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A Brief Word

Lauson engine

30/7/10A

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Although we're writing this copy in early May, it won't be in your hands until early June. By then, the Show Season will be under way, and once again we make our usual caveat to urge care and caution when displaying your engines and tractors.

We're told of one show that will be moving after this year, since the owner of the real estate is concerned about liability. Not only are there concerns about the safety of the equipment where the public is involved, there are also concerns about open gasoline cans and the like.

We think that exhibitors could do a lot toward making their show areas safer by setting those fuel cans back out of view, and being sure that the caps are in place. For instance, what might happen if some reckless public citizen walks by and flicks a lighted cigarette butt toward an open fuel can? We also think it wise for exhibitors to do all they can regarding safety before some of these minor things become issues. In our society, there seem to be those who are all too ready to find even the flimsiest excuse for a lawsuit. So, we again urge all of you to keep folks from any excuse to make life unpleasant.

The registration for the GAS ENGINE TOUR in September has been so overwhelming that Wade Farm Tours can no longer find air and hotel accommodations! We hope we aren't disappointing anyone, but there is nothing we can do about the situation. Right now it looks like we'll have an entourage of about 100 people, and to put it mildly, we're completely delighted!

We reported last month that we've completed our American Gas Engine Trademarks book for Stemgas Publishing, and they will have it ready sometime this summer. There are hundreds of trademarks, all taken from the pages of the Patent Office Gazette. In addition, we've compiled a gigantic listing of engine manufacturers and model names. These have been extracted over the past twenty-five years from many different sources. This data was originally on index cards, but a simple little $35 database made all this information readily available. There are three different indexes in this book (each with about 2,700 listings), and of course, one is on the trade names. Another listing puts companies in alphabetical order, followed by the trade names of their engines. The third listing is by states, and now it's easy to find all the companies that built engines in Oil City, Pennsylvania, for example. It was an enjoyable book to assemble, although we'll admit that those days and days of work at the computer required frequent stops at the coffee pot.

We're also happy to report that we're just in the beginning stages of a rather large book entitled, Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements, to be published by Stemgas. We've wanted to do a book like this for a long time, and will be working on it during the next few months. With luck, it will be ready about a year from now. The history of farm implement development has seldom been addressed in any depth, and although a detailed study would require a dozen books, we hope to present a comprehensive look at the machines that reshaped farming methods and farming practices.

We have quite a few queries this month, so we begin with:

30/7/1 Information Needed

Q. See photo 1 -A of a two stroke air cooled engine with FAIRBANKS-MORSE on the nameplate. It has a 4-inch piston and the flywheels are 12 inches in diameter. I've looked through your Fairbanks-Morse: 100 Years of Engine Technology book and don't find it there. Also see photo 1 -B of an 8 HP Fairbanks-Morse made by Horwood Bagshaw, and manufactured in South Australia. They also built 4 and 6 HP engines. Any information will be appreciated. Ray Thomson, 112 Victoria Road, Lilydale 3140 Victoria, Australia.

A. We've never seen a Fairbanks-Morse engine of this appearance, and wonder if it also might not have been built at an overseas location. When it is recalled that the sun never set on the Fairbanks-Morse product line, this seems entirely possible. We spent a lot of time at Fairbanks-Morse, and we believe we've corralled virtually every engine model made at Beloit. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

30/7/2 Hausen Machine Co.

Q. I am restoring for the Stathern Historical Park. In the past I have restored several items, but now have this engine made by Hausen Machine Co., apparently in Eureka, California, and cannot find anyone familiar with this engine. I have started this engine and it runs for about five pops, and that's it. Any information would be appreciated.Walt Bender, Simi Valley Historical Society, PO Box 351, Simi Valley, CA 93062.

A. We have no information whatever on this company, so if anyone can help, kindly contact Mr. Bender.

30/7/3 Buick OHV Engines

Thanks to Doug Plance, 4960 Mamont Rd., Murrysville, PA 15668. He reports that the March-April 1995 issue of Antique Automobile Magazine carries an article concerning the development of the Buick overhead valve engine, and resulted in some stationary single cylinder vertical engines being built of this design. They were covered by the Richard patent, No 771,095 of September 27, 1904.

30/7/4 Fairbanks-Morse

Q. I recently found two old F-M engines in a cotton gin. They are both Model YV; one is 40 HP, and the other is 60 HP. I am more of a tractor collector, and I wonder whether they are worth the trouble to move and repair. I would like some advice from experts before I go forward. Vic Murphy, 3156 Woodbridge Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242.

A. Chances are that the 40 HP is a 10 x 15 model, while the 60 HP is a 14 x 17. These engines are getting scarcer and scarcer as time goes by, so if they're reasonably intact, we would surely think them to be worth the effort. The smaller one will weigh about 6 tons, while the larger one will weigh between 9 and 10 tons. With today's moving equipment we don't consider these to be extremely heavy.

30/7/5 Phase Converters

David Rudolph, 10742 Denali Drive, Clermont, FL 34711 tells us that the November 1994 issue of American Machinist provides details for a reduced-voltage starting apparatus to lower the inrush amps on starting 3-phase motors on single phase power.

30/7/6 F-M and Detroit Engines

Q. See photos 5-A and 5-B of a Fairbanks-Morse 6 HP engine, sin 466471. The basic block and sub-base were painted the ordinary F-M dark green. However, the flywheels, splash cover, main bearing cap bolts, and the sub-base bolts are all painted red. The original colors have not been painted over. Is it possible that this engine was built for export? The engine was possibly used in upstate New York or in Canada. Any information on this would be appreciated.

Secondly, I would like to address the issue of the Detroit engines, posed by John Gardner in the February 1995 GEM (30/2/11). The Detroit engine does not use a dry sump. It and several others, such as Bessemer, Middleditch and Columbia, depend on direct oiling through a drip oiler. The excess oil from the oiler collects in the crankcase where a dipper on the connecting rod supplies extra oil. There is a drain valve at the bottom of the crankcase to drain off excess oil when it gets too high.

Here is a basic chronology of this engine family:

1880 Basic engine designed by Benjamin Middleditch

1896 Manufacturing rights given to Detroit Engine Works

1906  Detroit Auto-Marine begins production of this design

1907  Detroit Gas Engine & Marine takes over Detroit Auto-Marine Company

1907 Late in year company is sold to Strelinger Engine Co.

1911 Columbia Engine Co. manufactures same engine design

1913 Detroit Motor Car Supply sells Sandow of same design

1913 Bessemer buys out Benjamin Middleditch interests, and he goes to work for them. Engines sold into 1920s

1916 Detroit Engine Works ends engine production?

1927-28 Bessemer ceases production of this design?

Andrew K. Mackey, 26 Mott Pl, Rock-away Boro,NJ 07866-3022

30/7/7 Massey-Ferguson 98 Tractor

Q. How many of the M-F Model 98 tractors were built? Any other information on this tractor would also be appreciated. Jacob Kroon, RR 3, Uxbridge, ONT L9P 1R3 Canada.

A. All of our listings show the MF 98 tractor being built from 1960 to 1962. However, we can't find it in the serial number listings. This model used a 3-cylinder GM engine.

30/7/8 Thanks!

from Art England, 204 - 216th S.W., Bothell, WA 98021 for all the responses on the query regarding his F-M Type H engine. All were greatly appreciated.

30/7/9 What is It?

Billy McKee, Route 1, Box 163, Gray Court, SC 29645 found the old brass nameplate in the photo while looking through an old blacksmith shop. Who knows anything about the Peter Gerlach Company, Cleveland, Ohio?

30/7/10 Information Needed

Q. See photos 10A and 10B of a Lauson engine with the following nameplate data: The Lauson Corporation, New Holstein, Wisconsin; 3 HP, s/n 85275, Type VA 800, 1800 rpm. Any information would be appreciated.

Also see photos 10C and 10D of a Burns Penfield tractor built in Louisville, Georgia. It has a 9 HP Briggs & Stratton engine, Model No. 236B, Type 70739, s/n 22826. The tractor s/n is 1633.Any information on this tractor would be greatly appreciated. Bob Broome, 25 Washington St., Mendon, MA 01756-1018.

30/7/11 Information Needed

Q. I need information on when the following engines were built:

Stover 176378
Fairbanks-Morse 794108
Novo Vertical 45213
Fairmont railroad speeder engine
John D. Nichols, 3302 - 38th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

A. The Stover was built in 1926; the F-M in 1936. We know of no s/n listings for the others.

30/7/12 Thanks!

to Joe Thompson, W11802 Thompson Rd., Black River Falls, WI 546145-5905 for sending a photocopy of an instruction book for the Hercules engines.

30/7/13 Field Type W Engine

Dan Baalman, 1865 West Fifth, Colby, KS 67701 sends along a photo of himself with his recently restored Field-built Wolverine engine. These are rather scarce. Thanks also for photocopies of several interesting items.

30/7/14 United Engines

Lyle Fall, 303 Milford, Apt. 4, Davison, MI 48423 would like to find out anything at all on United engines, built by Associated. If you can be of help, contact him at the above address.

30/7/15 IHC Red

Q. Can you tell me the year that International Harvester changed colors to red? Also, were the wheels painted red in 1934? Warren Paulson, 6910 Argyle Road, Caledonia, IL 61011-9638

A. The color change was made in 1936. We're not sure of the exact color scheme on the 1934 models.

30/7/16 John Deere Engine

Q. I have a 1 HP John Deere E engine, s/n 235407, and would appreciate any information on it aside from the instruction book, which I have. Mike Ladve, 6 Garfield St., Bristol, VT 05443.

A. Your engine was made in 1923.

30/7/17 Bloomer Machine Works

See the two photos from the original negatives. Photo 17-A is of the Bloomer Machine Works about 1904. I have been able to find the exact location in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Photo 17-B shows an early Bloomer engine, about 1909. It has been cut apart to show the inner parts. This was probably done to use in a sales brochure. I have a 4 HP Bloomer engine just like it, which has s/n 11. This would make its manufacture in the first few weeks of production of these engines by the Bloomer Machine Works. They were not called Keller engines until about 1912. Over the past years I have recorded about 60 Keller engines in the United States and four in Australia. I would like to hear from owners of these engines in order to compile an up-to-date register. Tom Ender-son, RR 1, Box 227, Jim Falls, WI 54748.

30/7/18 Myers Water Pump

Q. I'm restoring a Myers water pump. The leather seals are from Ace Hardware and fit perfectly. I thought water destroyed leather. How do I protect them in a pump that will be used just a few times a year at engine shows? Also another plea for an update to your American Gas Engines book. John Hamilton, 461 Algonquin Place, Webster Groves, MO 63119.

A. The worst problem for pump leathers is that they dry out. Pump leathers last for years in a well, with sand being their worst enemy. We'd suggest that if the leathers are at all accessible that you treat them with a leather dressing after the moisture is dried up. Lots of missing gas engines will likely find their way into our coming American Farm Implements book.

30/7/19 An Old Cream Separator

Q. See the photo of an old cream separator that I've restored. Missing parts are the milk tank, the pipe, and float assembly that goes to the bottom cone of the separator. It was run by steam, and has an oil dripper on the top bearing, and a pressure gauge. There is no name nor any numbers. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, what years was the Oliver No. 20 plow built? Ed Bruce, PO Box 340, McArthur,GA 96056.

A. Can anyone be of help on this query?

30/7/20 Unique Engines

Q. See photo 20-A of a Hercules-built Phillips engine. The tag is from: Phillips Drag Saw & Mfg. Co., Kansas City, Mo. The engine is no. 215108, Type B 583, and is a blue-green color.

Photo 20-B shows an engine from Cavanaugh-Darley Co., Chicago, Illinois. It must be about 5 HP because it has a 5-inch bore and stroke. Donald P. Weldele, 705 Lydia Rd., Helena, MT 59601.

30/7/21 Information Needed

Q. Can you supply s/n information on the following engines?

F & J pump engine, s/n 119396
Muncie Oil Engine, s/n 3BN276
Witte 2HP, s/n 10646
Witte 1 HP, s/n B42917
Witte 4HP, s/n 91400J
Worthington, s/n 47135
Hercules, s/n 94718
Hume L. Baker, PO Box 368, Sheridan, TX 77475.

A. The F & J was made in 1925. The years built for the Witte models are, in order, 1913, 1927, and 1931. We don't have s/n lists for the others.

30/7/22 Foos 30 HP Hopper Cooled

Q. David Babcock, 3491 E. Deckerville Rd., Cass City, MI 48726 writes that he has a 30 HP Foos hopper cooled engine-He would like to know of another 30 HP or larger hopper cooled engine of any make, still in existence??? If so, write Dave at the above address.

30/7/23 Joseph Reid

After the February 1995 article on Joseph Reid, a reader from Scotland tried researching Reid's background in Ayrshire, but it seems that even in the town in which he was born, he has been neglected and forgotten. Can anyone provide additional information on Joseph Reid? We included all pertinent information from an article in the ASME Transactions, and have nothing further. If you can be of help, contact: Andrew Boyle, 14 Arran Gardens, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland KA10 6TE.

30/7/24 F-M Information

Q. What is the year built for a 3 HP F-M engine, s/n 199314, and a 1 HP F-MZ, s/n 759910? Gary W. Everett, 5012 S. Newton St., Littleton, CO 81023.

A. The first engine was made in 1916, the second, in 1930.

30/7/25 Challenge Head

Q. Several years ago a man from the Kansas City area, I've lost his name, but he made a head for a 4 HP Challenge engine. He had a man that was going to the Mabel, Minnesota show lined up to meet me, and I was to pick it up, but I never located the man, and have never heard anything more about the head. I wish anyone knowing anything about the head would let me know. He put a lot of work into it. Vemon Hansmeier, 3365 James Avenue, Forest City, IA 50436.

30/7/26 Disneyland Challenge

Q. Disneyland is advertising its new Indiana Jones ride and claims that by the time its promotion is finished, every living person in North America will know about it. Part of the new Indiana Jones attraction is an old 'chugger' (about 5 HP) which runs an electric generator near the entrance to the ride. The engine is actually run by a hidden electric motor, but it gives the feeling of an operating engine of the Indiana Jones period. I couldn't tell what kind of engine it is. Can someone get a picture of the engine and identify it? Bob Mellin, 11 Library Place, San Anselmo, CA 94960.

30/7/27 Unidentified Engine

Q. See the photo made of an original that I purchased last fall. Does anyone recognize the make of this engine? Does it have but one flywheel, or has one been removed for purposes of the photograph? Brad E. Smith, 7574 S. 74 St., Franklin, WI 53132.

A. At first glance it has some resemblance to a Sta-Rite, but the valve gear is on the wrong side (unless of course, the negative was printed in reverse).

30/7/28 Garden Tractors

Don Rackliff, RR 1, Box 1250, Farm-ington, ME 04938 identifies the old garden tractor of 30/3/1 as a Spry Wheel of 1921 or 1922. He also sends along a couple photos out of his collection of 14 or 15 different units.

30/7/29 Garden Tractors

Q.Stuart Davidson, 1610 Clemius Circle, Streetsboro, OH 44241 sends three photos and a query. Photo 29A is of a Tom Moore Co. tractor. The company was located in Mantua, Ohio. The engine is a Kohler 90R. This engine is in bad shape, so a parts source is needed. Photos B and C are of an unidentified tractor with no identifying marks. Any help with these projects will be greatly appreciated.

30/7/30 Robert LeBaron Writes:

Would the fellow that contacted Robert A. LeBaron recently about what was printed on the hopper of his grinder, as it is the same kind he has ... ,I would like to hear from him. (The words Mfd By should be Mfd For Bradley, Merriam & Smith, Council Bluffs, IA).

30/7/31 Jacobsen Mower

Q. My son and I are attempting to restore a Jacobsen reel-type lawnmower. It has a two-cycle upright engine with two external flywheels that had been full of water for an extended period. We need information and some help on this unit, so any responses would be greatly appreciated. Dave Gardiner, 16 White Spruce Dr., Wading River, NY 11792.

A Closing Word

The hour is late, the deadline nears, and with some luck, we'll make it to the post office just in time to catch the daily Express Mail pickup. That way, you won't have to wait an extra day to get your magazine.

We hope that while we're in Germany this fall, we'll be able to find more information on our Junkers diesel engine. Those who have seen it start can verify that if the temperature is above about 60 degrees, it will start with a single pull of the crank. For an engine of about 1932 or 1933 vintage that's not too bad. Hugo Junkers must have been a very talented engineer to have designed an engine like this at a time when most engineers thought that air injection was the only viable method. Also, by comparison, most, if not all, diesels of the 1930s utilized air starting or a pony engine, various preheating devices, ether, and even started on gasoline with spark ignition before switching over to diesel.

We've had some letters from machinists who've devised methods of rebuilding the guide pin and armature block for the Wico EK magneto. One writer even offered to compile an article of his methods. We think this would be a welcome addition to the magazine. Likewise, we encourage our readers to send in letters, accompanied hopefully, with photographs, telling us how to tackle a special problem.

We also hope to see many of you at Ankeny, Iowa over the July 4 weekend for the Ageless Iron Show sponsored by Successful Farming Magazine.