A Brief Word

John Deere Tractor Tire Pump


Carl A. Harris

Content Tools

A couple of years ago we reported to you that there were a few entries for 'antique gas engines' on the Internet. As we've reported more recently, there are now several thousand email addresses and web pages on the Internet that concern vintage engines and tractors. A fair number of these also include photographs! So once again, we urge those who are contemplating a move onto the Internet to move ahead; it is positively amazing what you'll find there!

Perhaps some of our modelers will send along a report on the North American Model Engineering Expo that was held in April up in Michigan. We've always wanted to attend, and perhaps we can do so one of these years. We've also been told that there are some other model engineering expositions cropping up, and we would also like to hear about these.

Just in the past few years, model making has assumed a new importance for American collectors. In contrast, our British cousins have been heavy into model making for a century or more. We think that the high prices of engines have led some people to build a model instead. We also believe that since many collectors live in an apartment, a condo, or a small home, there simply isn't room to store even one or two full-size engines. Whatever the reasons, we welcome the coming of serious model making.

By the time this copy is in your hands, we'll be making final plans for our 1998 European Tour. By fall, we'll start providing details of our next tour, and as we've noted earlier, we see several interesting choices. During our visit with the folks at Wade Farm Tours, we'll be trying to establish some priorities, and perhaps even look at some possible venues. We try to do the best we can in organizing our tours, but sometimes there are tremendous problems in looking ahead 8 to 12 months. With many shows for instance, even the organizers don't have the show dates set that far in advance.

See Photo A that illustrates a trademark for the Tonford truck attachment from Detroit Truck Company. This device was a conversion, whereby one could convert a passenger car into a truck. Has anyone heard of the Tonford? Do any still exist?

Our first query this month is:

33/7/1 Fairbanks-Morse Engine Q. I have a Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP, Model Z, Style C engine, s/n 925988. What is correct color scheme for this engine? Karl R. Rymer, 1431 Crest Drive, Eugene, OR 97405.

A. In our Notebook, we have DuPont 72001 Green listed for the Type Z engines. However, we've noticed that some of the later models, such as the ZC, seem to be a different shade of green, somewhat like GS906 or GS907 from DuPont. There was not striping that we know of, although some of the engines appear to have had a rather nice decal on the side of the water hopper; however, no one makes this decal that we know of.

33/7/2 Bolens Steve Johnson, 1321 Westview Ct NE, Salem, OR 97301-2352 recently sent along a listing of the production for the Bolens garden tractors, beginning with 1919. Steve also comments that in response to a recent query, the M-E garden tractors were taken over by FMC-Bolens sometime in the 1950s. Thanks to Mr. Johnson for sending along this information. Those with an interest in Bolens can contact him at the above address, or email at

33/7/3 Slide-Valve Engine Q. See the photo of a twin-cylinder slide-valve engine marked Fetu-Defize and built under license of Gasmotorenfabrik-Deutz in 1887. The flywheel is 2.05 meters in diameter and a bore of 230mm (about 9-inch bore and 80-inch flywheels). I am looking for information about the gas I need for the flame ignition. I hope there are collectors who can tell me more about this engine so that it can run again after a 90-year rest. Any information would be appreciated. Marcel Peumans, Tongersesteenweg 165, B-3370 RIEMST (HERDEREN) Belgium.

A. The Cool spring Power Museum at Cool spring, Pennsylvania, has several slide valve engines and have developed methods of operating them with considerable success. Hopefully, some of these folks, or others with experience in this field, can be of help.

33/7/4 Rider-Ericsson Hot Air Engine I have an incomplete 8-inch Rider-Ericsson hot air engine and need information on the flywheel, stove, and linkages. Ultimately, I would like to borrow parts to have cast in exchange for other parts and/or foundry work.

I am also looking for Popular Mechanics or other articles from the 1920s and 1930s pertaining to two-cylinder conversions for the Ford Model A and Model T. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Paul Gray, 3437 Blue Ball Road, North East, MD 21901.

33/7/5 Unidentified Machine Q. See the photos of an unidentified machine. Note the very heavy construction. The unit weighs about 45 pounds. It has four rotary blades on the spindle with the belt wheel; they are very sharp. There is one blade vertical in the opening, also very sharp. There is no name tag, but on the casting is 'E. E. Robinson, Belleville, N.J.' Any information would be appreciated. I have had this machine to several antique shops; nobody knew what it was, but everybody wanted to buy it. Art England, 204 -216th SW, Bothell, WA 98021.

33/7/6 Sandow Engine Q. See the photo of a Sandow gas engine, s/n 32793. Can anyone tell me when this engine was built? I understand the correct color is blue, but can anyone give me the correct color? Doug Johnson, N 1661 Kelly Rd., Lyndon Station, WI 53944.

A. The Sandow is DuPont BS915 blue, or Ditzler 12375. Sandow engines were built only in the 1912-1915 period.

33/7/7 Graham-Paige Rototiller Q. I have just acquired a Graham-Paige Rototiller, Model No. B-1-6, s/n 10949. It has an Edison Splitdorf magneto. I need any service information or instructions for this machine, and need to find parts. I also have a Goodall Mfg. Corporation lawn mower with a Lauson RSV motor, and need service information for it. Randy M. Brooks, 581 Meridian Rd., Greenfield, TN 38230.

33/7/8 Thanks! To Steve Borhart, W6886 Hwy 11, Monroe, WI 53566 for sending along considerable information on the Ohlsson & Rice engines mentioned in a recent issue. Steve reports that he received a great many responses to his query.

33/7/9 Brillion Engines Thanks to Dwight Hensel, 116 Oak St., Brillion, WI 54110-1110 for sending along a number of photos and illustrations of the Brillion engines. The adjacent photos show a 1 HP engine, s/n 110, with a 4 x 41/4 inch bore and stroke. The Brillion engines started at s/n 101.

From details of Dwight's letter, the Brillion engines are quite rare, and we're happy to know that at least a few of them still survive.

33/7/10 Help Wanted! Q. See the photo of a badly broken engine that appears to be a Deyo-Macey or a Gifford 11/2 HP engine, per the book, American Gas Engines. Can anyone help me with the operating mechanism in the way of photos, drawings, or other information? I would be very grateful for any information on this engine. Ivan Drake, 14 Priory Road, Bacton, Norwich, Norfolk, NR12 0HQ England.

33/7/11 Information Needed Q. I have a set of large engine trucks similar to the ones in the upper right comer of page 279 in American Gas Engines. The trucks were red with a blue stripe, accented by a yellow stripe. Would this be the colors used by Lauson-Lawton? Any information as to the engine used with these trucks would be greatly appreciated. Kent H. Zobel, Rt. 1, Box 35A, Monroe, NE 68647. Email:

33/7/12 Stationary Baler Q. See the photos of a hay press made by Ohio Cultivator Company, Bellevue, Ohio. I would like to restore this machine, and would like to know the correct color, when it was made, or any other information pertaining to this hay press. Carl A. Harris, 8516 Laberdy Rd., Eau Claire, MI 49111-9761.

33/7/13 John Deere Tire Pump Q. See photo 13-A of a John Deere Tractor Tire Pump. It seems to work fine, but I'm afraid to try it on a tractor. I can imagine this thing spinning at 540 rpm and the whole thing flying off. Can anyone provide any information on this unit?

Also, in 13-B see a planter cover that says Deere & Mansur. Where does this fit into the John Deere history? Paul Curtis, 4409 N 128 Ct, #19, Omaha, NE 68164-1976.

A. First of all, the tire pump had a couple of small chains attached to its top by means of a quarter inch bolt. As we recall, the bottom one hooked onto the drawbar, while the other was attached to the seat with a bit of pressure. With the tractor at an idle, it did a good job of filling a tire, and was certainly better than the alternative of inflating by hand.

The Deere & Mansur Company was simply a division of Deere. It was organized in 1877 to build corn planters, and continued in this manner until 1911 when it was merged into Deere & Company.

33/7/14 Unidentified Q. See the photo (next page) of an implement found in southern California. I haven't found anyone who can tell what it is, or what it was used for. On the front hitch are the markings J-H-F-9. Any information would be appreciated. Leonard Led' man, 3627 E 200 N., Lafayette, IN 47905.

33/7/15 Gade Engine Q. I am restoring a 6 HP Gade engine on a horse drawn truck, as shown in American Gas Engines, page 194, lower right corner. I have the igniter and half the pushrod that operates it; apparently the end that attaches to the ignitor was cut off and used for some other purpose after the engine was retired. What is the purpose of the 1/8 inch hole in the ignitor, about 1/2 inch to the right of the moveable electrode? Is there a way to retard the spark for starting? What does the nameplate look like, and where was it located? The clutch pulley is missing the outer clutch plate and hand wheel. Was it necessary to stop the engine to disengage the clutch? Any information will be greatly appreciated. Bob Shields, 212 High St., Reno, NV 89502.

33/7/16 Alamo Engine Q. I have a 3 HP Alamo engine, s/n C1123994. Can anyone advise the color scheme? Mark Robertson, 701 Palomar Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020.

A. The only listings we have for Alamo are for their Blue Line Engines, and they appear as DuPont 24160 or 67060 blue.

33/7/17 33/5/10, Water Hopper Len Spoelman, 3221 Brookshire SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508 writes that this unidentified water hopper is from an earlier Olds engine, probably as built by Olds Gas Power Co. It should have a casting number, such as 3A285. The first number (3) indicates the size of the engine. Type A was the designation for the most common size Olds engines except the Type R, 13/4 HP model. There were various design changes in the Type A engines, most noticeably from square hopper to round hopper. Later Seager engines used a removable hopper that bolted on top of the cylinder and could be made tank cooled by a flat plate in place of the hopper. Len has an email address of

33/7/18 Gem Rototiller Q. I recently acquired a Gem Rototiller made by Rotary Hoes Ltd., Horndon, Essex, England. It is s/n 32558, and has engine No. UCZ/Z 95016/5. It is a 600cc made by J. A. Prestwich & Co., Ltd., Tottenham, London. The engine appears to be a motorcycle engine and is started by a hand crank on the tiller transmission. It is cooled by a flywheel fan in the tiller; the engine has no governor. Further information would be appreciated, such as when it was built. Ralph Keyser, 291 E. Birnie Slo. Rd., Cathlamet, WA 98612-9709.

33/7/19 Novo Q. See the photo of my Novo Model KU engine, s/n 19467. Can you tell me the type of magneto used on this engine? Donald Hentges, 45719 - 263rd St., Humboldt, SD 57035.

A. Your engine, shipped on March 28, 1930, was originally equipped with a Wico B1 magneto.

33/7/20 33/5/20 Response Mike Otis, 91 South Main St., Apt. C, Perry, NY 14530 writes: This is about 33/5/20 in the May 1998 GEM. The MH was built by Worthington but painted dark blue with yellow stripes, and had MH decals on the hopper. In 35 years of collecting engines I have seen five 11/2 HP engines, of which I own No. 47162, plus two 21/2 HP, one hit-and-miss, and one throttle governed, and a 6 HP model, No. 36113, that I once owned, but have since sold. I do not know anything of an agreement between MH and Worthington, nor have I seen any ads for the engines.

33/7/21 Deutsches Museum Recently we commented regarding the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. This is one of the world's largest technical museums, and in July ye olde Reflector, his wife, and our tour group will be visiting there. Several people have asked for the mailing address and other particulars, so here it is:

Deutsches Museum, Museumsinsel 1, D-80538 Munich, Germany Tel. (089)2179-1 Internet:

33/7/22 Alexander Winton Recently, Bernie Golias, Golias Publishing, Box 392, Twinsburg, OH 44087 sent a copy of his biography of Alexander Winton, the famous automobile pioneer and industrialist. Anyone interested might want to contact Mr. Golias at the above address.

33/7/23 Tractor Road Run Betty Lapsley, Castle View, Killochan, Girvan, KA26 9QE Scotland informs us that the National Vintage Tractor Road Run will be held on April 4, 1999. This event will be hosted by the Ayrshire Vintage Tractor &. Machinery Club. Some of you have visited the area on our tours. Tractor road runs are quite popular outside of the United States, so maybe some of our readers might be interested in this event, along with the chance to see some nice engine and tractor collections.

A Closing Word

As things stand now, ye olde Reflector will be giving a talk at the State Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings, SD on October 11. We always find it hard to believe that anyone would want to spend their afternoon listening to our ramblings on old engines and tractors, but we'll try to find something of interest. Given the vast history of engine and tractor development, there certainly is plenty of resource material.

Several months ago, we discussed finding more issues of the old Farm Implement News Buyer's Guides. These are the green books that FIN used to put out every year. Up till the 1930s they were hardbound, but probably due to the hard times of the depression, they switched over to a paper cover, and, we might add, awfully poor paper. Anyway, we have a number of these, and find them invaluable in our day-to-day research of long-forgotten companies.

Our last query yielded not a single response ... we know that there have to be some of these books lurking about, and we surely would like to hear from anyone having some of them, especially in the 1930s and before ... they began publishing this thing way back in 1888!

By the time you get this issue, we'll be into June already, and a few shows will have come and gone. Please, be careful, not only for yourself, but for your colleagues, and most of all, for the visiting public. Safe journeys, and may each of you make the 'buy of the year!'