A Brief Word

Unidentified Engine


Gary Shonk

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This issue, we'd like to address a comment from one of our readers. Some time ago Motor books published a title called, American Tractor Trademarks, which has our name on the front cover. Recently, Stemgas published our latest title, Gas Engine Trademarks. Regarding the latter title, our reader writes, in part, 'I will not order that book till I see it... I mistrust that Wendel's books.' The problem appears to be that the American Tractor Trademarks came out with a different front cover than was depicted in the advertising, along with other changes made by the publisher.

First of all, we agree that the cover design was changed. We agree that the size format, and the number of pages in the book was changed. What you may not know is that the inside of the book is totally unlike what this writer envisioned. What you also may not know is that once we sent the final copy to the publisher, we had no idea of what it would look like prior to being published. We'll even agree that what we think should have been a most interesting book in our opinion, ended up as something entirely different than our vision of it. For example, the book, Gas Engine Trademarks shows the entire trademark application; this shows when the mark was filed, and in most cases, shows when a company first used a certain trademark or trade name. That's important in historical research. However, the folks who edited and/or assembled American Tractor Trademarks included only the date that the mark was filed, and that might have been twenty years after the mark was first used. Thus, the real historical significance of a mark is, in our opinion, completely lost.

Subsequently, Motor books has published our American Automobile Trademarks, and this title includes the pertinent information within the book, although it does not include the complete application as is shown in the book, Gas Engine Trademarks. The latter title also includes three different indexes. One of them is by company, so that one can look up Associated Manufacturers, for instance, and see all the different trade-names they used. The second index is by trade names, so that one can look up all the different companies that might have used the trade name of Bull Dog, for instance. The third index is unique, in that it is set on state and city; it gives one the chance to look up all the companies in Buffalo, New York for example.

With 1996, it's 25 years since our first book, Power in the Past: A History of Engine & Tractor Builders in Iowa was published. Since that time we've published over 25 books, or an average of about one book per year. Sooner or later I suppose, there was bound to be a disaster, and in our opinion, it happened with the book we've been talking about. On the redeeming side of things, Roger Welsch, in his new book, Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them, comments regarding our book, Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920, '... a beautiful book that I never tire of thumbing through.' Also to our credit, every title we've published over the past twenty-five years is still in print, except for those that have been replaced with a larger or expanded title on the same subject.

For anyone disappointed with American Tractor Trademarks, join the club. We put our reputation on every book that has our name on the front cover, and we're not too happy with it either; all we ask is that you don't throw out the baby with the bath water!

Our first query for the new year of 1996 comes from:

31/1/1 Leader Engine Q. We have a Leader 2 HP engine from Field Force Pump Company, Elmira, New York. Any information on this engine would be greatly appreciated, especially since this is our first engine. Jonathan S. Jennings, 4600 Butte Road, Richmond, VA 23235.

A. Would some of our readers be of assistance to this new collector?

31/1/2 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two photos of a very unusual engine. It is 29 inches high, 12-inch flywheels, and has a 2 x 5 inch bore and stroke. There are no markings or casting numbers. Any information on this engine would be appreciated. Gary Shonk, 9709 Sarracenia Rd., Pascagoula, MS 39581.

A. Your engine has great similarity to the 'Franklin' vertical. The latter was offered as castings from Parsell & Weed and/or the Franklin Model Shop, both of New York City. Perhaps other readers might have additional information.

31/1/3 Christensen Engine Q. I am working on a 7 HP Christensen, s/n 3374, and would like to know when it was built, along with the proper color scheme. Also, see the sketch of the carburetor; I have talked to several collectors, and no one seems to know the purpose of the hand valve which bypasses air to the mixer. Any information will be appreciated. Larry Harding, 1516 Hebron Rd., Hendersonville, NC 28739.

A. We've got Ditzler 40496 Green listed, also DuPont GS911 or GS912 Green would be pretty close we believe. The trucks are red, similar to DuPont RS913 or RS914. The striping is bright yellow; DuPont YS902 would be about right. We don't know the purpose of the bypass. Look on page 99 of American Gas Engines for a pretty good idea of the striping scheme.

31/1/4 Clark Engine Co. Q. I have an outboard motor about 21 inches long, and weighing about 20 pounds. It is all buffed aluminum except for the brass prop. It appears that the motor is below water level; the coil and gas tank ate above. It was made by Clark (Troller) Engine Company, Detroit, Michigan, and appears to be about to HP. To start, you tip the motor up out of the water and wrap a pull rope around the front of the prop. Any information on this motor would be appreciated. Wayne Nettekoven, 10422 Aqua Way South, Seattle, WA 98168.

A. Can anyone be of help on this one?

31/1/5 Nelson Bros, and Royal Q. Can you tell me when the following engines were built?

Jumbo Model C, 3 HP, s/n 11757, Nelson Bros.

Monarch Model CA, 3 HP, s/n 3663, Royal Engine Co.

Also, are there any decals available for these engines? Ronald H. Winship Jr. ,115 River Rd., Windham, Maine 04062.

A. To our knowledge there are no serial number records for either of the above engines, nor do we know of any available decals either.

31/1/6 Information Needed Q. I am seeking information regarding the restoration of the following three engines:

Olds 1 HP, s/n 300, open crank vertical, as illustrated on page 355 of American Gas Engines.

Ohio 4 HP, s/n 2214, as illustrated on page 353 of American Gas Engines.

Hercules, made in San Francisco, about 3 or 4 HP horizontal as illustrated on page 228 of American Gas Engines. I need photos and dimensions of open flyball governor system for this engine, also original color and year of manufacture.

There are to my knowledge no other Olds or Ohio engines in Australia. I do believe there are a couple of Hercules horizontals and a couple of open crank verticals.

Any information would be appreciated. Dr. A. Barlow, PO Box 10, Kingswood 2247, NSW, Australia.

A. Can anyone be of help to Dr. Barlow?

31/1/7 Ideal Engines Q. First of all I would like to thank everyone that responded to my article in the September 1995 GEM about the Gas Engine Builders at Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I found several Casey Jones engines, North-westerns, Western Kings, and Kellers. I have not heard about any Sorg engines, and would like to find more Northwesterns and Western Kings.

See the photos of a vintage lawn mower. The engine is a Model S Ideal, and the cylinder has a number of CS 24. It looks fairly complete and is about 1 horsepower with a 25-inch cut. Someone had redone the magneto from a twin-cylinder Indian motorcycle. I don't find any reference to this engine in American Gas Engines, so I would like to find out more about it. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Randy Ackley, 21321 County Road X, Cadott, WI 54727.

31/1/8 Joy Engines I recently went to the engine show at Edaville, Massachusetts, and saw a New-Way Little Giant 1 HP, also distributed by Stephen B. Church at Boston, Massachusetts, and Seymour, Connecticut. It is painted in script in original condition. This engine was made around 1912-16.

I also have a Joy engine of 3 HP hopper cooled, open crank design of about the same period. It is missing the ignition. The spark plug is in the head. I would like to correspond with someone that has one of these engines or a picture of the ignitor or parts. William G. Stone, 383 S Main St., Cohasset, MA 02025.

31/1/9 Old Garden Tractor Q. See the photos of an old garden tractor with a ZZPBR Briggs & Stratton engine. It has 16-inch rear wheels and 12-inch front wheels. The engine is 6 HP. I would love to hear from someone that knows the name of this tractor. George W. Manning, 2401 Brinkwood Drive, Richmond, VA 23224-4604.

31/1/10 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an engine I just bought. I thought maybe it was a Fairbanks-Morse but some tell me it isn't. It is a hit-and-miss and has a Schebler carburetor. Is this original? There is a spark plug in the ignitor plate and one in a well in the head. Any information would be appreciated.

I also have a Sieverkropp horizontal which needs a spark plug. It might be a 10mm, but the porcelain is broken off, so I can't get any information on it. I also would like an idea of what the original muffler looked like. Any information will be appreciated. Max Brown, Box 46, Rockhill Furnace, PA 17249.

A. Particularly in photo 10B, note the governor built into the cam gear. Also compare your engine with the Type T F-M engines on page 58 of the book, Fairbanks-Morse 1893-1993.

31/1/11 Unidentified Tool Q. See the photo of a tool I picked up in an antique shop. Can anyone tell what this tool might be? Someone, please help. Harry Butler, PO Box 2010, Chino Valley, AZ 86323.

31/l/12 Frick Portable Steamer Nick Kuz, PO Box 29, Hadashville, Manitoba ROE 0X0 is looking for information on a Frick portable steamer between 20 and 50 horsepower. If you can be of help, please do so.

31/1/13 Delco Diagram Thanks to John Lembke, Box 96, Curlew, WA 99118 for sending along a wiring diagram for a Delco light plant. It is from a plant with the motor number of 307757. Perhaps this might be of help to some of our readers.

31/1/14 Information Needed Q. When were the following engines built?: Hercules 5E HP, s/n 282002 Fuller & Johnson, 1 HP, s/n 98232 Fairbanks-Morse, s/n 468004. Warren Vittum Jr., 493 Glendale Dr., Carthage, NC 28327.

A. The Hercules is 1923; the F & J is 1925; and the F-M is 1920.

31/1/15 American Bosch Magneto Q. I have an American Bosch oscillating high tension magneto; see the photo. It is a Type 22 with a single vertical inductor spring at the top. It is secured to a bracket with no markings. The bolt holes in the bracket are on 3 inch centers. One of the round brass levers has a patent date of 1913. I would sure like to know the year, make, and size of engine this apparatus is off of. Any help will be appreciated. Stephen M. Porter, 116 Main St., Hant-sport, NS BOP 1P0 Canada.

31/1/16 Case Model RI Tractor Q. I recently acquired a Case RI tractor, and so far I can't find any information on it. Since I've noticed some differences between the Model R and the Model RI, I'd like to find more information. The RI has a single brake pedal that works both brakes, and it has a foot-operated clutch. Were fenders optional for this tractor? When did production begin and end? I surely would like to correspond with anyone having any information on the Model RI tractor. Mac Macomber, 510 Plain Hill Rd., Norwich, CT 06360.

31/1/17 Information Needed Q. See the photos of two engines I recently acquired. Further information would be appreciated. They are:

Stover 6 HP, s/n RX98339 Witte Dieselectric, 12 HP, s/n D9458 Dusty M. Erickson, PO Box 55591, Phoenix, AZ 85078.

A. The Stover is from 1917. It is red, comparable to DuPont RS631. The Witte Diesel was built in 1944. The gray finish varies, some folks use PPG 33296 Embassy Gray, others use PPG 32711 Gray. In DuPont, DS201 Gray is comparable. The finish varied from time to time, depending on the paint supplier.

31/1/18 Cray Engines

Paul Scholle, 607 N Buckeye, Osgood, TN 47037 has lots of information on Cray engines, and is willing to help anyone with information. Paul will also be publishing a book on Delco light plants. (Please, when asking for information and photocopies, kindly send along a little stipend to the folks supplying the information. Editors).

31/1/19 Witte Engine Q. I recently purchased a Witte 3 HP engine, s/n 94055K. It appears that the original paint was black. Also when was it built? Any help will be appreciated. Mike Potter, 9307 W 8 1st Terr., Overland Park, KS 66204-3211.

A. Your engine was built in 1934. So far as we know, these engines were close to Ditzler 40952 Forest Green or DuPont 5204 Forest Green. Some may have been DuPont 99 Black.

31/1/20 Winner Wonder Q. First of all, I've had about 100 calls and letters concerning my offer to assist other Cushman collectors.

I recently acquired a few parts for an engine called Winner Wonder.' It was made by Cushman Mfg. Co., St. Joseph, Mo., and is 4 HP, s/n 1258. It is virtually identical to a 4 HP Cushman binder engine. It has a Schebler carburetor and the battery/coil box is identical to that used on the Model C.

Does anyone have any information on the Cushman Mfg. Co. in St. Joseph, Missouri, or the Winner Wonder engine? Clearly there is some connection between Cushman at Lincoln and this firm. Any help will be appreciated. Jim. L. Brown, 7309 Baldwin Ave., Lincoln, NE 68507.

A. Although we can't recall for sure, it seems that once we ran across a blurb that some of the Cushman family started up shop again after leaving the company at Lincoln. We think this was in the early 1930s. Perhaps someone in the St. Joseph area would check city directories, etc. to see who, what, and when took place.

31/1/21 F-M Engines Q. I have a Fairbanks-Morse 15 HP Type Z engine, s/n 224998. Can you tell me when it was made, and how many were model Tony von Isser, 6680 N. Alvernon, Tucson, AZ 85718.

A. Your engine was made in 1918. There's no way to know how many were built.

31/1/22 General and Case Q. Wilbur A. Haver, RR 3, Box 94, Dillwyn, VA 23936 needs information on the following two tractors: General Model GG tractor, s/n 1FA6352 (Cleveland Tractor Company); Case Model SC, s/n 5326601.

A. Your General was the first one built in 1942; the Case is a 1949 model. Can anyone supply additional information?

31/1/23 Simplicity Tractor Q. I have a Simplicity garden tractor, mfg. #990189, and s/n 4540. I think it is about a 1955 model. I got a sickle mower for it, and wonder if anyone has a parts book for it; also a manual for the tractor. Lenord Klimek, POB 222, Aurora, MN 55705.

31/1/24 Sears Garden Tractor Q. I am restoring a garden tractor and need to know what color it is, along with any other information I can find. The tag on the transaxle reads: Model 9175165, s/n 2234, Sears Roebuck. The engine is a Briggs Model 23, Type 205024, s/n 156705. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Richard Baldwin, 1610 York Rd., Carlisle, PA 17013.

31/1/25 F-M Engine Q. See the photo of a Fairbanks-Morse engine, 1 HP, and s/n 385236. The magneto was mounted by the igniter, which was missing. I am told that this engine was made from 1917-19 with a Model 14 low tension Plug Oscillator. I would appreciate any further information on this engine from anyone out there. Melvin W. Smith, 23941 Strange Creek Dr., Diamond Bar, CA91765.

Readers Write

30/10/4 F-M/Onan Engines

Scott Fraser, 4047 Thomas St., Oceanside, CA 92056 writes that he has an instruction book for the Onan (Model COM-1B) engine that was also sold by Fairbanks-Morse. (If you need this information from Scott, kindly enclose an adequate copying and postage fee).

31/1/26 Powell Lever Engine Q. A year ago I acquired a rare Powell Lever engine, two-cylinder diesel. 26A shows the principle lever design, and 26B shows a cutaway of a gasoline lever engine. 26C and 26D show the two-cylinder diesel made in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Has anyone heard of this engine or any others of the Powell Lever design? I would like to hear from them.

I also would like to correspond with anyone having information on the Galloway 2 HP engine with the Webster magneto, as shown on page 198 of American Gas Engines. George N. Whiston Jr., 508 N. Range Street, Oblong, IL 62449.

Free Wheeling. Powell-Lever Engine

This is a drawing of one of the later Lever engines, intended for automotive use, showing clearly the lever action in place.

A Closing Word

As we get the opportunity, we'll be converting as many of our paint numbers as possible to DuPont or PPG numbers, their new numbers, that is. We have one of those (very expensive) DuPont Spectra Master books that covers virtually the entire spectrum. By using these new numbers, hopefully our readers will be able to go into a DuPont or PPG dealer and get exactly what they want. Of course, one must understand that keeping colors to shade is very, very difficult. Even with today's advances in chemistry, the label on the can advises that if you have two or three gallons of finish, that you mix the three of them together before you even begin to paint. That way, the entire batch will be of exactly the same shade.

We've cautioned you before, and we'll do it again. . . don't even think of using these materials without an approved respirator. Those gauze dust masks might strain out the larger chunks of pigments, but they won't keep the nasty vapors out of your lungs. The clear acrylics in particular contain isocyanates. This stuff might not eat up your lungs this week, but they'll do their damage, and you can't replace damaged lungs (well, not very easily anyway). Personally, I don't want this stuff in my lungs, in my hair, or on my skin, so when I'm about to paint, I probably look like something out of a Skid Row dumpster or from outer space, take your pick.

Also see a reproduction of the Alamo letterhead of the 1920s. In this issue, there's also an advertisement for the Reform engines from Germany. Unfortunately, we do not have the name or address of the manufacturer. All we know is that this engine was in production by 1927 or perhaps earlier. Note the most unusual placement of the valves in the cylinder head.

Since this issue will be in your hands during mid-December, we wish you the very best for the Holiday Season. May your engines run all day without stopping at a show, and may they start the first turn of the crank when you want to show them off to a visitor. May you also have a Happy 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 17608-0328.