A Brief Word

Restored Jacobson Engine


Russell Timms

Content Tools

Having now been to Australia, we can tell you with a certainty that it is indeed a wonderful place! At the very outset, we publicly convey our thanks to everyone for their kindness, their generosity, and their assistance.

Regarding engines and tractors, we found lots of American-made items that are rarely seen in the United States. A few requests for information will be found below, with more to follow.

The fourteen hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney wasn't as bad as we thought it might have been, although a nice rest was in order, once we got to our hotel. It's impossible to report on the entire tour in our limited space, so we'll be commenting about it in several issues. Unfortunately, we'll have to depend on others in our group for pictures of our first 11 days. We had camera problems, and finally got a new battery. Then we discovered there was another problem, finally solving it by buying a secondhand, but nearly new, camera at a pawn shop in Geelong!

At the Scoresby show, near Melbourne, there were a number of very nice engines. See photo MST-1 of a nicely restored Jacobson. There are a few of these in Australia. The Imperial Super-Diesel by McDonald is a product of Australia, and these are fairly common.. They are very heavy, and quite a desirable engine. MST-3 shows a close-up view of the Super-Diesel. Also on display was a Cowley steam roller built at Ballarat, Victoria. It is one of the few steam rollers actually built in Australia. It is   shown at MST-9. At MST-12 is a Buzzacott pumper. This one is an exact copy of the Fuller &. Johnson pumper. We also saw these with 'Massey-Harris' cast into the frame, along with two or three others. We don't have specific data on this huge steam portable in MST-18, but the man standing at the rear wheel gives one an idea of its immense size. This big portable was under steam. In MST-25 ye olde Reflector is seated in a very rare Yorkshire steam lorry, under steam and about to go on a tour around the show grounds. Finally, in MST-20we all got together for a fine dinner and fellowship before leaving for our hotel and a night's sleep, all ready for another day!

32/6/3 Information Needed Q. Can anyone supply further information on the following:

1) Regal engine (see MST-16 and MST-17) made by Regal Gasoline Engine Co., Coldwater, Michigan. It is #4032 and is about 3 or 4 horsepower, but the rating is not stamped on the plate. 2) Hercules gas engine, made at San Francisco, California, and shown in MST-24. 3)  Grob Diesel Engine, made by J. M. Grob Co., Leipzig, Germany. See photos MST-14 and MST-15. Please send any information on the above to Russell Timms, Yan Yean Rd., Doreen 3754, Australia.

A. The Reflector saw these engines at the Scoresby show. The Grob engine is operable, although somewhat balky that evening, as the temperature was cool. The Regal is not yet restored, and we were aware of Regal marine engines, but not this stationary vertical style. The Timms family has over 2,000 engines!

While we were on the trip to Australia, word was left for us to contact a fellow regarding the serial number records for the Novo engines. Forthwith, we contacted Mr. Phil Goetz at Williamston, Michigan. A former employee of American-Marsh, the successor to Novo, Mr. Goetz secured these records, along with lots of Novo parts, and many of the blueprints. On Easter weekend, we journeyed to Williamston, about 450 miles, to pick up the serial number records. All are on 3 x 5 file cards, and when finished, we had our entire van full of them. Now that they're here in Amana, we're putting everything back in order and will be able to answer your queries within a couple of months. Please give us a little time to put everything in order before sending your queries. All we ask is for postage and a tiny bit of time in looking up and copying your data. For the Witte and Stover records which we have, we ask $5.00, and the same should hold true for the Novo records. Believe us when we tell you that this is a labor of love. . . it will take quite a few requests just to pay for the recent overhaul to the photocopier! Anyway, our thanks to Mr. Goetz for looking after the records this far, and we hope to do the same! P.S. The Novo records prior to #40,000 were destroyed some years ago, so all we can tell you is that any engine prior to that number was built sometime between 1912 and July 30, 1918. After we have a chance to study the records, perhaps we'll be able to guesstimate the production of the 1912-18 period.

Our first query for this month begins with Australia:

32/6/1 Information Needed Q. Rex M. Williams, 57 Hill St., Waroona 6415 West Australia has an engine built by Geuder, Paeschke & Frey Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He's never heard of another one, and would like to find any available information.

A. We've never heard of this company, so if anyone can be of help, please contact Mr. Williams.

32/6/2 Pierce Engine Q. Can anyone supply information on the Pierce engine shown in the photo? Especially need information on the points marked '1,' '2,' and '3' on the photo. Bert Van Dissel, 11 Janice Place, Christchurch 8, New Zealand.

32/6/3 Old Water Wheel

Someone gave us an envelope with pictures of an old water wheel made at Springfield, Ohio. Two dates are visible on top, viz., 1862 and Oct. 1864- The unit was originally installed at Latrobe (Australia) and was installed at Nretta in 1920 or thereabouts to drive a generator and/or chaff cutter. Hopefully, someone will contact us regarding this query, and hopefully, our colleague in Australia will get the necessary information. Sadly, the photos and accompanying note have no name.

32/6/4 'To Restore or Not'I especially appreciated this article in the March '97 GEM (page 14). Like most collector/restorers, I have had a mindset of wanting my engines to look like new.

Several years ago I acquired a 4 HP Associated, patent date 1911, on its original wood frame truck, with about 50% of the original paint on the engine and truck. I took a lot of pictures of the lettering and striping so I could duplicate it after rebuilding and repainting.

Then I had second thoughts. Why should I obliterate the original markings and then try to imitate them? I decided to keep the machine 'as is,' complete with drips and runs in the factory paint, and about a 50% coating of surface rust.

It is very educational to see how little care the factory took with cosmetics on this machine. The paint is rather thin, and applied unevenly. A notch was chopped haphazardly in the truck to create clearance for a fuel line.

'To Restore or Not' convinced me I was right to save the original character of the 4 HP Associated. I hope more original machines like this can be found. George Snellen, 1807 Buddy Williamson Rd., New Market, AL 35761-9137.

A. Your letter raises some good points, and also points out that Associated, for one, was a very competitive firm, and tried to cut costs wherever possible. With this engine, as well as with many or perhaps most others, the paint job was a necessity, but not something that needed more than minimal attention. Other companies had a different approach. . . Fairbanks-Morse being an example. The big majority of their engines were finished off with a filler, and while no striping was generally used, the paint job was done with great pride. Also of note, maintaining an exact shade of 'red' on an engine was not a big priority. That's why the color will vary considerably, depending on batch to batch, and which supplier made the low bid.

32/6/7 IHC Famous Q. What is the year built and proper color for a 2 HP IHC Famous, s/n KA31312? Also have a Detroit 2-cycle engine like 32/3/7A and 7B in the March GEM. It is missing the governor control valve on crankcase, and I would like to know if someone might have one or good pictures or drawings so one could be made to make this engine operational. All responses will be answered and reproduction costs covered. Past requests have been answered by many, again, thanks to all! This helps make our hobby all the more enjoyable. Wes Allen , Allen Diesel Energy, 862 Onstott Rd., Yuba City, CA 95991.

A. Your engine was made in 1910. We just had an e-mail discussion with someone about the Famous colors. Some were red with the DuPont 29609 Olive Green on the flywheels. Some appear to have had black flywheels, some were all red, and a few even had blue flywheels; apparently these were sold by Osborne dealers. See 32/6/7 of a 1906 Famous Vertical, showing the color scheme. We don't have any idea when they changed it or any other details, but at least here's what they looked like in 1906.

It's also nice that Wes mentions he'll respond to all who write, and will reimburse postage, copying, etc. That should go without saying, so if you make a query, try to reimburse those responding. Don't be a cheapskate!

32/6/8 Alamo Engine Q. We recently acquired a 2 HP Alamo engine, s/n 84682. It has been set up to run using a spark plug and buzz coil, and runs quite well like this. However, I understand that it originally used a Webster magneto. Can you tell me the magneto it used? Also when was this engine made, and the appropriate color? Mark Booth, 3083 Malcolm Rd., Barboursville, WV 25504.

A. From the s/n, we're not sure of the engine's age, so we're not sure which bracket to look for. The earlier engines used a 303K18A bracket. Later ones used either the A23-R1 or the A23-P11 bracket. Perhaps the best way would be to supply a photo of the ignitor side for identification purposes. Then perhaps one of our readers owning a. similar engine could be in contact' with you, advising of the correct Webster bracket and the appropriate linkages. We're unsure of the correct color.

32/6/9 Balancing Engines Q. I have a Fairbanks-Morse 1945 3 HP ZC and a 1 Type Z of 1920. Both engines have to run at very slow speeds; if you speed them up they bounce off the ground. How do you balance this type of engine? Can I get some of the vibration out? My trucks are small for storage and moving reasons, and at the shows I like them to be out where people can walk around and look. My concern is that they or I will bump the throttle and speed them up. A runaway engine is not what I want. Joe Hand, 1531 NE Westwind Dr., Lee's Summit, MO 64086.

A. We're not sure of the speed you're running now, but most engines can be bumped up to where they are out of balance and will jump all over the place. Fairbanks-Morse engines usually are well balanced, and should be okay at normal operating speeds, but perhaps the lightweight trucks don't provide enough mass to stabilize the engines sufficiently. The other problem is that if the flywheel balance is changed for a higher speed, then it probably won't be suitable at a lower one. Can anyone provide an easy answer?

32/6/10 New Big 4 Mower Q. I am restoring a New Big 4 horse drawn mowing machine, but it is missing the sickle bar and drive. Any information that would help in restoring this mower would be greatly appreciated. Brian Brent, 660 Adobe, Weiser, ID 83672.

32/6/11 Information Needed Q. I have a Fairbanks-Morse 15 HP Type Y, Style H oil engine, s/n 412134- It has extra heavy generator flywheels. Where can I get information on starting it?

Also, I have a Renfrew Oil Engine made by Renfrew Machinery Co. Ltd., Renfrew, Ontario. It was built under license from R. M. Hvid Co., Chicago, and carries a patent date of August 11, 1914. It is two cylinders, 6x10 bore and stroke, and 18 horsepower. Where can I find information on starting and operating this engine? Dale W. Penney, RR 2, New Germany, Nova Scotia BOR 1EO Canada.

A. For the Type Y, the usual procedure is to light the torch to preheat the head. While it is heating, lubricate everything, and be sure the auxiliary reservoir is at least half full. Usually it takes about ten minutes to preheat. Turn the flywheel to head end dead center (the keyway in crank will be straight up). Give the injection pump two or three short strokes by hand and turn the flywheel nearly one-half turn in the direction of rotation. Close the relief cock, and bring flywheel backwards sharply against compression, and engine should fire. Be careful to grasp proper arm of flywheel so it can be released without danger when the explosion occurs. The engine should start, and it may be necessary to give an extra stroke or two of the pump by hand. If the engine is flooded, it will refuse to start, or will rock back and forth without making a revolution. Only skill and practice can bring out the fine points.

It would seem logical that the big Renfrew engine would have some sort of starting mechanism such as air starting. Turning an engine of this size over by hand would be quite a feat. Can someone provide further information to Mr. Penney on the above engines?

32/6/12 Magnet Charger Q. Can anyone provide information on a magnet charger made by H. G. Makelim Co., San Francisco, California? It is Model M, s/n 296. Any information as to its use, age, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

32/6/13 Drott Marine Engine Q. See the photos of my Swedish-built Drott marine engine. I acquired this engine from a friend who found it on Hornsby Island, east of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is of 2-cycle, semi-diesel design with raw water cooling. The engine has a forward-reverse mechanism and clutch, coupled together on an integral frame.

Would like to hear from anyone with information or knowledge of this company or the engine. The plate reads: Drott Crude Oil Engine, Type BR10, HP 10-13, 800 RPM, s/n 3901; Motor A. B. Pythagoras, Norrtelje, Sweden. Randall Baron, 13007 - 239th Ave SE, Issaquah, WA 98027.

32/6/14 Safety Concerns Q. I have noticed your concerns for safety, and maybe some of you could help us in this regard.

The restoration scene here in Switzerland is beginning to gather momentum, and tractor meetings always attract a lot of attention; for instance at the 1995 in Moriken two years ago there were over 300 exhibits and 20,000 visitors. Last year there was a similarly well attended event in Unterehrendingen, and this year there will be another meet on August 23/24.

However this rise in popularity has its drawbacks, and the large number of visitors means that the tractor [and engine] movement has to get its act together on the question of SAFETY. So far there have been no major incidents, but should one occur, we will be faced with the usual Swiss overreaction to such a situation that could even culminate in a ban on such events. (Circuit racing was banned in this country following the Le Mans accident in, I think, there are precedents!) This would have dire consequences on the fragile movement to preserve what little has not been scrapped already.

At a recent club meeting our president made it a priority to get a safety code out before the season begins, and I offered to help by trying to get safety information from English-speaking countries. I am sure that our plea for 'development aid' will fall on sympathetic ears in the USA. Martin Albrecht, Lenburgerstrasse 14, 5503 Schafisheim, Switzerland.

A. While in Australia, we noticed that their engines are operated in enclosures of woven wire, with a small gate for entry. No one is allowed inside the enclosures except by invitation. Some of the U.S. shows are using rope enclosures of one or two ropes around the operating areas. Tractor shows tend to be more open in most places we've seen, although some are now roping off the areas to keep spectators at a safe distance. We contend that when engines and tractors are in operation, it ultimately falls to the operator to display good sense. However, in response to Mr. Albrecht's query, we would encourage clubs, shows, and individuals to respond to him so that they can formulate a safety code of their own. We fully agree that one major incident will bring a harvest of wrath, not to say anything about the legal consequences. So once again we say, Be Careful and above all, keep spectators away from your equipment. If they can't get their mitts on it, they're less likely to get hurt. And by the way, those loading dock areas? Keep everyone away except those who are supposed to be there!

32/6/15 Sandwich Engine Q. J have a 2 HP Sandwich engine, s/n B9321. Can anyone tell me when it was made, and where to find the Sandwich decals? I also have a small pedestal burr grinder with the name 'Little Wonder,' and it is the same color as the Sandwich engine. Can anyone provide information on it? Any help would be appreciated. Marvin M. Smith, Box 292, Hooper, NE 68031.

A. There are no known s/n records for the Sandwich line. It was taken over by New Idea in the 1930s, but we don't know whether the latter has any information. You should be able to locate decals through GEM's advertisers.

32/6/16 American Marc Diesel Q. I have a one-cylinder air-cooled American Marc Diesel engine. It is in excellent condition except for a bad part in the attached generator. I have no information on this engine and would appreciate hearing from anyone who could be of help. Kent Davis, Rt 1, Box 59, Dozier, AL 36028.

A Closing Word

Even before we'd gone on the wonderful trip to Australia, plans were in the works for our 1998 tour to parts of Germany and Austria. As you may have guessed, it's essential to begin the layout of a tour at least 18 months ahead of the planned date. Otherwise, the hotels are booked, the coach companies are committed, and the result is chaos. Presently, we're looking at mid-June for this trip to begin, probably about June 17. We're in contact with a very knowledgeable fellow near Frankfurt, and he'll be able to point out many things to see, along with some that probably aren't worth a detour, although interesting. We're also looking at an optional one-week extension tour to the north of Germany. Originally, we had plans of Vienna and the Technical Museum there, but it is uncertain whether it will be open. It has been completely closed down for some time, due to a complete renovation project. However, the city of Munich has the Deutsches Museum, said to be the largest technical museum in the world, as well as the BMW Museum, also in Munich (it's practically across the street from the Olympic Complex). We'll have everything organized in the next 30-60 days, and when we do, you'll see our announcement right here in GEM. For the ladies who always accompany our tours, we're also planning a trip to the Kislinger Crystal Glass Factory, and another to the Hummel factory north of Coburg, Germany.

For our friends who made the long 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, the 1998 tour is only about nine hours from Chicago to Zurich. Surprisingly, the flight went quite well, except when we hit an hour of bad weather somewhere near Fiji. Even for a big 747, it was very bumpy for awhile.

By the way, we were told that the L. A. to Sydney flight required somewhere around 50 tons of jet fuel. All this figured out to a fuel consumption of over 700 gallons per hour. We were told that one of these big planes, fully loaded, has a lift-off weight of about 400 tons, yet we were airborne in 51 seconds from the time they opened the throttle! Incredible, isn't it!