A Brief Word

Venn-Severin Engines


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We receive The Old Machinery Magazine from Australia, and we're always amazed at the number of American engines that still exist there. Perhaps we have told you before that the Fuller & Johnson pumping engine is shown there, but various folks adopted the F&J as their own, so the same engine appears under several different names in Australia. We're also told that Fuller & Johnson got nothing out of having their engine appropriated by others.

A fair number of Stover engines appear, albeit under the Cooper trade-name, but with the Stover model and serial numbers. There are lots of IHC Famous and Mogul engines in Australia . . . one issue of TOMM even shows a 2 HP vertical Famous with a Webster G11 magneto ... a really odd design!

Prices vary considerably. At auction a restored 2 HP Cooper (Stover) KA engine sold for $400AU. Right now the conversion rate is about $1.75AU for $1US. But then, we noticed that a 200 pound anvil on one auction sold for $450! Don't think too much about trying to export engines and tractors to the U.S., though. It requires a lot of paperwork and is rather difficult to get this done. They have strict laws regarding the export of 'national treasures.'

Many U.S. collectors have run across Reg Ingold, who lives in the Newcastle area of New South Wales. Reg has visited a great many of our shows, and has built a great many scale model engines, many of them being from casting sets he bought here in the U.S.

After returning from our Australia/New Zealand Tour in late March, perhaps we'll be able to provide a better view of engine and tractor happenings over there.

We begin with:

36/2/1 Crabb Engines Wayne G. Halsey, 541 Wisconsin Ave., North Fond du Lac, WI 54937 comments on his interest in the Crabb gas engine. He would like to know more about these engines, and perhaps an owner might share some photos of this engine for this column. Ye olde Reflector owns the foundry patterns for the Crabb engine, but we never found any drawings. We suspect that the essential dimensions were probably in a notebook, and after engine building ended, the notebook probably was neglected.

The crankshaft was purchased we believe, although it could have been cut from a solid billet. The cylinder was a closed head style. A couple inches back on the barrel was a raised flange, and the cylinder was then threaded. After poking the cylinder through the copper water jacket and a hole in the cast frame, a big spanner nut was run onto the cylinder to sandwich the whole assembly together. Several setscrews in the face of the spanner nut served to clamp the cylinder to the frame very tightly.

The water jacket was made of sheet copper. The whole idea was to prevent damage to the cylinder in case of freezing. The thin copper would readily expand, saving the cylinder from injury. Very few Crabb engines were built, probably not more than a few dozen. Thus, the Crabb engine is very rare.

36/2/2 Venn-Severin Engines Pete MacFarlane, 80 W. Rush Ct., Eagle, ID 83616 writes that he has acquired two large (35,000# each) Venn-Severin engines. Pete first saw these engines in 1959, and now he has acquired them. Both engines have been cannibalized to some extent, so Pete would like to hear from anyone who has any information on these engines (see photos) or knows where there might be other Venn-Severin engines that might have some needed parts. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. The two photos are of the Type D, Model M engine.

36/2/3 Caron Brothers Engine Dean Barr, PO Box 186, Hiddenite, NC 28636 sends some photos of a Caron Bros, engine made in Montreal, s/n 6101. It has patent numbers in Canada and the U.S. The engine is a ported two-cycle design. Dean would like to know if a gas/oil mix is required. He would like to hear from anyone having one of these engines or information on same.

36/2/4 Morton Engine Q. See the photo of a 20 HP Morton opposed piston engine recently purchased at the Erwin Kretzschmar auction at Floresville, Texas. I know very little about this engine other than it came from California to Uvalde, Texas, about ten years before Mr. Kretzschmar bought it in the early 1980s. The engine was built fry Morton Gas Engine Co., Fresno, California. It is shown on page 519 of American Gas Engines . If there are any other Morton engines out there, please contact me. Also, if anyone has any information on Rawleigh Morton or his company at Fresno (about 1910), please let me know. All correspondence will be answered. Robert E. Davis, Route 1, Box 640, Graham, TX 76450

36/2/5 Nelson Bros. Engine Steve Tanck, email address, has a Nelson Bros. Little Jumbo Model U, 2 HP. He says everything is painted an ugly green color, and wants to know the correct color. Well, it comes close to DuPont 2015 Green, not our favorite shade, but nevertheless, it is close to the original. (We would appreciate it if our emailers would also include their snailmail address. Lots of our readers don't have email, and this shuts them out of providing any input or comments).

36/2/6 Woodpecker Engines Fred L. Miller Sr., 89 Clarksville St., Greenville, PA 16125 has two Woodpecker engines; 8 HP on factory trucks, s/n 16327, and 6 HP, on factory skids, s/n 20452. He would like to know when they were made, the original colors, and the appearance of original decals. If you can be of help, please contact Fred at the above address.

36/2/7 Jaeger Engine Cary Stengel, So-Lina Auction, 2105 Lamar Hwy., Darlington, SC 29532 would like to know the paint specs for the Jaeger 2 HP engine on the cover of the January 2000 GEM. If you can be of help, please let him know.

36/2/8 Victoria Geyser While not related at all to gas engines, we received an interesting article about the Victoria Hydraulic Air Compressor from Jim Wohlfeil, 190 HCR1, Marquette, MI 49855-9074. The article discusses the copper boom near Victoria, near Rockland, Michigan. In 1903 the hydraulic air compressor was built and functioned for many years. Those interested in this machine may wish to contact Jim at the address above.

36/2/9 Waterloo Boy Ron Schaeffer, Box 13, RR 1, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 5Y1 Canada has a 7 HP Waterloo Boy kerosene engine, s/n 205870. It is missing the complete fuel system, and he would like to hear from anyone having information, photos, etc. of how it looks, so as to make the missing parts. If you can be of help, please contact Ron. He would also like to know the correct color and year built.

36/2/10 Coldwell Cub Lawnmower Q. I am looking for information on a Coldwell Cub 21-inch lawnmower. It is Model or Type No. 4009, s/n 311067. Can anyone tell me when it was made, and also the type and size of engine it had. Any help would be appreciated. Wayne Larocque, 157 Field Rd., Somers, CT 06071.

36/2/11 Worthington Engine Q. See the photos of a 125 horsepower Worthington gas engine that was formerly used to drive a huge Worthington centrifugal water pump. The nameplate indicates: Worhtington Pump & Machinery Corporation, INGECO, Ingeco Engine Works, Cudahy, Wisconsin, 125 hp, 190 rpm, s/n 26726. Can anyone provide any further details on this engine. Your help would be appreciated. J. L. (Bob) Foster, 5800 Magnolia Road, Theodore, AL 36582.