A Brief Word

Mietz & Weiss Engines


Wilfred Mole

Content Tools

With this issue, GEM closes out its 29th year. As one of those charter subscribers back in 1966, we hoped that our hobby would enjoy at least a brief moment in history. How could anyone have predicted what would eventually happen? Today, the engine and tractor hobby has grown beyond every expectation. What's even better, there are many thousands of folks who have no great interest in collecting and rebuilding engines, but they do have a great interest in attending a few of the annual shows.

Thus, we once again renew a point made previously. That point is this: As long as we keep the younger people interested and inspired by our hobby it will continue to grow. Whenever we thwart that enthusiasm, it will start to wither. Congratulations to those numerous FFA groups and others who have set about restoring a tractor or two as a project! And thanks to the many collectors who are willing to lend a hand to a kid, whether 16 or 60, who doesn't know how to hook up a coil or set a decent blade!

In this issue we're including an engine data sheet from 1926 for the Fairbanks-Morse Type Z engines. There are great numbers of these engines, and we thought perhaps some of our readers might find something interesting in this compilation.

There are a lot of queries this month, so we begin with:

29/12/1 Mietz & Weiss Query Q. A fellow member of the South African Vintage Tractor & Engine Club has located an interesting stationary engine. It is a Mietz & Weiss hot bulb engine. We are advised that it is a two-stroke engine that runs on kerosene and has a steam injection system into the combustion chamber. Unfortunately the steam injection system parts are missing. We would very much like to receive further information on this engine and how it works. Wilfred Mole, PO Box 408, Halfway House, 1685, South Africa.

A. The Mietz & Weiss engines were developed about 1893 at New York. Steam from the water jacket was piped to the air intake in an effort to reduce pre ignition. This concept was continued by oil engine builders until Fairbanks-Morse built their first 'dry' engine about 1915. The steam also had the effect of washing the cylinder walls and this resulted in excessive cylinder, piston, and ring wear. Perhaps someone owning a Mietz & Weiss engine might be of assistance in regard to the operating details.

29/12/2 A Query from Japan Q. What is the year built of an International 1 HP engine, s/n A82078? This engine is in the collection of the National Agriculture Research Centre at Taukuba in Japan. Also, what is the year built for an International Farmall tractor, frame number 36855, said to be thirty horsepower, at the Koiwai Farm Museum near Morioka in northern Honshu? Christopher Madeley, 207 Park Heim Yoga Itchome, 1-19-19 Yoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158, Japan.

A. The engine was built in 1928; in addition to the frame number, you also give the engine number of OC36496. However, neither of these match up to our serial number lists. We suspect that the number has a QC prefix, rather than OC, but even then, we still don't come up with a number that fits. Possibly, those tractors destined for export used a different series of numbers in some instances.

29/12/3 Disston Chain Saw Q. I recently purchased an odd two-man chain saw. It's powered by a Mercury engine, Model KB6-AX, s/n 26578, Date 1944, LAB, 6 HP, 4,000 rpm. Disston Model 6-36. It is military and has a wooden box for storage. The bar is 36 inches. Any information on this unit will be appreciated. Jeff Mosley, 53 Legg Road, Five Points, TN 38457.

29/12/4 Thanks! From George H. Houston, 7541 32nd NW, Seattle, WA 98117 who writes: Many thanks to all who answered me in regards to the puzzle about the 'Fence Charger' in the September 1994 GEM.

29/12/5 A Followup Regarding Mr. Houston's note above, we received numerous replies on 29/9/19, as did Mr. Houston. However, we think a brief description is in order for our readers:

Basically a Model T buzz coil was used with a 6-volt hot shot battery. The armature had an extension to protrude above the coil as it lay on its side. With the points adjusted so they were normally open, the steel ball was made to roll in the inclined glass tube and as it struck the armature extension the points closed momentarily, sending a high voltage to the insulated fence wire. The magnetic pull of the coil drove the steel ball back up the inclined tube. This repeated as long as there was enough power in the battery.

When livestock were first turned into a field, the tube was inclined more, increasing the number of pulses. After awhile the slope could be decreased again, thus saving the battery. Thus the beginnings of the electric fencer.

29/12/6 Cushman Bean Special Q. 1 have a 2 HP Cushman Bean Special, s/n 9843, Model 1X4B. 1 am interested in finding any information on this engine, including the original colors. Jay Alt, RD 5, Box 5442, Moscow, PA 18444.

A. If you can be of help on this engine, kindly contact Mr. Alt at the above address.

29/12/7 Engine Trucks Q. I have the trucks shown in the photo. It came from a neighbor who did not know anything about it. The front wheels are 10 inches in diameter, and the back ones are 12 inches. Any information will be appreciated. Franklin G. Frohwein, 3129 Roosevelt Ave., Sanborn, IA 51248-7420.

29/12/8 Evinrude Outboard Q. See the photo of an Evinrude outboard of perhaps 1911 vintage. Is there any way to establish the exact age of this engine? This and any other information would be greatly appreciated. Ken Dietering, Box 356, Hoonah, Alaska 99829.

29/12/9 Magnet Charger In reference to an article about magnet chargers in the September 1994 GEM, there is a diagram and list of materials in the January-February 1978 issue of GEM. However, if no switch is used on the charger, do not make the last connection at the battery, as the resulting spark could result in an explosion. A. M. Hobbs, PO Box 404, Conover, NC 28613.

29/12/10 Brownwall Engine Q. 1 have a 1 HP Brownwall, s/n 1306, air cooled engine, made in Lansing, Michigan. Can anyone tell me the year made and the correct color? Any help will be appreciated. Terry J. Scheltema, 6912- 84th St., Caledonia, Ml 49316.

A. We have Sherwin-Williams JX5141 Blue listed as the matching color. Brownwall moved from Lansing to Holland, Michigan, in 1914, so it would follow, then, that your engine was built between 1912 and the latter date.

29/12/11 Toronto Engine Q. See the photo of a Toronto engine. I have the two flywheels and they are 16 inches in diameter. 1 would like to restore it but have no information. Can anyone be of help? L. Gay, 1918 Florena Ct., Glen-dale, CA 91208.

29/12/12 Thanks! T. D. Shipman, RR2, Box 371-13, Buckhannon, WV 26201 writes:

Once again, you-all came through for me. Got a lot of replies on my Shaw query. A very warm thank you to all. A special thanks to George Lazzo for his fine artwork on the valve cage. Now I can fire up my lathe and turn out a new one.

Also a thanks to Mr. Hollis Brit-ton who supplied a lot of interesting information. May your battery keep full charge and plugs fire true.

As for my Economy, I'm doing a custom rebuild on it. Got it about 80% done. Only need a mag, ignitor, and fuel tank to get it done. Painted it Medium Green with gold pin striping and the Economy logo on each side.

29/12/13 Urgent! Urgent! Need any kind of info on the Clarke Eng. Mfg. Co. of Evansville, Indiana. Have a ca. 1925 two-cylinder, four-cycle marine engine made by Clarke. Anyone with any information, please contact: Robert Mayeaux, 2204 Comanche St., Sulphur, LA 70663.

29/12/14 Unidentified Engine Q. Can anyone provide further information on the engine shown in the photos? It was painted grey with yellow pinstripes, but I can't see what was printed on the side of the hopper. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Russ Sponem, 502 N. Center Ave., Jefferson, WI53549.

29/12/15 Mudge Engine Q. See the photo of a one-cylinder, two-cycle Mudge Type W engine, s/n 91583. I would like to find whatever information I can for this engine. It has a buzz coil and spark plug. 1 need carburetor parts; and would appreciate hearing from anyone who can be of help. Richard H. Ellis, 922 Middle Road, Acushnet, MA 02743.

29/12/16 Replacing Magnets When magnets are dead on a Wico EK, I went to Radio Shack and got nine or ten ceramic magnets about the size of a domino. I stacked them up, wrapped them in aluminum foil and tape. The bundle fit in where I removed the old steel ones, and with a little shimming with shingle wood I finished it off. One should use a magnetic compass to determine polarities of the individual magnets for stacking and the polarity of the original before removing. I purchased the Wico Magneto Instruction book, a new set of points, a condenser and plug wire from GEM advertisers. The finished magneto works fine, the job was not difficult and it cost little. If there is any interest, I could do one again, take photos, and write a how-to article for GEM. Bob Avery, 132 Sugartree Lane, Glasgow, KY 42141.

29/12/17 More on Magnets Merl Barnes, 7013 Northview, Boise, ID 83704 reminds us that he came up with a magnet charger some years ago, with details being published in the September-October 1975 issue of GEM.

29/12/17 Unidentified Tractor Q. See the two photos of a three-wheeled tractor. It is powered by a four-cylinder LeRoi WF-1 engine with a 2 x 3 inch bore and stroke. It resembles the tractors made by Indiana Silo & Tractor Co. It is chain driven, and I assume it was converted from steel to rubber tires. Any information will be greatly appreciated. James Braymer, 7926 Reynolds Rd., Fort Edward, NY 112828.

29/12/18 Simplex Motor Bike Q. See the photo of a 19?? Simplex Motor Bike. It is missing the engine, rear fender, handlebars, etc. Any information, literature, or even pictures of a complete bike would be greatly appreciated. It was made by Simplex Mfg. Co., New Orleans, Louisiana. Jerry Asher, HCR 5, Box 23, Clarendon, TX 79226.

29/12/19 Identification Needed Q. Can you tell me what VB on the side of this planter means? What was it used for? Bob Mellin, 11 Library Place, San Anselmo, CA 94960.

A. VB stands for Van Brunt at Horicon, Wisconsin. This was one of the pioneer builders of grain drills, and later was bought out by John Deere. It was used for various small grains.

29/12/20 Shaw Du-All Congrats to Clifford Bridgford, 22 Nesenkeag Dr., Litchfield, NH 03051. He has compiled a registry of over 90 Shaw owners with close to 140 pieces of equipment registered. He also publishes the Shaw Du-All Newsletter from time to time.

29/12/21 F&J Information Q. What is the date built for a Fuller & Johnson 2 HP engine, Model NC, s/n 168591? V. P. Mikulanis, 11863 Serena Rd., Lakeside, CA 92040.

A. Your engine was built after 1932, but for precise information on F &. J, contact: Verne W. Kindschi, S9008 Hwy 12, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578.

29/12/22 Northwestern Wat-Air Engine Q. See the photo of an engine I recently restored. It's a Northwestern Wat-Air engine built in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We estimate the engine to be in the early 1920s or perhaps a bit earlier. It's a railroad section car engine, 5 HP at 1200 rpm. This engine uses a Model T Ford carburetor, piston and rod, a single flywheel, and a cast aluminum hopper. It weighs less than 200 pounds and is of two cycle design. It will run a 500 pound section car down the tracks at 30 mph and get 40 miles per gallon.

I have learned that this engine is a cousin to the Bloomer-Keller engines that were made in Eau Claire after the Bloomer Machine Works went out. Having taken the engine to several shows, I haven't found anyone who has seen another one like it. I would like to find more information on this engine, so if anyone can be of help, please let me know. Also would like to hear from other owners too! Randy Ackley, 21321 County X, Cadott, WI 54727.

A. Although there were probably quite a few of these made, surprisingly few section car engines remain. Railroad companies weren't prone to sell individual items. . . most of their salvage went to large scrap yards where it was summarily dispatched to the iron shear, loaded onto a waiting car, and sent to a foundry. We've never heard of a remaining example of your engine.

29/12/23 Nichols & Shepard Walter W. Reeves, 24 Tennyson Road, South Meriden, CT 06451 writes: I have a friend in Berks, England, that is looking for information on the following tractor: Nichols &. Shepard, Red River Line Special, s/n 8829, built 1925 at Battle Creek, Michigan. If you can be of help, kindly contact Mr. Reeves.

29/12/24 Identity Uncertain Q. See the photo of what I first thought to be a Stover 'K' engine. However, the igniter bolts are on 3-inch centers, rather than the usual 2 inches. The ignitor face is not recessed in the cylinder casting as most Stoves are. The exhaust pipe is upward. The bore and stroke is 2 x 5 inches, and the piston looks original. The flywheels have counterweights cast into them and are 16 inches with a two-inch face. Any help or information will be appreciated.

Also, I would like to know how to calculate the bob weight to check the static balance of these single cylinder engines. 1 have talked to three automotive shops and all three give different advice. Perhaps a future article might appear from someone. J. D. Smith, 146 Jo Marie St., San Antonio, TX 78222.

A. At first we thought this engine might be a Reweigh (a kissing cousin of the Stover) but from our material, we don't think so. Perhaps someone can put a positive ID on this one.

The late Lester L. Roos from Geneseo, Illinois related to us one time that Stover (and probably other engines) were balanced in the factory by attaching lead or iron weights to the flywheels, and then adding, subtracting, or shifting weights until the vibration came to an acceptable level. Once this was established, the foundry pattern was modified to put more or less iron in certain places, so as to put the engine in reasonable balance. Note that a great many engines have weight subtracted in line with the crank. Dynamic or running balance is what's important.

29/12/25 A Small Hone T. J. Shipman, RR 2, Box 371-13, Buckhannon, WV 26201 writes:

On those occasions where a very small hone is needed, I've taken a? x 5 bolt (or ? bar stock), and cut a slot in it down two inches from one end. Chuck the other end in a variable speed ? drill and wrap extra fine emery paper on the other end.

29/12/26 Empire 3 Engine  Q. I recently bought an Empire 3 HP engine, s/n 89703. The name plate says Empire Cream Separator Co., Bloomfield, New York. Did they actually build this engine? It looks somewhat like an Alamo. I'd also appreciate any information on the year and the proper color. Roger Kirchner, 581 S. Water St., Comma, WI 53048.

A. Your engine was likely made by Alamo, although we don't have a picture of it to know for sure. We have GM Corporate Blue listed as the matching color for this engine, but have no information on the year built.

29/12/27 Hercules Engine Q. We have acquired the Hercules engine shown in the photo. It is 1 XK, 600 rpm, s/n 12721. The engine was originally painted red, but not sure of the shade. Could you tell me the correct color and the year made? Any information will be appreciated. Sam Spencer & Family, 1285-A Lovett Rd., Orange Park, FL 32073.

A. We have DuPont 674 Red listed as the matching color, but have no serial number information.

29/12/28 Brownwall Engine Q. I need information on how to adjust the governor on a 1 HP Brownwall air cooled engine. Lawrence T. Odland, 225 Oak St., Hillsboro, OH 45133.

A. First, we'll assume that the pins and linkages are a reasonably good fit. The pick blade on the governor arm has to be fairly sharp and not rounded off on the end. Likewise, if the catch block on the push rod is rounded off, the pick blade isn't going to latch very well. At rest, the pick blade should clear the catch block by perhaps 1/16? of an inch, or even less. That's the only way to adjust the speed differential. Sometimes the cam roller and other parts are worn to the point that there is barely enough push to release the catch block. By rolling over the engine with the pick blade locked onto the catch block, at the high point on the cam, the blade should release nicely, but not with a lot of over travel on the part of the push rod. Remember too, that every loose joint contributes to the problems, including the governor weight pivots, and down through the line. The effect is cumulative, and given enough wear in enough places, it's difficult to make the governor work properly, if at all.

29/12/29 Identity Needed Q. Can anyone identify the engine in the two photos? Any advice or information will be appreciated, also information on the ignition system that was used. Adam Paloutzian, 2330 Winter Street, Kingsburg, CA 93631.

29/12/30 Leader Engine Q. See the photo of a 2 HP Leader J recently acquired. It was made by Field Force Pump Co., Elmira, New York, s/n 6001. Does that mean I have the first Leader built, disregarding the '6'? The fly wheels have 'The Leader #2 Made by Field Force Pump Co., Elmira, N.Y.' cast in them. The sad thing is that I had a three-cylinder spray pump made by Field that I sold about a month before I purchased the engine. If there is anyone out there that has a Field pump, I am interested in hearing from them, including the man I sold the three-cylinder pump to. Melvin W. Smith, 23941 Strange Creek Dr., Diamond Bar, CA9 1765-1145.

 29/12/31 Witte Information Q. What is the year built of a Witte 3 HP, s/n 84122? Jerry MacMartin, 570 Corliss Way, Campbell, CA 95008.

A. Your engine was built in 1929, but the original purchaser is not listed in the record books.

29/12/32 Missing Information Raymond L. Gray, 2135 Little Valley Rd., Sevierville, TN 37862 writes that sometime back he requested some information on a Fairbanks-Morse outboard motor. For reasons unknown, we didn't get his letter, so we don't have the particulars. However, if anyone has any information on one of these, please contact Mr. Gray.

Once again, we point out that we attempt to answer every query that comes across the desk. In fact, sometimes we're asked why we answer the same questions over and over. It's simply because the inquirer might be a new collector or a new subscriber, and if there's an answer to be had, we feel they deserve one. Please note that some queries are for specific information from those having a certain piece of equipment or specialized knowledge of same. In these instances, and where we simply have no information on the question, we see no point in offering a 'non-answer' in response.

29/12/33 Information Needed Q. Chris Lublin, 2510 Farnsworth Rd., Lapeer, MI 48446 needs information on the following engines:

Lauson air cooled, 1 HP, Type RLC-457 with a Tillotson side float carburetor; Lauson 6 HP air cooled, Type TLC-349; and Briggs & Stratton Model S, Type 700117. Any information will be appreciated.

A. Here's a fourteen year old collector with ten engines; if you can be of help, kindly do so.

29/12/34 Edgston Garden Tractor Q. See the photo of my Edgston, made at Minneapolis, Minnesota. It uses a two-cycle engine. Does anyone have any information on this one? Charley Sommerfeld, 702 Lincoln, La junta, CO 81050.

29/12/35 Identification Needed Q. Can anyone identify the baler shown in the photos? Any information will be appreciated. Aquilla D. Mast, 3001 Lititz Pike, PO Box 5093, Lancaster, PA 17606-5093.

29/12/36 Light Inspection Car Q. See the photos of a recent acquisition. The nameplate indicates Light Inspection Car Co., Hagerstown, Indiana. It has hit-and-miss governing and make-and-break ignition. This particular engine had last been used to pump oil in northwestern Pennsylvania. I would like to locate any information which might have surfaced on this engine. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. William C. Schwartz, 122 Ormsby Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15210.

29/12/37 NAPA Numbers Q. In the October 1994 GEM you list

NAPA 90R3724 and 3725 as the colors for the David Bradley. I checked with NAPA and they tell me they have nothing listed by that number. Please advise. Paul H. Burkle, PO Box 1871, Waterloo, IA 50704.

A. The listing came from a NAPA listing provided several years ago by a NAPA dealer.

29/12/38 Empire Tractors

Thanks to Carl Herng, RD 6, Box 131, Grant Avenue, Auburn, NY 13021. He recently sent us some material on the Empire tractor and its history. Carl reports that there are now some 70 members in a club specializing in the Empire. A newsletter is also being published periodically. For further information, contact Mr. Hering.

Readers Write

Richard D. Hamp, 1772 Conrad Ave., San Jose, CA 95124-4501 sends information on some queries:

29/9/20I believe the engine is a Hercules because of the 7EK horsepower rating. Woodin & Little were agents for Hercules as well as for the Stover line of engines and equipment.

29/10/9Regarding this query, it appears to be a Wiscona Pep motor. They were originally made by Termaat & Monahan Co. at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 1921 the firm was sold to the Wiscona Pep Motor & Parts Co. of Oshkosh, which continued production of the 1 and 3 HP models until late in 1939.

Model makers Corner

Richard Shelly, 2835 Camp Rd., Manheim, PA 17545 forwards two photos of John Deere tractor models. The row-crop model was made from lawnmower parts. He used a Roof lawn mower axle drive and wheels, plus a Briggs & Stratton motor.

A Closing Word

Some time ago we announced that Verne Kindschi at Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, had acquired a packet of Alamo engine literature. There are numerous photographs, but none have any markings of any kind. So, in closing this month, we submit one image showing a display of the Alamo line, but we don't know whether this was at the factory or at a trade show. The other photograph shows the Alamo light plants on a test stand preparatory to shipping.

Work is moving ahead post haste for a GEM voyage to Germany and who knows where else next summer. At press time we have just learned that the tentative dates for the tour are September 9 to 23 (so as to avoid missing the many Labor Day shows in the U.S.), and we plan to arrive in Munich and depart from London. More details next month!

As we close out Volume 29 of GEM, ye old Reflector wishes to extend a personal thanks to all those who have written during the past year. Your input is greatly appreciated.