Robert A. LeBaron

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28/?6 For Your Information Robert A. LeBaron, 5801 E. 5th St., Tucson, AZ 85711 sends along some photos (see next page) from a recent journey. They were taken at a little town somewhere between Amarillo, Texas and Roswell, New Mexico. No one was around, so Mr. LeBaron didn't find out if they were for sale. Photo 26A shows an Ajax, and photos 26B and 26C are Fairbanks-Morse.

28/?7 Johnson Motor Company Q. See two photos of a Utilimotor made by Johnson Motor Company of Waukegan, Illinois (Engine No. U-4-1395).

It has a folding handle on the top, and a gear for the kick-start is missing. I can't find any reference to it in American Gas Engines except the 'Colt' on page 37 has some similarities. Any information on this engine would be appreciated. Melville Hands, RR 3, Caledon East, ONT LON 1EO Canada.

A. Can anyone supply Mr. Hands with the needed information?

28/?8 Japy Freres & Cie Q. I recently acquired a French engine at an auction. It is a water cooled vertical with the following nameplate information: Japy Freres & Cie, Constructeurs, Beaucourt (France), No. G5180.

The magneto was made by Lavalette, 175 Avenue Choisy, Paris.

I would very much like to hear from someone with one of these engines or with information on same. The engine is in very good condition, but I have some questions on the oil system and also on mounting some of the accessories. Any help will be much appreciated. Carroll L. Pederson, 22522 -61st St E., Sumner, WA 98390.

A. Since GEM has international coverage, we're optimistic that you might hear from someone in this world who has information on this engine.

28/?9 Fairbanks 'Z' Information Q. Does anyone know of a yearly serial number listing for the Fairbanks-Morse Type Z engines? Dan Wakeman, 4309 -6th St., Menominee, MI 49858.

A. When Fairbanks-Morse sold off the 'Z' engine line in the late 1940s or early 1950s, all the cards for the 'Z' engine were removed from the files and went with the drawings, patterns, and other items pertinent to the sale. Fairbanks-Morse has no serial number information on these engines, particularly regarding yearly production. Fairbanks-Morse did not use ledger books for the purpose. Each and every Fairbanks-Morse engine was entered on a separate form and each one was in its own file folder. There were hundreds of file cabinets holding this information at one time.

28/1/30 Reo Engine Information Q. I have two Reo engines and I understand they run backwards. I have one that is a mystery to me. It has no spark unless you turn it over opposite of which it runs. I have taken it apart and can't find anything wrong. Can anyone give me some advice on this engine? I am 14 and this is my first engine. Any help will be appreciated. Dan Zimmerman, RR 5, Box 58, Whitewater, WI 53190.

A. Can anyone help this young collector?

28/1/31 An Old Wagon Q. This has nothing to do with gas engines, but the accompanying photo of an old wagon makes me wonder if anyone knows what it was used for. The only thing I know is that the photo was taken somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains. Any information would be appreciated. Larry Koutouc, 1375 - 59th St., Garrison, IA 52229-9682.

28/1/32 Oil City Boiler Works Q. Can anyone provide information on the following engine? Oil City Boiler Works, Oil City, Pa., 20 HP, 180 r.p.m., hot tube ignition, two-cycle, crosshead style.

Any information on this engine or on the Oil City Boiler Works would be much appreciated; thanks in advance to all the GEM readers. Richard F. Privat, 23920 Mailing Rd., Geyserville, CA 95441-9676.

28/1/33 Brooks Mfg. Company A special thank you to Rex A. Whiting, DDS, Box 146,. 51 West Center, Heber City, UT 84032. Dr. Whiting recently sent us a catalog of the Brooks Mfg. Company, Saginaw, Michigan. This company apparently built complete boats and also built kits for assembly by the buyer. It's interesting to note that on page 2 we are told that 'No skill is required to build a Brooks boat.' A friend of ours built a boat some years ago, and despite his being an excellent carpenter, mechanic, and all-in-all handy with tools, it created a lot of gray hair before it was ready to be launched. In addition to offering many different boat kits, Brooks also offered two-cycle marine engines in sizes from 2 to 25 horsepower. We hadn't heard of Brooks previously, so this information is greatly appreciated, and is already in the files.

28/1/34 Unidentified Engine Mr. Kevin Glen Bergen, 865 Camelia Rd., Kelowna, BC V1X 3M9 Canada has forwarded a letter concerning an unidentified engine. However, we do not have enough specific information to provide any clues. If Mr. Bergen would kindly forward some photographs of this engine, we'll be happy to include them in a future column, and possibly, we'll be able to make an identification. Again, we urge all of you to send along photographs whenever possible. This is especially important when trying to identify an engine.

Readers Write

27/10/2B See the photos 28/1/35A and 35B of an engine I have had for many years. It is similar to 27/10/2B of the October 1992 GEM except it has an external magneto and is a kick start. I believe it is from a Montgomery Ward washing machine. I have never been able to determine the manufacturer. It gets alot of attention at shows and runs great. What is it? The brass name tag reads: Model E2, 5/8 HP, 1750 r.p.m., s/n E2A12477, Montgomery Ward. Dana Van Meter, 2204 Pride Ave., Belpre, OH 45714.

Brons Engine Articles I have just read the July 1992 GEM and have two engines, both having this style of fuel calibration. These engines were made in Australia, one in 1920, and another in 1949 by H. H. McDonald, Melbourne, Victoria. The later engine has an improved version of injector whereby there is only one needle which allows the fuel to enter the cup on the end of the vaporizer housing. A. H. McDonald perfected the first engine of the Brons type in 1919. First they ran on lighting kerosene, but shortly afterwards they ran on kerosene for starting and then on refined crude oil. McDonald made a wide range of diesel engines from 1919 until around 1945 or thereabouts. I fancy Evinrude copied Brons. McDonald engines had marine type big ends whereby a shim could be fitted to raise compression. Let me stress that unless the bore and cylinder are in excellent shape, don't waste time and money on restoration. Without full compression, these engines are worthless. It is important to use detergent oil in them and to drain it off regularly. Most of these engines were abused and so therefore are best left alone. My advice is to check the bore and cylinder for excessive wear before anything else, and don't despair if the machine is a heap of junk. Better to be wise before the event than afterwards. J. D. Bunnett, Bunnett Road, Wistow 5251 South Australia.

27/11/19 Novo Information From some dated information I have it that Novo engine information is available from: American Marsh Pump Inc., PO Box 23038A, Dept 87, Lansing, MI 48909-3038. Owner: Philip Goetz, 4481 N. Williamston Rd., Williamston, MI 48895.

I got some information from them a few years ago and received a nice reply from Mr. Goetz. Possibly there might still be some information available. Glen L. Schueler, HCR 2, Box 88, Friona, TX 79035.

27/5/40 May 1992 GEM In response to the above question: Probably as early as 1890, the King Ranch, which was owned by the Kleberg family after the first generation of Kings, experimented with various brush control methods, from hand grubbing to controlled burning to mechanical means. The early mechanical control efforts led to the design and purchase of a custom 'Cat' which was delivered to the ranch headquarters at Kingsville in March 1951. This monster weighed in the neighborhood of 110,000 pounds, rather than the 72,000 pounds suggested in the above article.

This machine was equipped with an engine for each of the two tracks, a bar to knock down trees as high as 40 feet, two blades angled to the center to windrow the debris, and a sixteen foot root plow to sever any remaining stumps and roots. The machine had a clearance of about three feet to allow the material being windrowed to pass under the tractor.

A thorough discussion of this fascinating machine and the events leading to its development can be found in the Appendix to Volume Two of The King Ranch by Tom Lea, published by Little, Brown & Company about 1957. Charles Obermiller, Route 2, Box 330, Buckholts, TX 76518.

Modelmakers Corner

H. W. Keathley, 5146 Redbridge Dr., Boise, ID 83703-3432 would like to know if anyone sells authentic steam engine castings that can be machined on a 9-inch South Bend lathe. He has built several of the Paul Breisch models and would now like to build a steam model. If you can supply any information, kindly contact Mr. Keathley at the above address.


As we noted at the beginning of this column, if you're interested in the two week tour of England and the Tatton Park 1000 Rally during June and July, be sure to contact the GEM office, per additional information in this issue. We also understand that getting a passport can take up to six weeks, so if you don't have one, it might also be a good idea to apply for it now.

We're hoping to acquire additional reproduction equipment in the next few months. This will enable us to reproduce illustrations from old magazines more easily. That's always been a problem, since it first requires a new negative, and then some time in the darkroom to obtain a decent print. Quite often we've neglected including this material because of the extra time involved. In the age of electronic imaging, the possibility of scanning equipment also exists. The high quality flatbed scanners are expensive but they turn out some excellent work and eliminate the need for a negative and the darkroom. T is a long way from the zinc engravings we use for letterpress work!

We're finishing this column in early November; in fact, it's the day following the Election. By the time this copy is in your hands, Santa Claus and his reindeer will have replaced political advertising in the media. What a welcome change!

In closing, you'll receive this column in early December, just in time for us to wish you a Happy and Blessed Holiday Season, and may 1993 be your best ever!