A Brief Word

Wee MacGregor engine


John Beekman

Content Tools

Over the past few weeks we have heard of several more engine makes not listed in American Gas Engines. When we completed this book several years ago, we knew that there were probably a substantial number of companies not included, but we never dreamed there would be so many makes and models still to make their resurrection. The message is that we believe there are still more undiscovered engines to be located, and they could be resting in an old barn, an abandoned gold mine, or in a gooseberry thicket.

On a personal note, ye olde Reflector has been building a new office. After all these years, we'll finally have a building with adequate shelves and work space. For the past twenty-five years, much of our work has been done in the basement of our house, and we all know how that works. Although the building process is a lot of work in itself, we fear that the moving process will be an even larger project. However, we're hopeful that once completed, we'll be able to do a more efficient job of researching your inquiries.

We're looking forward to seeing many of you at the Great Fuller & Johnson Reunion in August. Verne Kindschi has already provided some details, and there will be more coming in GEM. We understand this is strictly a one-time reunion, and we encourage you to check your calendar as more information comes out.

Prices of some things remain relatively stable, while other prices never quit rising. Back in 1979 our Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors retailed at $24.95. Shortly after, the price went to $29.95 and has remained there for well over a decade. However, it cost us $ 1.08 postage to ship this book in 1979, and now it costs us $2.34. Many of our readers are farmers, or have a farm background. As a depressing footnote, grain prices at the present time aren't terribly conducive to buying a lot of high-priced engines and tractors!

Did you know that MECO (Manufacturer's Engine Company) was actually a subsidiary of Witte Engine Works? There are a few MECO engines around, and these are actually Witte models and use Witte serial numbers.

Our questions this month begin with:

27/2/1 Waukesha Model XA Engine Q. I have a Waukesha XA226E engine of 1928 vintage. When I disassembled it, I found the clutch housing about half full of 600W oil. I can't believe that this was ever intended to be a wet clutch. Can anyone supply information on one of these units? Rich Howard, Hysham, MT 59038.

A. It is our understanding that there were indeed some oil-filled clutches used by the 1920s, but beyond that we have no specific product information.

27/2/2 Swartz Light Plants Q. See the photo of a Swartz light plant, built from 1916 to 1920. his 1,000 watts, 30 volts, and uses an Edison B4H battery with a capacity of 75 a. h. This machine was built at Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Swartz is fully automatic, of two-cycle design, and the points are in the flywheel. If anyone has one of these engines, or can help with diagrams or instructions on how to wire the generator, I would really appreciate it.  Ken Mooney, 330 Elma-Monte Rd., Elma, WA 98541.

A. Beyond some very brief advertising, we have no material on this engine. Perhaps one of our readers can be of help.

27/2/3 Goold, Shapley & Muir Q. I have a Goold, Shapley & Muir 1? HP gas engine, s/n 471. This engine was made in Brantford, Canada. I desperately want to restore this engine to running order, but I'm sure some parts are missing. Can anyone supply any pictures, parts list, or other information? I also need to know the type of magneto and ignitor plug for this engine. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Frank Muran, 13320 - 131 St., Edmonton, ALTA T5L 1N7 Canada.

A. If you can help Mr. Muran, please do so.

27/2/4 Fuller & Johnson Q. I am restoring a Fuller & Johnson 1? HP engine, s/n 10751. Can anyone advise the year made, color, and availability of decals? Gene Ellingsworth, RR 2, Box 141 C, Osceola, WI 54020.

A. Write: Verne W. Kindschi, RR 1, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578 for further information.

27/2/5 Great Lakes Tractor Co. Q. I have just acquired a small garden tractor built by Great Lakes Tractor Co., Rock Creek, Ohio. The name plate reads: Chief, Model B, s/n 2b4219. The engine is an Ultimotor from Uebelhofer Bros., Buffalo, NY, Model U2R6, s/n 7615. Any information will be appreciated. Mark Murphy, Box 185, Callicoon, NY 12723.

27/2/6 Information Needed Q. Our engine club would like to have us display the year built on the placards at our annual show. Thus, I am enclosing a list for which I would like to have this information. Photo 6A is of a Wee MacGregor engine, Photo 6B shows a 1? HP Hercules, s/n 128961, Photo 6C is of a Witte 3 HP, s/n B21414, and Photo 6D shows part of my collection. Your help will be appreciated. John Beekman, Box 24, Trochu, ALTA T0M 2C0 Canada.

A. Most of your engines can be dated through Wendel's Notebook, available from GEM. Might we note that the Wee MacGregor looks like something from R. M. Wade Co., builders of the Wade Log Saw. We're not at all sure of the year on this one. The Witte engine was built in 1925.

27/2/7 Fairbanks-Morse Tractor Q. A colleague of mine has a very interesting old Fairbanks-Morse tractor, as shown in the photographs. Mr. Roy Nel of the farm Riverima in the Cradock district of the Eastern Cape Province is the owner. I am writing on his behalf to see if we can obtain any assistance from your readers. The tractor is essentially complete, but some assistance in obtaining a few missing items would be helpful. If there is a Fairbanks-Morse collectors association, or if there are other FBM tractor owners, we would be glad tos hear from them.

Roy Nel knows of a second machine that looks similar to the one shown here, but there is not much left of it. From what we can understand, these may well have been the first two internal combustion engine tractors ever imported into South Africa. For any assistance, we will be most grateful. Wilfred E. Mole, PO Box 408, Halfway House, 1685, South Africa.

A. Our compliments on a very rare tractor, and we hope there might be someone who can be of help.

27/2/8 Doyle Engine Q. See the engine in the photo. On the shroud it states, Doyle Mfg. Co., Syracuse, New York. This is a two-stroke engine. I also have a Cunningham engine of about 3 HP. Any information on either of these engines will be greatly appreciated. John S. Bourquin Sr., Rt 4, Box 307, Elmer, NJ 08318.

27/2/9 FBM S/N Location Q. I have a Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP engine, of the ZC series, but I cannot find a serial number. Any help regarding the location of the serial number will be appreciated. Donald G. Fletcher, 1614 Peterson, San Antonio, TX 78224.

A. One of the FBM ZC parts books states that, 'The serial number is stamped on the top of the hopper at the cylinder end.'