Riding lawn mower


Robert A. LeBaron

Content Tools

With this issue, GEM begins its twenty-seventh year of publication. This writer was collecting gas engines when it wasn't fashionable, and as we've said before, the neighbors probably thought me daft when I started bringing old gas engines home in the 1950s.

Our little book, entitled Wendel's Notebook, will probably be back in print by the time you receive this issue. We did not anticipate the demand for this little book, and consequently we were caught napping, and had to go back to the printer with it in only a few weeks. For the present time, this title is available only through GEM or through the Reflector. (See advertisement elsewhere in this issue).

Beginning with this issue, we will begin making references to the Notebook, and we welcome additional information for the 1993 edition, due out late in 1992. Already we have had some feedback regarding certain paint color schemes, plus requests for the paint schemes of various other engines and tractors. Also, beginning with this issue, we'll begin using a little subhead entitled Notebook Items. For the convenience of those with the current edition, copy the new items into your book to keep it up to date.

A suggestion to our advertisers: When placing a blind ad, that is, one with only the phone number, but without your address, kindly include some general geographic information. This way, interested buyers will have some idea of the distance involved beforehand. We're told that a lot of prospective buyers won't bother with a phone call if they think that your equipment is several hundred miles away. For example, you might use the following format: Call Joe Smith at (515) 555-1212 (Central Ohio). We suggest this as a way of making your ads even more effective.

You'll also be interested to know that the gas engine hobby has even caught the attention of the real estate world. One realtor out in Washington state included the following listing:

'You'll keep your fishing pole busy living on Shady Lake-53 feet of waterfront-no gas engines allowed.' Now ain't that a fine kettle offish!

With the onset of winter, we presume the model makers will be busy once again. We haven't heard from many of you, so be sure to shoot some pix of your projects and send them along!

Our questions this month begin with:

27/1/1 Unidentified Items Q. See the riding lawn mower in 1A. Can anyone identify this model, and tell me what sort of hood ornament was used? There are four holes in the front of the hood. Also, Photo 1B illustrates a hand cornsheller, but I do not know the make. Any information will be appreciated. Robert A. Le Baron, 5801 E. 5th St., Tucson, AZ 85711.

A. We need some reader input on the above query.

27/1/2 Lestz and Kohler Questions  Q. I need information on the following Kohler light plant: Model 1A22 U, No. 108147, 115 VAC, 1.5 KVA.

I also need information on a Lestz feed grinder, Model 210, Type A. Any help will be appreciated. Floyd A. Coyle Sr., 4857Rose Hill Rd., Garland, TX75043.

A. We're being told that information on Kohler is getting difficult to obtain from the company, so if you can be of help to Mr. Coyle on his questions, please get in touch with him.

27/1/3 Fordson Marine Engines Francis A. Orr, 1617 - 32nd St., Anacortes, WA 98221 writes: 'In the past, I have found the basic Fordson engine used for crawlers, shovels, scrapers, or just about anything else that seemed to move or require power on the land. It was quite a surprise to find that the Fordson also went to sea, virtually unchanged from the basic unit.'

Mr. Orr also sent us some photocopies of the Metal weld - Fordson marine engine as provided by Metal weld Service Corp., Philadelphia, Pa. One example shown is that of a Metal weld 40 boat with a 12 beam being driven by a Fordson engine at a speed of 12 mph. We've never heard of the Fordson at sea before. Does anyone have further information in this regard?

27/1/4 Some Questions Q. Photo 4 A is of an unidentified engine. In referring to American Gas Engines, it could be a Detroit, a Middle ditch, or a Columbia. Were these companies all, at some time or other, essentially the same? Any information will be appreciated.

Photo 4B illustrates some sort of rolling machine, but we haven't the faintest clue of its purpose. On the underside of one of the boards are instructions in a Scandinavian language, probably Swedish or Norwegian. Photo 4C is of an unidentified engine with no nameplate. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Paul G. Lee, 12605 Brookstone Ct., Poway, CA 92064-6433.

A. We think the engine in Photo A is a Detroit. Regarding the roller outfit, we have no idea. Could it have been something out of an old laundry? The engine in Photo C is an R & V built late in production as a competition model, made to sell at a price. So far as we know, this model had no nameplate and no striping.

27/1/5 Busy Bee Tractor Q. Can anyone supply me with information on a Busy Bee tractor as built by Gladden Products Corporation, Glendale, California? It has (or had) decals on the back of the fenders, plus a nameplate on the engine. See photo 27/1/5. Jack L. Alexander, 7795 Crews Road, Gilroy, CA 95020.

A. If you can help Mr. Alexander, please drop him a line.

27/1/6 Kinkade Garden Tractor Q. Can anyone supply information on a Kinkade, #50014651? It is like the one shown on page 32 of Vintage Garden Tractors. Mine has a breaking plow attachment. Any information will be appreciated. Tom Kruse, 6232 Cedar Lane, Miamisburg, OH 45342.

27/11/7 Earthmaster Tractor Duane Anderson, RR 1, Box 81, West Lebanon, IN 47991 needs information on an Earthmaster Model C-4-448. This tractor was made in Hollydale, California, and information is needed on the hood ornament, years built, paint color scheme, etc.

27/1/8 New Idea Engine Q. D. L. Wagner, 15530 Elderwood Dr., Roseville, MI 48066 needs information on a 1? HP New Idea engine, including the original color scheme.

A. We believe the basic color was the familiar New Idea Green, but orange striping was used, and the flywheels included an unusual orange 'star' in the center of the flywheels. A look at the New Idea engine on page 340 of American Gas Engines will give you an idea of the scheme that was used.

27/1/9 Richmond City Mill Works Q. See the photo of an 18-inch stone buhr mill made by Richmond City Mill Works, Richmond, Indiana. Any information on the mill or this company should be forwarded to Chuck Heckroth, 3506 Acker man Rd., Unionville, Ml 48767.

A. We have no information on this particular mill. However we did take the liberty of changing 'burr mill' to 'buhr mill.' According to Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary of 1874, the term 'buhr' indicates 'a coarse, flinty, cavernous stone whose cellular texture makes it highly suitable for millstones .... France, Germany, and Sardinia yield the buhr stone.'

On the other hand, burr mill refers to iron burrs, usually of some casehardened and heat treated casting with projections suitable to the grain being milled. Iron burrs are generally considered unsuitable for the milling of meal to be used for human food, since the iron tends to impart a metallic taste to the finished meal.

27/1/10 Thanks! A. Thank You to Dr. Doug Frels, 202 N. 6th, Guthrie Center, IA 50115 for sending us photocopies of a 1917 Dempster Engine Catalog. Dr. Frels and his father are restoring a 10 HP Dempster Grain Dealer's Special engine at the present time.

27/1/11 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of an engine with no nameplate. It is equipped with a Webster magneto having bracket No. 303K18. Any information will be appreciated. Walt Nielsen, 18284 McRae Rd., Madera, CA 93638.

A. At first glance this looks like an early Stover engine. However, a look at the governor weights leads us to believe that this is an Alamo, and in fact, the Webster bracket listing in the Notebook shows that this bracket number is indeed for the Alamo. Thus, the Notebook shows PPG 13594 Blue as being the comparable color.

27/1/12 Ford and M-H FWD Jerry L. Miller St., Lot 24, Con 11, Hunter, Ontario P0L 1P0 Canada sends along a photo of his nicely restored Massey-Harris four-wheel-drive loaded onto his restored 1944 Ford truck. Jerry writes: 'They are both restored from the ground up. Every nut, bolt, washer, gears, and all other parts were gone over and restored to original condition. It took about four years to do both these, working almost every minute of spare time I had. The 1944 Ford truck was a military truck. It has a two-speed rear end with a direct shift to change from low speed to high speed, and a 100 HP flat-head V-8 engine.

'The 1931 Massey-Harris was found about 70 miles west of Hunta in a town called Kapuskasing, and was there since new. It has all original parts on it again. The only thing yet needed is the radiator shroud. This tractor has a four-cylinder Hercules flat head motor and is rated at 25 horsepower. I also have a 1922 Fordson and a 1938 Farmall F-14 that are fully restored. Right now we are working on a 1933 Case Model L. We are about 570 miles north of the Thousand Island Bridge at the U.S. Canada border.'

27/1/13 Deane of Holyoke Q. Can anyone supply information on the pump shown in this picture? The cylinders are bored at 2? inches. Total weight is about 120 pounds. Dave Brown, 13813 Travois Trl., Parker, CO 80134.

A. Deane pumps gained an early reputation, and the firm was probably best known for its steam pumps. We have no information at our fingertips to tell you when this Holyoke, Massachusetts company started in the pump business. While this one seems a bit large for the typical orchard sprayer, it was probably used for some high pressure pumping application, and may even have seen such mundane duty as pumping water some distance for livestock.

27/1/14 Hay Press Information James Luper, 5430 Voice Rd., Kingsley, MI 49649 needs some help with a Whitman Hay Press. So far all that has appeared is a single advertisement from 1889. If you can help, please drop Jim a line.

27/1/15 Case 20-40 Color Combo Robert Schall, PO Box 521, Farmington, MO 63640 needs the proper color combinations for repainting a 1916 Case 20-40 tractor. If you can be of help, please let him know. (We know that there were some changes in the color scheme during production, but we have never been totally sure of when these took place.)

27/1/16 Unidentified Engine Q. See the engine in the photo. The design seems similar to United, Associated, or Nelson Bros. The magneto bracket is 303K37. Can anyone be of help? Mark Baier, 11 Pleasant St., Milford, MA 01757.

A. We think the best clue is in the governor weights. In this style of Nelson engine the weights are a straight cylindrical pattern, while the Associated weights are of a tapered cylindrical design. We have no listing of 303K37 brackets, but if our assumptions prove correct, then this number can be added to the Notebook information for future reference. (If our theories as presented above are incorrect, we fully expect to hear about it!)

27/1/17 Suggestions and Questions Q. One helpful tool to home mechanics is a bolt and nut gauge that I acquired years ago from a local supply house. It has inch and metric holes thru which a bolt can be passed to determine its size, and also a series of round projections over which nuts or washers can be slipped to determine their size. The bolt gauge could be easily made, and the nut gauge could be made by turning appropriate diameters on a piece of shaft.

The second useful tool is a thread pitch gauge. Many supply houses have these at a reasonable price, and this saves a lot of bother in determining a given thread.

Can anyone give me the correct paint color for a Seager Olds engine, also the striping design for same? Leonard Spoelman, 3221 Brookshire SE, Grand Rapids, Ml 49508.

A. The Notebook lists Sherwin-Williams 1335 Dark Red as a comparable color for the engine. We have no details of the striping. If you can supply this information, kindly contact Mr. Spoelman.

27/1/18 Hercules Colors Q. I have been looking for the proper color to be used on a Hercules 1? HP engine. Many of those I have seen look too dark-Mine is an ignitor model, s/n 264954. On the tag there is an 'F' suffix. What does this stand for? Vince Dailey ,612- 5th Ave SW, Ronan, MT 59864.

A. We have PPG 43822 Green and DuPont 7666 Green listed as comparable colors in the Notebook. Glenn Karch's book A History of Hercules shows this engine being built in the 1921-23 era. This book also devotes a full chapter to the 'F' series engines.