REFLECTIONS

A BRIEF WORD

Unidentified Engine

22/5/17

Jim Albaitis

Content Tools

Each month we attempt to answer many of your questions, or at least suggest where some information might be located on a specific problem. This month the Reflector raises a question for all of you-we ran onto an engine which we never heard of before, and we don't recollect anyone every making mention of it at any time either. The adjacent photograph A-1 illustrates a Parsons-Rich engine as advertised by Parsons, Rich &. Co., Newton, Iowa in a 1903 issue of Thresher World magazine. According to the advertisement these engines were built in sizes from 2 to 30 horsepower. It is logical to assume these engines came from this company and were not jobbed by somebody else, since their advertisement notes, 'We Make Gasoline Engines.'  

We also submit photograph A-2 illustrating an 1896 model of Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company, Waterloo, Iowa. Note that this printer's cut shows No. 150 as the serial number, as compared to the Reflector's similar engine, No. 83 illustrated on page 28 of this issue. Also note that this engine No. 150 shows a considerably modified cylinder head design over the earlier style-this particular engine apparently used an intake valve cage which permitted drawing of the air-fuel mixture right past the intake valve stem. The Reflector has looked in vain for catalog data on these engines but so far nothing has surfaced. Perhaps one day something will show up.

In early March the Reflector was privileged to join a group of collectors in a trip to Standard Magneto Company in Chicago. Standard is a regular advertiser in GEM. This firm started out in 1940 as Tractor Magneto Sales Co. Standard has a huge facility with old and new magnetos numbering into the thousands! Magneto parts abound, especially since Standard bought out the Wico magneto line in 1985, including much of their manufacturing machinery. All of the folks at Standard Magneto were very accommodating, and gave us a complete tour covering the several buildings which house this operation.

By the time this issue is in the mail, many of you will be thinking about coming shows and swap meets. Thus we feel compelled to issue our annual caveat about safety in handling engines, tractors, and parts. Be careful of yourself-don't handle this equipment in an unsafe manner- injuries to yourself or to others can be painful, permanent, and can even be fatal! Likewise, be cautious in handling fuel, and horror of horrors, don't let your engines run unattended! Dropping a governor pin or some other simple little part can turn your engine into a whirling dervish that can self-destruct, sending all sorts of shrapnel, hand grenade style into a crowd of innocent bystanders. This month's mail begins with:

22/5/1 Don Robertson, Box 125, Jerome, AZ 86331 sends a couple of pictures showing part of a moving project for a 225 HP Chicago Pneumatic engine to the Gold King Mine, Jerome, Arizona. The Arizona Flywheeler's Club is moving this monster 110 miles across the mountains and they plan to have it running for their 1987 show on May 2 and 3, 1987.  

22/5/2Q. What year is an IHC engine, s/n LBA 136440? Which instruction manual do I need, for the LA or LB engines? Robert Volkert, RR 1, Box 13, Hicksville, OH 43526.

A. Your engine is a 1948 model LB engine. The LBA signifies the later LB series, with the 'A' suffix noting the size.

22/5/3 Jim Albaitis, 3064 Lincoln Road, Ludington, Michigan 49431 sends two photos he picked up in an antique shop. Photo 3A shows two unidentified women behind a power lawn mower-it is operated with an Ideal engine. The engine in 3B is unidentified  

22/5/4Q. Anton Provaznik, 10021 Dunbar Lane, El Cajon, CA 92021 submits several questions: 1) Are IHC Famous and Victor vertical gasoline engines identical, with the exception of the fuel tank location? 2)  Is the IHC Famous vertical gas engine called a Famous Jr if it is the 2 HP size? 3)  Will parts listed for a Famous- Victor 2 HP engine fit a 2 HP Nonpareil type engine? 4)  Where is the serial number located on the 2 HP Nonpareil engine? 5) Why are Jaeger engine catalogs so hard to find?

A. 1)According to IHC's own catalogs the Famous and Victor engines are the same except for the location of the fuel tank. 2) The Famous Jr. was a 'competition' engine lacking many of the refinements found on the regular Famous line. While some parts may interchange, the Famous Jr. was built to sell for a price rather than embody the famous IHC quality noted with the regular lines. 3) Without access to ALL the IHC parts books we can't be definite on this, but would suggest that at least a substantial number of parts would interchange with the Famous, Victor, and Nonpareil lines. 4)  Except for the nameplate location, we are not sure where else the serial number might be stamped- probably the crankshaft or the cylinder. 5) We're not sure why Jaeger catalogs are scarce-we've never seen one either.

22/5/5Q. What is the year built for a Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' 1? HP headless model, s/n 316348? What model magneto was used? Joseph A. Kovacs, Box 857, Gold River, BC VoP 1Go Canada.

A. Your engine is a 1918 model. A 1917 parts book shows this one using a Sumter 'Imp' magneto.

22/5/6Q. I have a Sandwich upright engine, 2 HP, 700 rpm, s/n VB1713. Can anyone supply information on this engine? Percey J. Faison Jr., RR 1, Box 350, Okanogan, WA 98840.

A. Without a photo we cannot be sure, but the 'VB' prefix on the serial number might indicate that this engine was built by Stover at Free-port, Illinois. If you can supply a photo, we'll run this again and see if we can establish its ancestry.

22/5/7 Branson Enterprises, 7722 Elm Ave., Rockford, IL 61111 sent us some 1950's magazine material showing how overhauling old tractors and farm equipment could help the postwar machinery shortage. (It seems like now we are in a similar situation-used farm machinery is in much higher demand than the new stuff. Repair shops are finally becoming an economic reality again after a twenty year hiatus).

22/5/8Q. See  photo given below, 22/5/8. What is it? The tag says: Chicago Water Motor Co., Chicago, Illinois, Pat. Sept. 24, 1872; June 6, 1874. Donald Ludwig, 4657 Ill 26 No, Forreston, IL 61030.  

A. As the company name implies, this is a water motor. It harnessed water pressure to do useful work, with a little one of this size being ideal for a sewing machine, small printing press, or other uses. Chicago Water Motor Co. advertised its wares into the early 1900's, finally succumbing to new technologies that made water motors obsolete.

22/5/9 Q. I recently purchased an International Type L engine, 1? HP. It is lacking some parts, and I also need to know the year built. Scott Wolf, 1829 S. Denton, Pacific, MO 63069.

A. According to IHC, the Type L was built only in 1929.

22/5/10 Hugh E. Porter, RR 1, Box 274, Dallas City, IL 62330 would like to hear from anyone with information on the Elgin engines, size, color, models, etc. and will answer all mail in this regard.

22/5/11Q. Can anyone supply information on the following engine: Cushman Motor Scooter, Model 'O', Huskey Engine, Model 17M71, 4 HP, Engine No. A51786, Mfd. by Cushman Motor Works. When was it built? Would appreciate any information on this engine. Mark Caspers, Route 1, Box 104, Auburn, NE 68305.

A. Our files contain not a single syllable on these engines, although we have been told that the Cushman Husky was used for other purposes besides the famous Cushman motor scooter.

22/5/12Q. The Rock Island 18-35 was introduced in 1927 and the 15-25 in 1929. I supposed that these tractors were built until February 1937 when J. I. Case bought out Rock Island Plow Co. However, the 1932 edition of Tractor Field Book does not list the Rock Island tractors. Does anyone know how long these tractors were built or how many were built? Edsel Pierce, 6133 E. 300 N., Craigville, IN 46731.

A. Maybe the Rock Island folks were mad at Elmer Baker Jr., the long-time and sometimes irascible editor of Farm Implement News. We suggest this possibility since the Rock Island tractors continue to appear in the competing publication called Tractor Red Book. Due to the hard times of the Great Depression, maybe Rock Island had only enough advertising money for one such publication and opted for the Red Book. There are several possibilities here, but from all appearances the Rock Island, technically at least, remained on the market until J. I. Case took over in 1937. We have no production figures.

22/5/13 James Pollard, Vanleek Hill, Ontario KOB 1R0 Canada writes:

It seems that every month in GEM someone asks about an Economy engine. The first I saw, I bought in 1929, a 1? HP as shown on page 20 of January 1987 GEM. The colour is a dull red, no striping, only a light blue propeller design on sides of hopper.

I bought my engine at Robert Simpson Co., Toronto for $87-it is Simpson-Sears now and Sears-Roebuck in U.S.A. These engines are all very much the same style in parts. Several years ago a man wrote in GEM that the way to tell a Hercules from an Economy was the gasoline filler caps. The Hercules was a small cap on the left hand side into the base, and a very hard place to put the funnel. The Economy was a large cap on the right hand side going into the base, but big enough that it could be used without a funnel. They all had the same style muffler.

I have an Economy marked 5 HP, same size as 6 HP. It has another brass plate on the base saying 'Made in U.S.A.' and sold by Bournival Co., Montreal, Quebec. It is a kerosene model with carburetor and pump on cylinder head next to spark plug. It is painted a medium green with red striping.

22/5/14 Bill Jergovich, 5397 Hatchery Rd., Drayton Plains, MI 48020 has forwarded information regarding the various manifolds and carburetors used on the 10-20 McCormick Deering tractors. Although the photocopy would not reproduce well enough, we list the following data:

Manifolds: Part No. 447 DB; used on 10-20 International, 1923-25. Part No. 447 DC; used on same, 1926-27. Part No.....; same, 1927-37 (we do not have this number, but it is the large manifold with the air control valve.)

Carburetors: Ensign Model JA-I-1? Ensign Model JH-I-1? Ensign Model R, 1? International Carburetor, Model R, 1?

22/5/15Q. Can anyone supply information on this old rock crusher? The nameplate reads: Buchanan's 13 x 30 Rock & Ore Breaker, Birdsboro, PA. It has an 8-inch shaft, the flywheel is 5 feet in diameter with a 6-inch face. Jim Parkhurst, 256 S. Ave., Bridgeton, NJ 08302.  

22/5/16Q. Can anyone supply information on this engine? (See photo) It is said to be a P & O engine built by Nelson Bros. The Webster magneto bracket shows up under Smyth-Despard Co., as illustrated in American Gasoline Engines. However the horsepower rating at 7 HP does not match the listing shown in the Webster list. The color appears to be a faded blue but when wet sanded it turns to a light green. Would appreciate hearing from anyone with information on this engine, and will answer all letters. Joe Faust, Rt. 1, Box 212, Pierz, MN 56364.  

A. The green finish indicates that this possibly could be a P & O engine (built for Parlin & Orendorff by Nelson Bros.) because we believe that they used an olive green color similar to the IHC Mogul engines (93-29609-H DuPont). Beyond that we have no data on this engine except to note that horsepower ratings changed like phases of the moon with some companies, so your 7 HP engine might have started life as a 6, moved up to 7, and finally ended up as an 8 HP model.

22/5/17Q. Gilbert Drew, 182 Sumner Ave., Moncton, N.B. ErC 8A5 Canada cannot identify the engine shown in the accompanying photo. If you can help out, kindly reply to the Reflector so we can all share the information.

22/5/18Q. We need information on a 32 volt Delco plant of early 1930's vintage. We are missing some kind of gas metering valve or needle stem and seat, but no one seems to be able to tell us what we need. The block has 374069 stamped on it. Any help will be appreciated. Steve Bur-zenski, Box 337, De Bary, FL 32713.

A. We don't have sufficient parts information on Delco to give you the answer.

22/5/19Q. What is the year built of a Case tractor 5206010 DCS? All I know is that the tractor is a high crop model. Would like to know how many of these were made, and would like to find any literature on this model. Also have a John Deere Model R with rear steel only. Was this tractor available with rear steel and rubber front as original equipment? Any information will be appreciated. Dean Glanville, RR4, Walton, Ontario N0K 1Z0 Canada.

A. Your tractor was built in 1948. We have no information on this high clearance model, nor do we have the data you request on the wheel equipment for the John Deere R.

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