A Brief Word

Unidentified Engine


Charles A. Moore

Content Tools

The August 1908 issue of Practical Engineer illustrates and describes a most unusual engine designed by F. C. Olin. Although the two illustrations shown here are not of the highest quality, we think they will suffice to give a general idea of this design. Figure 1 illustrates the engine. .. it is of a four-cylinder opposed design, and was rated at 60 horsepower. The engine was designed with a 9 x 11 inch bore and stroke, and used a 4-inch crankshaft.

The unusual feature is the scotch yoke design, as shown in Figure 2. Olin's design was intended to reduce the wear and friction common to the scotch yoke design, and to this end, an oil pump was used whereby there was constant lubrication of the internal working parts. For those unfamiliar with the scotch yoke design, the crank worked within the large center bearing. It operated upon a heavy slide within the yoke, oscillating up and down as the pistons moved forward and back.

The engine shown here was very compact, requiring a floor space of only 5 x 6 feet. Total engine weight was 4,600 pounds. This engine was installed in St. Anne's Catholic Church, Buffalo, New York.

Has anyone heard of, or seen one of these engines? Does anyone have further information and/or photos of it?

The mail has been light this past month, as it usually is this time of year. Presumably, the wintertime letter writing has been replaced with physical activities such as dusting off that old iron, putting in some gas, and giving it a turn or two. And of course, they always start the first time over, don't they? Every once in awhile we're reminded of the time we worked like crazy trying to get one started. We had compression, fuel, and fire, the three required elements . . . or did we? After a couple of hours we finally discovered that some sort of spider had woven a tight little nest up in the mixer. The engine would seem to have been flooded to death with all the fuel running out the intake. This foreign material would let air through, but it surely did block off the gas, except for an occasional pop. A piece of wire with a hook bent on the end took care of the trouble. We've also witnessed what those mud dauber wasps can do to the inside of a mixer. . . it'll be plugged up completely with what to them probably seems like the most secure dwelling they've ever had.

And a final note. . . Thanks to Paul Kesselring for his recent article spoofing engines and generators. Sometimes it's nice to take ourselves lightheartedly instead of always being so serious.

Now, to begin this month's queries we start with:

29/6/1 Twin. City Engine Q. See the photos of a Twin City Engine, s/n 300782, Model IR, Type C, made by Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is an in-fine four-cylinder. I would like to find out more about it before attempting to restore it. Any information will be appreciated. Ronnie Stanley, Rt. I, Box 24, Burton, TX 77835.

A These engines are quite similar to those used on the heavy style Twin City tractors. We'd guess that someone might have an instruction manual of which you may secure a photocopy. Barring that, we'd begin with a careful inspection of the bearings, etc., and go from there. When you first start it, this engine should emit a mighty roar!

29/6/2 Bulldozer Pump Help Needed Q. See the photos of a Myers Bulldozer pump. It was used on a truck farm from the teens through the early 1930s. When my parents bought the farm, it was used to irrigate nursery stock until the mid-1950s. Last summer I located the old pump under a pile of brush, but one drive gear is broken. I need help in finding a drive gear with casting number 2529, or someone to reproduce one. Any help will be appreciated. (Also see my ad in the Advertising Section.) Don Erdos, 160 Spell Road, Kent, OH 44240.

A These pumps are relatively common, so we hope you're successful in your quest. If you can be of help, kindly contact Don at the above address.

29/6/3 Liability Insurance Q. What do other tractor and engine owners do about liability insurance when they show their tractors? Is there a company that specializes in this type of insurance at affordable rates? Any information will be appreciated. Clarence E. Cobb, RD 3, Box 340, Canastota, NY 13032.

A We know that some shows at least, maybe most of them, carry blanket liability insurance. Sometimes this consists of the show carrying a liability policy, and the exhibitor technically signing over the engines, tractors, or equipment to the show group for the duration of the exhibit. We also know that many collectors carry their own liability insurance for extra protection. This is a difficult question to address, and one that has been talked about for some time.

One idea that we've advanced is for shows and collectors to band together on a self-insurance plan, perhaps with some major company serving as an underwriter. We know virtually nothing about the mechanics of this, but perhaps it's a method that would benefit the entire hobby.

(Editor's note: The collective branches of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association have joined forces on insurance for their members. Information on this program is available from Jack Versteeg, National EDGE&.TA president, 247 Russett Dr., N.Keizer, OR 97303.)

29/6/4 Information Needed Q. I would like to know how to go about hooking up an air starter on my 68P FM and may I ask if anyone has an idea of the age of a 6 HP Associated with the mag on top of the igniter. David Fyke, RR 1, Brooklin, Ontario, Canada.

A. If you would kindly be a bit more descriptive regarding the air starter problem, perhaps we could be of help. There's no way to date the Associated engines, except to say that the igniter style to which you refer probably dates the engine sometime after 1917.

29/6/5 Associated Engine Q. I recently purchased an Associated engine, s/n 9488. All the parts I can check externally match part numbers for a 1 HP water cooled with the exception of the flywheels that are marked AAY. The bore is 4 inches, which is different from either the 1 or 2 HP motors. What year is this engine, and what type?Don W. Zobel, Rt 1, Box 736, Miami, AZ 85539.

A. At some point the engine bore might have been changed, either temporarily, or perhaps for an extended period. Without the records, and of course they're long gone, there's no definite way to determine this. It's also possible that the engine was bored out and a different piston installed somewhere along the way, possibly even as a company rebuild job. That could also account for the heaver flywheels.

29/6/6 Acme Harvesting Machine Co. Q. What years was the Acme grain binder built, and did Acme build any other farm implements? Did they merge with another company? Any information will be appreciated.Richard H. Allspach, R 1, Box 360, Baxter, IA 50028.


Acme Harvesting Machine Company. IVoria. Ill.

A. We've never found much information on Acme except that they built tractors for a time, with one of their 1919 models illustrated in 29/6/6 adjacent. The company was located at Peoria, Illinois, and the city directories show no listing for Acme after 1924.

29/6/7 Thanks! To everyone responding to my request in 29/2/4 on Mighty Mite. I received over ten letters, some with pictures, etc. I got a phone call from Maxine Cannon in Texas. I am sorry to say I don't have an address to respond, so I hope Mrs. Cannon reads this so I can thank her. Thanks again to everyone! Bruce A. Dixon, 8880 Hartel Rd., Grand Ledge, MI 48837.

29/6/8 Witte Engine Q. I have a 2 HP Witte engine, s/n B13249, and would like to know its age. Also, it's missing the nametag, and does anyone have a reproduction of these? Kent Zobel, RR I, Box 35A, Monroe, NE 68647.

A. Your engine was built in May 1924.

29/6/9 Planet Jr. Tractor Q. I have a Planet Jr. Tractor from S. L. Allen Co., Philadelphia, Pa. It was patented May 5, 1922 and is a Type HT, s/n 3364. The engine nameplate is from Toro Mfg. Co. I have seen other Planet Jr. tractors, but they all have Briggs & Stratton engines. Can anyone provide further information?Donald Pachesny, PO Box 214, Manistee, MI 49660.

A. Can anyone be of help on this question?

29/6/10 F-M Generator Q. Can you tell me the age of a Fairbanks-Morse Battery Charging Generator, No. 3 Home Light Plant, 1.5 kw, s/n X40407, Frame IH 6? Harley Collins, 2540 Fox Road, Bath, PA 18014.

A. In our research at Fairbanks-Morse, there isn't much to be found on their generators, as this entire line was sold some years ago, and with it, all the records.

29/6/11 Kohler Information Needed Q. I have restored a Kohler 4-cylinder home light plant, s/nC-119, built 1920. I have written to Kohler and the only information they have is a parts list of about 1923-4. My unit has an American Bosch mag, original Kohler carburetor and the self-start option. Does anyone have instruction information and production dates on these machines? I also have a 1923 version with the manual start. Any information will be appreciated. Andrew K. Mackey, 26 Mott PL, Rockaway, NJ 07866.

29/6/12 Dempster Engine Q. Can anyone tell me the correct color for the Dempster? It appears to be green, but I am not sure. The name plate is missing, and I would like information on what it says .I need drawings on the carburetor, gas lines, and needle seat. Also need a drawing of the rocker arm. Any information and help will be greatly appreciated. Lee Gilley, PO Box 364, Lake George, CO 80827.

A Can anyone be of help?

29/6/13 Thanks! To all the folks that sent me helpful information about the restoration of my Associated Twelve Mule Team engine. Kent Zobel, Monroe, NE 68647.

29/6/14 Pine Tree Dairy Engine Q. See the photos of my Pine Tree Dairy Engine. I would like to know if anyone might have a manual or further information on this engine, especially the gas tank. Are any decals available? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Dean Barr, PO Box 186, Hiddenite, NC 28636.

A. We thought that someone reproduced the Pine Tree decal at one time, but don't remember who it was, or if they are still available.

29/6/15 Unidentified Engine Q. I have had this engine over 35 years and still don't know what company made it. See the photo with arrow pointing at s/n 161393. It has 17-inch flywheels, a 33/4 x 9 inch bore and stroke, and has been converted to battery and coil with hit-and-miss ignition points. Can anyone identify this engine? Charles A. Moore, 474 Laurier Dr., LaSalle, ONT N9J IM2 Canada.

A. Can anyone provide some input on this one?

29/6/16 Bready Tractor Q. See the photo of a Bready Model TC tractor, s/n D2666. It works very good in forward and reverse. The book Vintage Garden Tractors by Dave Baas shows they came out with one in 1953 with a 3 HP Kohler engine, with solid wheels and 6.00 x 16 inch tires. Mine has wheels the same as on smaller tractors, plus a Briggs & Stratton Model 14, Type 202010 engine, and no hood like the one pictured in the above book. It all appears that this one came out this way. Would like to know the proper color, plus any other information that might be available. Charles M. Kraft, RR 2, Box 77A, Oquawka, IL 61469.

A. Please be of help if you can.

29/6/17 Standard Garden Tractor Q. Please see the photo of a Standard Garden Tractor, s/n E1 1171 It uses a Wico B-l magneto, but is missing the complete exhaust system. What year was this tractor built? Can anyone provide further information on the magneto and exhaust system, plus other information? Ernie Stalford, 3526 NE 102nd Ave., Portland, OR 97220.

A. Standard owners, kindly be of help if possible.

29/6/18 Alpha DeLaval Engine Q. I have just purchased a 1 HP Alpha from DeLaval Separator Co. Can anyone give me information on when it was built, and the color? Also, what seems strange, it has Wico EK magneto and spark plug, but the complete bracket is put on with two bolts and has a plug and hole goes onto the head like it could use an igniter. Is there an operator's manual available? It runs like a top and does not show wear. Ben J. Kinsinger, RD 1, Box 234A, Meyersdale, PA 15552.

A. We've never had any literature on the Alpha engines, but perhaps some of our readers might know whether there was a conversion from Webster or Sumter over to the Wico EK.

29/6/19 Information Needed Q. See the photos of several engines. 19A and 19B show a vertical 2 HP Sandwich s/n VL2497, patent date Sept. 28, 1926. Is this some kind of engine-pump combination? 19C and 19D show an engine with a tag from T. Eaton & Co. Ltd., Toronto and Winnipeg. It has 6 HP on the crank guard, with a 5 x 10 inch bore and stroke. Photos 19E and 19F illustrate a Sheffield air cooled two-cycle engine. I cannot locate any information on this one at all. Any help on these projects would be appreciated. D. J. Baisch, 6230 E. 81st N., Idaho Falls, ID 83401.

A. The Sandwich is likely an engine/vacuum pump combination for a milking machine setup. The Eaton has the unmistakable look of something from Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company at Waterloo, Iowa. Likely as not, these were- built by Waterloo as a contract job for Eaton, especially since the latter sold various makes of engines over the years. The Sheffield was built by Fairbanks-Morse at their Sheffield Works, Three Rivers, Michigan, and was likely used as a railroad section car engine. Further information on the Sheffield is in the book, 100 Years of Fairbanks-Morse available from GEM.

29/6/20 Witte Info Q. What is the year built for aWitte 6 HP, s/n 28792 and a 2 HP model, s/n 60016? The 6 HP came from Eagle Nest, New Mexico where it was used to grind com for cattle feed. Robert Hemphill, 39443 Glen Rd.,Yucaipa,CA92399.

A. 1916 and 1922 respectively.

Readers Write

Lister Engines For those GEM subscribers who are owners of English-built engines, I draw their collective attention to Stationary Engine Magazine, the English equivalent of GEM. At least twice a year, SEM publishes a list of individuals in the UK who possess engine records and other information on a wide range of British engines. Perhaps further information might be obtained from:

Mr. Gordon Wright,
c/o Stationary Engine Magazine
Kelsey Publishing Ltd.,
Kelsey House
77 High St., Beckenham,
Kent BR3 1AN England

The latest publication this list appeared was issue 239 of January 1994, page 10. I hope this information might be of some use to GEM readers who are owners of British-made engines. Andre Blanchard, 4520 Laudun St., Metairie, LA 70006-2228.

29/2/14 and 29/2/25 The engines noted above are both Jacobsen two-cycle engines, most commonly used on their 4 Acre lawnmowers. The earlier units had a small gear on the end of the crankshaft to drive an American Bosch magneto. Later units direct-drove a Wico magneto through a coupler on the end of the crank. The serial number was usually stamped into the side of the engine base as a series of numbers. I can't see the exhaust connection on 29/2/14 but 29/2/25 is definitely a 'later' engine, built in the 1930s. Earlier engines used a muffler using a 1 pipe thread connection. If the serial number can be found, Jacobsen-Homelite still has some information available. Andrew K. Mackey, 26 Mott Pl., Rockaway, NJ 07866.

29/3/15 Motorcycle Models See RW-1 for a photo of our home-built motorbike. Additional details have been forwarded to Dean Lehrke in regards to his referenced question. The bike uses a modified full size 26 inch frame, a Tecumseh 7.75 ci engine with a Briggs carburetor adapted, an automatic clutch, and a Whizzer drive sheave on the rear wheel. Hand formed stainless steel covers are used over the chain drive and exhaust systems. It has the exhaust split at the head outlet and dual mufflers and pipes exiting to the rear. This setup will run 35 mph at full ungoverned throttle, which is a bit too fast for comfort and safety. Future plans include the addition of a disc brake setup to the front wheel to augment the coaster brake. It is shown in full parade trim, including our Pontiac Indian Head decal. By coincidence, the original nametag reads, 'Emery Built by Hand' which is a perfect tribute to our 'Hand' fabricated project. Joe Hand, 1531 NE West wind, Lees Summit, MO 64086.

29/4/23 Country Tractor The English engineers were quite 'inventive' when it came to Ford son tractors. One engineer, Ernest Doe of Maldon, Essex, combined two Fordson Power Majors (1962-64) into what we now know as an 'articulated' tractor.

Diesels were retrofitted into the English Fordson N models from the mid 1930s. The Perkins Diesel P6 (TA) became a factory option in the Fordson E-27-N in 1948.

Another company . . . 'Roadless' installed Trackpull, Trackford, Cahl tracks on Fordsons, perhaps patterned after the American Trackson, and also came out with half-tracks. Next, following some interesting front wheel drives taken from arm GM vehicles, the Roadless Company developed four-wheel-drive Fordsons.

The Country Company first produced a Fordson Major on tracks, and converted this to a four-equal-sized wheels model with chain drive to the front ones as early as 1953 on the Fordson EIA models.

The Country 4WD model shown in 29/4/23 is a later Fordson Power Major Super Six using a 6-cylinder Industrial version of the Ford engine, producing 70 HP. It is seen pictured on page 70 of Allen T. Condie's Fordson Album. Other versions can be seen in this book, as well as in Condie's Fordson and Ford book. Jack Heald, National Dir., Fordson Tractor Club, 250 Robinson Rd., Cave Junction, OR 97523.

A Closing Word

By the time this copy is in your hands, a few shows will already have taken place, with many more shortly thereafter. Please take as much care about 'playing safely' at your avocation as you do about 'working safely' at your vocation.

Editor's Note: See page 76 for a note from the Reflector on the proper color scheme for the Fairbanks Morse 'Z.'