehow or other, they seemed to manage a good-sized nameplate on almost everything they built. We doubt that the matter of the United States vs. International Harvester Company had any bearing on engine production. Initiated shortly after the company was formed, the government case rested primarily on violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, unfair monopoly of the harvesting machine industry, etc. etc. Compared to some other mergers which took place about the same time, the case against IHC now seems preposterous, especially when we look at some of today's mergers!

23/12/30 George Kazio, RD 1, Box 109, Muncy, PA 17756 would like to hear from other owners of the 2? HP Leader engine as built by Field Force Pump Company, Elmira, New York.

23/12/31 Q. See the photo given below of an engine 1 have not been able to identify. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jefferson, NY 12093.

A. We believe this is a Hercules.


23/9/28 Waterloo-built engines See photo RW-1 of my Waterloo-built Faultless engine as offered by John M. Smythe Co., Chicago, Illinois. It has no cover on the hopper, nor are there any lugs or other provision for attaching one. Could these engines be very early types, or even prototypes and built in the New Holland style. Dick McCartney, RD 4, Box 151, Cochranton, PA 16314.

A. Leaving the attaching lugs off of the foundry pattern would have been a very simple procedure, and from all appearances, that's probably what took place when making the Faultless (and perhaps some other) engines. Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company was production oriented-they had to be, what with Galloway and Associated hard on their heels, and that was just in Waterloo! There was IHC to contend with, along with Stover, FBM, and many others. In the case of Faultless, John M. Smythe wanted to ride the engine-selling bandwagon, and obviously Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company came up with the most attractive offer. It seems entirely possible that given the activities of many other jobbing houses who desired a piece of the action, that building to a price was a major prerequisite, and in this case it was Waterloo. To further support this idea, there's simply no question that Associated in Waterloo built the United sold by a company in Lansing, Michigan.

23/8/27 I have an Alpha DeLaval engine, s/n 76823, and like others, I would like to know the proper color. Cledus Stites, RR 1, Odon, IN 47562.


This month, George G. Scott, Out look, Montana 59252 favors us with photos of two models. The four-cylinder Holt model (MM-1) we presume was built with a casting kit, but we know that George built the Fairbanks-Morse 'N' model (MM-2) from his own patterns and castings. Note the wrist watch lying on the base at the front of the Fairbanks-Morse engine for a relative idea of its size.


Especially when attending the shows, we frequently hear the com plaint that many of the same questions appear repeatedly, and of course, we answer them repeatedly. These comments usually come from someone who, like the Reflector, has been involved with the gas engine and tractor hobby for a long time.

Curiously, we finally saw the other side of the coin at the Mount Pleasant, Iowa show. A young collector asked us why we didn't have more 'how-to' articles, and more articles on how these old-time engines are supposed to work. He went on to explain that he had been taking GEM for a year or so, and really looked forward to each issue, but he found some of the historical and technical articles too far above his expertise to be of interest.

We had never thought of things in this way, but perhaps this new collector raises some valid points. If our hobby is to continue growing, then we have to keep everybody interested and enthusiastic in what we are doing. When a newcomer to our hobby comes along, take a couple of minutes to answer his questions. His questions might seem silly to you, but then, you might ask someone else some questions tomorrow that may be equally silly. We believe there's a moral to our story:

Twenty-five years ago, steam was king at every show. Tractors were seen occasionally, and gas engines seldom. The Reflector can personally testify in regard to at least a few of the old-time steam engineers that so far as they were concerned, anything you learned about steam wasn't about to come from them. The Reflector is of the opinion that in order to prevent the same illness from afflicting our fraternity, we have to keep encouraging the new members of the hobby. Recent issues of GEM have seen articles on pouring babbitt bearings and other shop arts. Especially helpful to the newcomer was Bud Motry's recent article on valves and valve timing for engines. Why not take some time and write our your experiences, your methods, or the results of your research on one of the many engine companies. We here at GEM will be happy to hear from you.