Unidentified Engine


Mark Nichols

Content Tools

27/1/19 Root & Vandervoort Gerald Rabalais, 1704 Oakmanor Dr., Bunkie, LA 71322 needs further information on a 2 HP R & V engine built for John Deere Plow Company. Especially needed is information on the firing mechanism. All correspondence will be appreciated.

27/1/20 Unidentified Engine Q. Can anyone provide information on the engine in the two photos? It is marked with the following nameplate information:

Wells Manufacturing

Fond DuLac, Wisconsin

Model MFAC

Serial No. 4976

2 HP 4-cycle

Any information will be appreciated. Mark Nichols, 1405 Wilshire, Springdale, AR 72764.

27/1/21 Madison-Kipp Lubricators Q. Can anyone supply parts for Madison' Kipp lubricators? James Priestley, 117 Lind St., McMinnville, TN 37110.

A. So far as we know, new parts are still available from Madison-Kipp Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin.

27/1/22 Information Needed Q. I would appreciate information on the following engines:

1. Associated 4 HP, gasoline/kerosene, sin 412943. Is there any source for the rectangular brass plates and the date of manufacture?

2. The Toronto 1? HP engine is identical in appearance to the Nelson Monarch on page 333 of American Gas Engines. Does anyone have any information on paint colors, decals, etc.?

3. Can anyone supply any information on a Webster 2 ? HP inverted vertical gas engine with hot tube ignition? It appears to be a dark grey color, and the engine is very similar in appearance to the gasoline version shown on page 544 of American Gas Engines.

Any help will be appreciated. Peter Thwaites, Dunelm Croft, Boathouse Lane, Mirfield, West Yorks WF1LL8H2 England. Fax No. England 924 430607.

A. If anyone can be of help to Mr. Thwaites, please do so.

27/1/23 Asco Garden Tractor Q. I have an Asco Garden Tractor that is missing two gears in the rear end. I also purchased a Sterling Model LA gas engine. If anyone has any information on either of these two items, I would appreciate hearing from you. Tim Lesher, PO Box 417, Gratz, PA 17030.

27/1/24 Gibson Tractors Q. Can anyone tell me the correct paint colors for Gibson tractors? I have been told that the tractors were red, and the equipment was gray. Any help will be appreciated. Ed Linen broker, RR 1, Box 21, Rosebud, MO 63091.

A. We too would like to have the Gibson color information for the Notebook.

27/1/25 A Review Thanks to Dave Dickinson, 6190 Keller Ave., Newfane, NY 14108. Dave sent along a reprint of 'The Gas Engine on the Farm, II' that was published in 1926 as a Cornell Extension Bulletin. This little book details some of the problems with gas engines in a basic manner, especially for the novice. Those of us who grew up with gas engines, or who have been in the hobby for a long time, often take for granted that great mysteries abound for the beginning collector. Take ignition for instance. Many of our younger collectors know all about electronic ignition where a little printed circuit board does everything but change tires. Yet, the simplicity of the old fashioned make-and-break system is a complete mystery. It won't be many more years until the young folks will know all about fuel injected engines, and will probably wonder what in the devil we ever did back in the old days of carburetors. In short, anything that helps our hobby and helps the beginning collectors is always welcomed.

27/1/26 Mogul Engine Q. I have an 1HC Mogul 1 HP engine, s/n W14010. When was it built, and what is the correct color? Harley C. Hanson, 18931 Durand Ave., Union Grove, WI 53182.

A. Your engine was built in 1916. The Notebook also lists DuPont Dulux 93-29609-H Oliver Green as the com-parable color match.

27/1/27 Wallis Tractor Q. See the photo of a 1929 Wallis Tractor. Can anyone tell me the proper colors? Vernon Speer, 4437 S. Hwy 98, Bade City, FL 33525.

A. We also would like to know for future use in the Notebook. If you can help, we and of course, Mr. Speer will be glad to hear from you.

27/1/28 R&V Engine Q. I have an R & V engine, s/n SR62324. Can anyone help me determine its age and the horsepower? It did not have a brass tag. John Heider, RR 2, Box 113, Monticello, 1161856.

A. The lack of a nametag leads us to believe your engine was one of the 'competition' models, built to a price, and designed to meet the competition from Galloway, United, and others in the mail-order engine business. Without any further details, we would guess yours is probably the 1? HP model, and was apparently built in the 1912-18 period.

27/1/29 Novo Engine Charles R. Traum, 13161 Best Rd., Davis, IL 61019 needs information on a Novo Model FU 3X4 engine. If you can be of help, please contact him at the above address.

27/1/30 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two photos of a recent acquisition. I would like to know the make and the proper color. Clare Steward, 4417 N. Clinton Trail, Charlotte, MI 48813.

A. The engine is a Novo. It should be similar to DuPont 143AH Green.

27/1/31 Leaded or Unleaded? Several people have inquired over past months about the performance of vintage engines on today's unleaded fuels. Kenneth L. Roland, 3205 Circle Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 also conveys this query, especially regarding his engine collection ranging from 1914 to 1942. Mr. Roland specifically would like to know whether the unleaded gasoline might have any damaging effects on these old engines. We invite further comments from our readers.

27/1/32 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an unidentified engine. It belongs to my father-in-law, Gene Griffee of West Plains, Missouri.

He had just returned home from World War Two and was at a farm auction near his home in Waterville, Kansas. Near the end of the auction, the auctioneer was trying to get $2 for a pile of scrap iron. Finally he pulled this old engine up to the pile, and Gene gave $2 for the scrap iron and the engine.

Gene took the engine home and put it in his father's barn. It stayed there for years, and this past spring we brought it to Missouri. Gene has never heard it run. So, I would like to get some information and instructions to renew this old motor. Any help will be appreciated. D. Gene Mc-Keen, PO Box 10744, Springfield, MO 65808.

A. The engine was built by Hercules, probably as an Economy model for Sears & Roebuck. We believe this one to be of the Model X series that was originally introduced about 1929. If you can be of further help, please contact Mr. McKeen at the above address.

27/1/33 Prescott Tractors James L. Johnson, 4115 S. 298th Ct., Auburn, WA 98001 writes that he has acquired two Prescott tractors. These were industrial towing tractors. So far, his research has not yielded much on the Prescott. One model has a Model T engine and transmission, while the other has a Model A engine and transmission with a Model T rear axle. These tractors were made at Seattle. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Readers Write

Aristox-Lake Shore-Black Rock A few issues back, Mr. Robert M. Harris, 1812 Wiltshire, Berkley, MI 48072 sent in a letter regarding the Aristox engine. When writing the column, we misstated that Lake Shore in Marquette built the Aristox, when indeed it was Black Rock in Bridgeport. We thought we had corrected this error in an earlier issue, and perhaps this sets the record straight. With the volume of work required for each issue, errors can and do occur, despite our best efforts.

Farmall WF-NT In the August 1991 issue Mr. Lee did a great job on his WFNT Farmall. IH got an order for tractors in the 1920s from Russia. Somewhere in my papers I have a picture of two WFNT Farmall's and a McCormick-Deering 10-20 plowing a field in Russia.

On page 17 of the August issue is a picture of two tractors hooked back-to-back. If some safety inspector discovered this he would have stopped the chain stretching, and then nit-picked all over the show grounds. We don't need that, and with fines yet, too!

Regarding condensers, the voltage rating only means the safe voltage that the capacitor will carry before breakdown. On point installation, a rating of 600 volts is safe. Bob Jessup, Redneck Ranch, PO Box 118,Clarcona,FL32710.

Engine Colors Regarding the engine on page 17 of the November 1991 issue, we received this letter from Ed Lambert, 10111 Mc-Kinley Ave., Tacoma, WA 98445:

'Some time ago I talked to a fellow who was a freight master on the railroad. He mentioned these engines arriving at the freight house here in Tacoma. He stated he had seen engines that were a different color than standard, and these engines were for export.'

Economy Colors Regarding the photo of the Hercules-Economy paint room, Glenn Karch, 20601 Old State Rd., Haubstadt, IN 47639 writes: 'There are two explanations for the red and dark colored engines. First, there was no color photography when the original was taken. The colors were added by an artist. This photo would be of 1914-15. To the best of my knowledge, the engines were painted fully assembled, and after testing. The colors used or not used on parts of the picture were up to the artist and whoever instructed him.

'Second, during that era, there were some black Hercules engines as well as maybe dark green. Perhaps the artist, having observed the factor, had noted two colors of engines and, not knowing Economys were all red, proceeded to make a color mixture. On a finished Hercules-built engine, the flywheel rims, pulley mounting lugs, etc. would have been painted too, not clear like the picture.

26/11/25 Unknown Tiller This is a Frazer Roto-Tiller, manufactured by the equipment division of Graham-Paige Corporation, Willow Run, Michigan. I was told by a fellow owner that the Frazer cars had nothing to do with these machines as some people believed. Later on the company was bought out by Frazer Farm Equipment. The latter firm was first at York, Pa., and then at Auburn, Indiana. Thanks to the several people who contacted us regarding this machine! We got a half dozen letters, and all were essentially in agreement with the above synopsis.

26/11/9 Corliss Engine Information Larry Mahan, 737 Race Lane, Marstons Mills, MA 02648 comments that there really was a Corliss Gas Engine Company, even though the word 'Corliss' usually conjures up pictures of a huge stationary steam engine. Apparently, the Corliss Gas Engine Co. was located at San Francisco, with the manufacturing works in Petaluma, California. When the company was reorganized in April 1911, news reports have it that the company had already been in business for twenty years. A feature of the 1911 Corliss gas engine line was that all engines were of the same design, whether of 5 or 500 HP. Larry also notes that the April 1988 issue of Wooden boat magazine features an article about a boat with a Corliss marine gas engine. This boat is in Sausalito, California.

Notebook Items

IHC Paint Colors LeRoy A. Baumgardner Jr., PO Box 1313, Hanover, PA 17331 writes that: 'Regarding the Famous, Titan, and Mogul engines of 4 HP and larger, I believe the frame, axles, battery boxes, seat and wheels on these engine carts were all painted Brewster Green.

'A lot of the time the battery box would be stencilled in yellow with the IHC logo, and below that will be as an example, 'I.H.C. 6 HP Tank Cooled Engine.' Hopper cooled engines would also be appropriately stencilled thus.

'Brewster green was used on the skids, axles, wheels and tongue ... this also appears to be correct for the IHC vertical, including the Nonpareil and the 2? HP hopper cooled engines. The battery boxes are as above. I do not know if the carts on the Osborne engines were painted Harvester Blue to match the engine or not.

'I know of a 10 HP tank-cooled portable Mogul of which the entire cart including the stand for the cooling tank was painted brewster green and on the sides of the channel iron frame right below the seat the name Mogul is in yellow letters with dark red or maroon shading.

'I do not offer these comments as set in stone and that anyone who paints an engine different than the way I have described is wrong, because I believe it would have been impossible for any company to maintain a system where all the engines were painted by hand to have each and every engine exactly alike. I have just described the paint on a few engines which I have seen and know still exist today.'

Rock Island Paint Colors A couple of people have written stating that DuPont Dulux 93-24590 Brown is incorrect. They state that the color should be 93-29607 brown or 29607A Centari. This [latter] number appeared in a 1985 issue of GEM and matches the correct color. Kindly add this new information to your copy of the Notebook.

A Closing Word

By the time this copy is in your hands, the year of 1991 will be about done. We don't know where the year has gone, and with each passing year, we believe the time goes by faster than it did the year before. Hopefully, by early December ye olde Reflector will be well on the way toward completion of a new printing shop and office. At present, we have books stacked on books, having long ago outgrown our present quarters. Who knows, we might even be able to find things right away instead of having to look for them. Best Wishes to everyone for the Holiday Season and the coming New Year.

The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM. Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.