A Brief Word

Three-wheel garden tractor


Daniel Burmeister

Content Tools

27/2/10 Information Needed Q. I recently purchased two engines and would like some information on same. They are: Stover CT-1, s/n TA247528, and Witte 4 HP, s/n 95399K. Donald L. Webb, 3010 Ingraham Hill Rd., Binghamton, NY 13903.

A. The Stover was built in 1937. The Witte was shipped on April 24, 1936 to R. H. Rose, So. Kortright, New York.

27/2/11 Identification Needed Q. See the two photos of a three-wheel garden tractor. It uses a one-cylinder Novo engine. The back wheels adjust by a big screw on each side for row width. Can anyone identify this tractor or provide further information? Daniel Burmeister, 1726 Swamp Rd., Fountainville, PA 18923.

A. Can any of our readers be of help?

27/2/12 Kinkade Garden Tractors Q. I recently acquired a Kinkade made by American Farm Machine Co. of Minneapolis. In reading up on it, the book Vintage Garden Tractors states (page 31) that there is no listing of the Kinkade, American Co. after 1924. Recently, a friend loaned me a copy of Better Homes & Gardens for April 1935. There is an ad for the Kinkade from American Farm Machine.

 If you have any more information on the Kinkade, I would like to have it. Tom Kruse, 6232 Cedar Lane, Miamisburg, OH 45342.

A. We can't tell you exactly when American quit building the Kinkade, although it is not listed in the 1936 edition of Millard's Implement Directory. However, the FIN Buyer's Guide of 1948 still lists repair parts as being available from American Farm Machinery.

27/2/13 Busy Bee Q. See the photos of an engine recently acquired. It is a Busy Bee, 5 HP, 2600 rpm, and uses a 2? x 3 inch bore and stroke. It was manufactured by Gladden Products Corp., Glendale, Calif. Can anyone supply any information on this engine or the company? Larry P. Meyer, 1760 Gray Lynn Drive, Walk Walk, WA 99362.

Readers Write

A. Gladden is not listed in American Gas Engines, and we have never found any information on this firm. However, we are of the opinion that this engine is of 1940s or perhaps early 1950s vintage.

27/2/14 Humboldt-Deutzmotoren A.G. Q. See the two photos of a Humboldt-Deutzmotoren engine made in Germany. It carries s/n 280003. I would like to know if your readers can give me any information on this engine. Photo 14B shows a rear view of the engine and the raised letters 'O.T.T.O.' Any information? It appears the engine was painted gold or bronze. I am interested in restoring it as close as possible to the original. Marv Dobson, 6848 Hwy 52 W, Emmett, ID 83617.

A. The shield on the rear cover is the familiar Otto trademark as used on Otto engines for many years. After all, this was the German firm that built the Otto engine, along with subsidiary companies in the United States and elsewhere. Since Deutz is still operating today, perhaps you might contact them in hopes of securing further information on this engine.

Presumably, a local Deutz engine dealer would be able to get this information for you, or could supply you with the full address of Klockner- Humboldt-Deutz A.G. in Germany.

27/2/15 Impulse Couplings Q. I would like to see an article on the construction and development of the magneto impulse coupling as used on the older engines and tractors. Joe Tochtrop, 2028 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94118.

A. Now here's a project for someone! As many of you know, the impulse coupling developed rather slowly. Its purpose is to provide the hot spark needed for starting an engine. Since the cranking speed is too slow (especially when cranking by hand) the impulse coupling consists essentially of a stop which keeps the magneto shaft from turning. As the engine is turned over, the coupling is winding a heavy spring within itself. Usually a cam on the outside of the coupling pushes the stop off its catch block at the proper time, and the power stored in the spring brings the armature quickly past its firing point. This provides a good hot spark for starting. As the engine speed rises, the impulse automatically kicks out of action, and the magneto and coupling both operate as if they were direct-coupled.

27/2/16 Hercules Enclosed is a photo of a black Hercules 1? HP engine. The original owner went with his father to get it at the depot and it was black when new. It caused a lot of comment at the Pontiac, Illinois show one year. Some people were all over it with a magnifying glass and declared the decal was on top of the black paint. Also, an accidental scraping on one side shows nothing but black paint on top of cast iron-no other color. I was naturally intrigued by your entry of an Economy engine paint room showing black engines. I know they did exist-now if anyone can only let us know why. Lloyd A. Dean, RR 1, Box 108, Atwood, IL 61913.

Dowden Potato Digger Back in the February 1991 GEM you published my letter requesting information on the Dowden potato digger. At this time I wish to thank everyone who helped me. Jerry Bechtel, 25127 N. Virginia Ave., Lake Zurich, IL 60047.

26/11/10 Corliss Etc. Regarding the Corliss engines, Mr. Wurgaft might contact the library at a local engineering college. The well-intentioned question about the '4000 psi oxygen bottle' sent chills up my back. Always but always, handle these bottles in a safe manner! Full or empty, keep the cap over the valve. Never leave these bottles standing alone-always secure them so they cannot fall. Mark L. Rembis, 2190 Buford-Bardwell Rd., Mt. Orab, OH 45154.

We likewise wish to add: Oxygen cylinders are usually pressurized at 2,200 psi. The ruthless and deadly fury of these cylinders is unleashed through an opening smaller than a lead pencil should the valve be broken off. This tremendous energy can actually propel one of these cylinders into the air over a half mile! Please use com-pressed gas cylinders in a safe and approved manner. Like many other tools, they are very useful when properly used, but very deadly when used in a careless manner!

26/12/30 Cushman X This engine is shown on page 118 of American Gas Engines. They were made in the late 1920s. The 1?, 2?, and 3 HP models came with battery or Wico magneto ignition. Don Green, 4024 Country Lane NW #48, Bremerton, WA 98312.

26/12/13 Unidentified Engine I believe this engine-generator set is a Witte AD, 4 HP model. Gary Parks, 515 Northgate Dr., Dyer, IN 46311.

Buckeye Ditcher We got several letters on this photo, and apparently a few of these huge machines are still in existence, and a few of these are even in working condition. Robert Johnson, Rt 2, Box 358, Canyon, TX 79015 even sent us a couple photos of one, but they were too dark to reproduce here. Thanks for all the letters that came in on this query.

26/12/16 Unidentified This engine is a Sandow. Robert A. Johnson (address above).

26/12/40 Information Needed This is a Fairbanks-Morse Z, 1? HP engine and is one of the first overhead valve Z engines, and a rather rare model. Note that the push rod is rectangular. These engines came equipped with a Sumter oscillator magneto. I don't believe they ever came with battery ignition.

26/11/1 Unidentified This engine may be a Sattley Racine as it has a rocker arm, muffler, and cam follower arm that are very similar to the same parts on my Sattley Racine. The biggest difference is the governor flyweights. The Racine I have uses one weight on the arm, and there is a three-groove speed changing collar on the crankshaft. The main bearing caps and oil holes are similar to those on my Racine. I agree with you that it would be nice to know the number on the Webster magneto bracket.

26/11/10 Corliss. There is a Corliss gas engine that was built in Petaluma, California. The main line of engines were marine style, built in one, two, three, four, and six cylinder models, ranging from 7 to 300 HP. The cruiser Suisan is still around. Corliss engines are very rare, and I only know of two.

26/11/20 Cushman Cub Decals One Cushman sales booklet of 1928 shows a decal on the side of the water hopper and one on the front of the hopper. I assume there is probably a decal on the other side of the hopper. However, another picture from a 1928 brochure shows no decals being used.

Beginning with 26/12/40 above, these responses are all from Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Ave., San Jose, CA 95124-4501. We met Dick at the recent Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Although our visit was short, it was a pleasure to meet the person who sends in more responses to reader inquiries than any other. Thanks, Dick!

26/12/43 Unidentified Tractor Numerous letters came in on this query. Although one reader suggested that it might be a Bear tractor, all the other responses indicated it to be a Trundaar tractor made in Anderson, Indiana. Ye olde Reflector has had this photograph for many years, but we were never able to associate it with any particular company. Thanks to everyone who wrote in about this one!

Modelmaker's Corner

Q. I am in the process of building a Mogul model engine with the sideshaft and tank cooling. What I need to know is if the governor is mounted horizontal on the sideshaft, or if it was a vertical type run by bevel gears from the side shaft. What was the color of these engines? The route of governor linkage would help too. Clarence Wipper, Box 39, Drake, ND 58736.

A. The governor is mounted directly on the lay shaft. On the full-sized engines, the top eye in the governor arm is in line with the throttle valve on the engine. Full-sized engines have the governor rod going right through the water hopper. A piece of 34 inch pipe is threaded in and peened over to prevent water leakage from the hopper. Of course the governor rod goes through this piece of pipe. The color for IHC Mogul is DuPont 93-29609-H olive green.

A Closing Word

Here are a few kernels gleaned from various magazines:

(1911) Ideal Gas Engine Company, Lansing, Michigan was formed as a merger of Ideal Motor Company and Air-Cooled Motor Company.

(1911) Ferro Machine & Foundry Co., Cleveland, Ohio announced a new portable 3 HP engine. It was mounted on similar to a two-wheel freight cart and could be moved around similar to a wheelbarrow.

(1911) A 50% solution of muriatic acid and water will give an excellent fluid for cleaning spark plugs. The solution should be applied with a toothbrush.

(1906) The Richmond (Va.) Gasolene Engine Company was incorporated to build the 'Little Wonder' gas engine.

(1906) The W.F. Safford Manufacturing Company, Portland, Maine was to move to Westerly, Rhode Island. This firm built motor boats and gasolene engines.

(1906) Steffey Mfg. Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offered 'a complete line of castings or finished motors for bicycle, automobile, marine, or stationary uses.'