Looking back over 25 years of GEM, it soon becomes evident that our hobby has grown beyond anyone's wildest imaginings. Going back still further to the late 1940s and Elmer Ritzman's
Farm Album, later known as Iron Men Album, it is evident that gas engines and tractors occupied very little attention; at that time, steam was king! By the mid 1960s, tractors and engines had come into the scene so strongly that steam power was forced into a holding pattern, and so Rev. Ritzman embarked on the new venture of Gas Engine. Magazine.
We suppose that there are a great many reasons for the tremendous popularity of engines and tractors, and we also suppose that there are many reasons for the comparative change in priority of gas power versus steam power. It must be remembered that eighty years ago, the old-line steam engine and thresher builders held the new-fangled gasoline tractor in low esteem, and given its early shortcomings, they were at least partially correct. Even in the 1920s, many manufacturers and agricultural journalists felt that steam power would always play a role in mechanized agriculture. Thus, there have been two trains of thought over the years; there are those who still believe steam is king, and there are those who have little or no interest in steam power, preferring instead to devote their energies to the restoration of internal combustion engines.
The Reflector opines that steam and gas power have both played a major role in the development of mechanized agriculture and industry, and that both have a role in our preservation of the past. From a practical standpoint, steam power is fitted for relatively few collectors. It just wouldn't do to have a 65 horsepower Case steamer sitting in the driveway of a residence in Covina, California. However, a dozen gas engines can be stowed in the garage or a backyard storage shed. The high cost of maintenance on a steamer is another factor not in its favor. Repairs of any kind are expensive, and if extensive boiler work is required, the cost can become exorbitant. By comparison, the cost of restoring a rusting and corroded hunk of iron that still claims to have been a gas engine, usually is but a fraction of the expense.
Perhaps the most important factor is that today's generation has been raised with gas power. Many of today's generation have never thrilled to the heartbeat of a steamer strutting her stuff on a thresher or a sawmill. Their veins aren't tainted with coal smoke and steam cylinder oil, and they have only the most simplistic understanding of steam power. On the other hand, the relatively simple mechanism of a hit-and-miss engine is easy for anyone to understand, given a little study.
We know that there are other factors involved, and we know that there are other opinions on the subject of gas versus steam power. We also know that a balanced approach to the preservation of our mechanical past requires that we give attention to both. With this in mind, it is our hope that during the next quarter century of Iron Men Album and Gas Engine Magazine, we can in some way continue the pleasant task of helping both fraternities. Perhaps the unique feature of the steam and gas power hobby is that we can restore and preserve these engines, literally bringing them back to life. In this way, ours is a living hobby, rather than one where our precious artifacts are stowed away in glass cases where we can look, but never touch.
25/3/1 Unknown Engine Q. Back in the December 1988 GEM I had a letter about a Dixie gas engine, but had no photos of it. Since that time I have had it out to some shows, but so far I have found no one who has ever heard of this engine, or who might have built it. See the two below photos. Any information regarding this engine will be greatly appreciated. Richard Glass, 5812 E 300 S, Hartford City, IN 47348.
25/3/2 Press Release
Heavy Equipment Parts Company, manufacturer of the Bulldog line of Hydraulics and Gaskets products, has announced the availability of the company's new gasket catalog. Designed for easy reference, the new Bulldog Gaskets catalog is one of the most comprehensive and detailed listings of gasket applications produced for off-road, over-the-road truck, industrial and marine engines manufactured by Caterpillar, Inc. Included in the catalog are both late series and many popular early series kit applications. For more information on the above, and other Bulldog products, as well as the name of the nearest distributor, contact: Heavy Equipment Parts Company, 6750 Caballero Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620.
25/3/3 Fairbanks-Morse 'N'
See the two below photos of my newly restored 8 hp FBM Type N engine. It was factory equipped with hot tube and electric ignition, as well as the match starting device. Glen Meyers, 3387 Carson Rd., Adrian, MI 49221.
25/3/4 Coldwell Information Q. I need specific engine specifications on the Coldwell twin cylinder and single cylinder lawn mower engine, namely the engine rpm and the engine horsepower. Jim Tomasetti, 91 Cedar St., Holliston, MA 01746.
25/3/5 Sandow Engine Q. What is the correct color for the Sandow engine? John F. McCullough, 14091 Telegraph Rd., Pecatonica, IL 61063.
A. It is comparable to DuPont 93-58740-H Blue.
25/3/6 Fuller & Johnson Engine Q. See the two photos of a Fuller & Johnson engine I acquired several years ago. As you can see, some parts are missing. What was its trade name, and what was the intended use? The plate in front of the magneto has the Fuller & Johnson name on it. 'D' is where the carburetor fits. 'A' needs a pulley and is belted to the shaft. 'B' is where an adjuster fits to tension the belt. The fan shaft tilts up and down. 'C' is an oil cup fitting. It has a 3 inch piston, and I believe, a 3 inch stroke. Any information will be appreciated. John Pribbenow, RR 2, Box 209, Verndale, MN 56481.
25/3/7 Information Needed Q. In the process of some historical writing I have come upon a publication entitled 'The Gas Engine,' and another entitled, 'Gas Review.' My ultimate goal is to obtain a glossy photo of the Hall-Scott engine illustrated in both. Is there anyone I might contact who would still possibly have the original materialsl? F. H. Bradford, 55 Gipsy Lane, Berkely, CA 94705.
A. To our knowledge, none of the original materials for either of these magazines yet remains. There is always an outside chance that one of our readers might have the photos you require. Otherwise, we know of no alternative except to use the photograph in the magazine and make a new negative. A certain amount of quality will be lost, but this may well be the only viable alternative.
25/3/8 Cushman Engine Q. As a new collector, I recently acquired an engine with the following nameplate data: Engine No. A2188, Mode! No. R-14, 2 h.p. The engine was originally painted red. A nearby collector has an identical engine, but his is a Bean Special built by Cushman, and another person told me that my engine was a Cushman sold by Sears & Roebuck. Since I would like to paint it as original, can you tell me the proper color scheme? Donald Z. O' Bier, Star Route, Box 584, Lottsburg, VA 22511.
A. Since your Cushman-built engine was probably sold by Sears, as you have indicated, might we suggest using NAPA Martin Senour 7822 Red, as was used on the earlier Economy engine line sold by Sears & Roebuck.
25/3/9 A Restoration Project Q. See the four below photos of a tractor I spotted last summer. It might possibly be a good project for any British Columbia tractor enthusiasts. It looks like a Massey-Harris four-wheel-drive model. The tractor is at Shoal Bay at the north end of East Thurlow Island in British Columbia. Jack E. Reich, Box 368 HSL, Hacienda Sun Luna, Colunbus, NM 88029-0368.
A. We usually don't include so many photos with a caption, but this one was too good to pass up! Here are the remains of a four-wheel-drive Massey-Harris in about as many pieces as possible. From the photos, it appears however, that most of the major parts are still there, undoubtedly with numerous others scattered about and out of sight. If one of our readers acquires this tractor, we already have the 'before' photos; we'll anxiously await a set of 'after' pictures!
25/3/10 Grand Haven Garden Tractor
John Heasley, 190 Paragon, Troy, MI 49098 (313/689-5634) is in the process of restoring a Grand Haven Garden Tractor. This unit is in rough shape and we would appreciate any information that might be of help in this project. I am also having a hard time locating rear tires for this unit; 6.00 x 16 tractor tread tires. I believe this tractor was produced by the Grand Haven Mfg. Co., Grand Haven, Michigan.
25/3/11 Nelson Bros. Jumbo Q. Together with my brother and my father, I collect stationary engines and we are enjoying it very much. As we have only been collecting for about three years now, our collection isn't very big, but it is still increasing. Our latest acquisition is a Nelson Bros. Jumbo, Model CB, 3 hp size. It is fitted with a Wico EK magneto. According to an earlier issue of GEM, the color should be DuPont 2015 green, but all the paint we can find on the engine is yellow. Can anyone advise what might be the proper color, and the approximate age of this engine? D. Juffer, Bovenstraatweg 11, 8096 PC, Oldebroek, Netherlands.
A. There are several possibilities regarding the color of the Jumbo. We suppose that the primary reason for the yellow finish might have to do with the original importer. Perhaps they favored yellow on their machinery, and it is also possible that Nelson Bros. may have finished the export engines in a different color than those used at home. We can't give you a precise date on when this engine was built, but suppose it to be in the mid to late 1920s.
25/3/12 Some Questions Q. What is the year built for a FBM engine, s/n 636550? Also what is the correct shade of orange for a 1946 Avery sold by Montgomery Ward? Any information will be appreciated. Robert Hildreth, RR 3, Box 202, Mattoon, IL 61938.
A. We would suggest the engine to be a 1926 model. So far as the Avery is concerned, we are of the opinion that it was a dull red color, perhaps reddish orange might be descriptive. Unless we previously got this information and have mislaid it, we don't recollect ever having a true match for this finish.
25/3/13 A Grist Mill Q. See the two photos of a grist mill I have rebuilt. It was given to me, and I have spent many months replacing rotted wooden parts and repairing the grinding stones. Can anyone identify the maker of this mill, where built, color scheme, etc.? Walter H. Miller, RR 2, Box 2535, Butler, TN 37640.
We're not sure of the make of this mill, possibly it is a Williams, but we have none of their literature on file. Hopefully, some of our readers can identify the make, and from that point, the proper color scheme and other information should come together. Worthy of note, these mills were usually called stone buhr mills. Of course, millstones were used already in ancient times, but by the Middle Ages, they were also known as burr stones, or bur stones. To satisfy our own curiosity, we checked Webster's International and the Century Dictionary for a clue of the origin for buhrstone, but our search yielded no pay dirt.
25/3/14 Information Needed Q. What are the proper colors for the Waterloo Boy and the R & V engines? Also have you compiled a list of paint colors? Harry DeYoung, PO Box 106, DeMotte, IN 46310.
A. We have DuPont 93-5316 green listed for the R & V, and the Waterloo Boy is listed with the same number. Possibly the R & V might have been a bit darker than this-from colored illustrations, and a few remaining paint chips, it is difficult to determine. We published a listing of paint colors in the September, 1988 issue of GEM, page 12.
25/3/15 A Cast Iron Funnel Q. We recently acquired a cast iron funnel. It is large and must weigh 10 pounds. Who might have manufactured it, and what kind of equipment might have used it? No one around here seems to know anything about such an item. Kim L. Rhoades, Box 179A, Leonard, MO 63451.
A. It may have had a special use for an application with which we are no longer familiar. Then too, those were the days when cast iron was cheap, and was the material of choice for applications that are now unthought of.
25/3/16 FBM Engine Q. What is the year built of an FBM engine, s/n 773706? Pat A. Gossett, RR 2, Stewertsville, MO 64490.
25/13/17 Information Needed Q. What is the proper color for a Witte, and the same for a Famous 10 hp, s/n F433? Also, what is the year built for the Famous? Floyd Schmall, 5523 S. Peach, Fresno, CA 93725.
A. We have listed DuPont 93-5800 Green as being a comparable match, although Witte has indicated a mixture of 1 part Rustoleum Black and 2 parts Rustoleum Forest Green. This combination is somewhat darker than the DuPont color, and in fact, it may be a closer match to the original. We have DuPont No. 674 Red listed for IHC engines and tractors. Many of these were two-toned with 93-29609-H Olive Green on the flywheels, cam gear, push rod, and crank fender. The Famous was built in 1913.
25/3/18 Fordson Super Major Q. I am restoring a 1961 Fordson Super Major tractor and was wondering if you could recommend the proper color of reddish- orange paint for the wheels of these English-built tractors. Also, I am curious if the blue color is the same shade as used on the current Ford tractors. I know it is close, but I am wondering if the Fordson blue isn't slightly darker. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
A. We can't provide you with the proper colors, but perhaps some of our readers might have this information. We would also agree that the Fordson blue is darker than that used on current production.
25/3/19 Vaughn Drag Saw Q. I need information on a drag saw built by Vaughn Motor Works, Portland, Oregon. The engine is of 2-cycle design. The paint may have been a dark green, and the wooden frame red. I need help in the original lettering on the frame, along with information regarding the electrical configuration, and the mounting and location of the truck wheels. Any information will be appreciated. Neal Collier, 3251 S. Pine Barren Rd., McDavid, FL 32568.
A. Although our files have little to offer you on the Vaughn, we are confident that some of our readers can provide this information.
25/3/20 An Unusual Wrench Q. See the photo of a wrench purchased at a flea market. The only markings are on the spring steel cover, 'Spark Plug Gap Gauge, .032.' Under this cover are stored two non-magnetic pins. An old-timer remembers a wrench like this was used on an old one- cylinder engine that a farmer used to pump water. Any information regarding the specific company that might have used this wrench will be appreciated. U. George Briggs, Wine Road, New Braintree, MA 01531.
A. Our guess is that the wrench was provided with a specific make of engine, but we can't tell you who it might have been, nor do we know of the purpose for the two small pins enclosed within the wrench.
25/3/21 Unknown Engine Q. See the two photos of a recent engine acquisition. It has a 6 1/2x10 inch bore and stroke, with a flywheel diameter of 38 1/2 inches. The only markings are casting numbers, such as C2 Cylinder; C1 Base; D79 Carburetor. In looking through American Gas Engines, I have found several similar styles, all built at Jackson or Albion, Michigan. Can anyone provide information on this engine? I specifically need pictures and/or sketches of the missing parts so as to restore it. Barry E. Tuller, PO Box 1482, New ton, IA 50208.
A. We believe your engine is a Cook, as illustrated on page 108 of American Gas Engines. We suspect there may be a very few of these still in existence, and possibly some of our readers might have some catalog data or other technical information. Cook engines are rather scarce, so we hope you are successful in what appears to be a challenging restoration project.
25/3/22 FBM Information Q. In your reprint of FBM Catalog 80N, reference is made to FBM Bulletin HI88 on the 15 hp 'Z' engine. Would you have this Bulletin, or where might I locate a copy so as to better familiarize myself with my own 15 hp Type Z engine? Bill Palautzian, PO Box 415, Shaver Lake, CA 93664.
A. Fairbanks-Morse issued numerous bulletins covering their equipment, and these covered the range from sales literature to instruction manuals to parts books. However, even if Bulletin H188 may not be available as a reprint, perhaps some of our readers might be able to furnish a photocopy of same.
25/3/23 Witte Information Q. I have a Witte 2 hp engine, s/n BL5184 and need information on it, including the year built, Joe Baxter, 6333 Melville Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46816.
A. Your engine was built in 1923. Paint information is included in 25/3/17 above. The Witte engines used no striping or decals.