Gibson tractor


Robert I. Naidis

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20/8/17 Q. My dream is to run my restored Chase Turbine Co. Shingle mill (ca. 1910) with a small steam engine. Meanwhile, can anyone supply information on a Buda 4-cylinder engine, Model HP217-11507A, s/n 285687. Does anyone publish a newsletter for shingle mill enthusiasts? Rexford van Norman Baker, 316 Oxford St., Auburn, MA 01501.

A. We haven't heard of a newsletter dealing with vintage sawmill equipment or with shingle mills specifically. Regarding the Buda engine, write: Customer Service Dept., Allis-Chalmers Corp., Box 1563, Harvey, IL 60426.

20/8/18 Q. We have restored the Gibson tractor shown in an adjacent photograph. It uses a Wisconsin Model AEHS-BA (3x3) engine. It is either original or similar to the original. We would like to add an electric starter, but suspect we need a new flywheel. Also we need more information on this tractor as might be found in operator's or parts manuals. Robert I. Naidis, 60677 Riverbend Dr., Bend, OR 97702.

A. First, we question whether a new flywheel is required. Some years ago, an electric starter kit was available for these engines, but we do not recall that any major modifications were required. Perhaps a Gibson afficio-nado might be of help.

20/8/19 Q. We need information on a Whitney 9-18 tractor. It uses a Gile 2-cylinder opposed engine. We will pay for copying charges and postage. Rex Andrews, 1113-C Fleetwood, Sun Valley, CA 91352.

A. Perhaps someone has some information on a Whitney 9-18 to share with Mr. Andrews.

20/8/20 Q. We would like to know the original green color for a 16-30 OilPull tractor? Charles W. Pierce, RR 1, Box I-A, Decmsboro, NY 13328.

A. Last spring the Reflector attended the Rumely convention at LaPorte, Indiana. At that time, several former Rumely employees indicated that while the dark green remained almost till the end of production, it varied somewhat from batch to batch. Apparently, the low bid prevailed, so when changing from one paint company to another, the color changed as well. Mr. Pierce would like to know the proper shade of green, and the Reflector will be happy to share this information if it becomes available.

20/8/21 Q. We have an Eli engine made by Moline Pump Company, Moline, Illinois. It is of 2-cycle design. The engine appears to have been red with dark green flywheels. Is this the correct color? Harry Cook, 1724 Hillcrest Drive, Wilson, NC 27893.

A. We would suggest that the green and red combination might be correct. Some help from those who might know the answer would be appreciated.

20/8/22 George A. Burns, 7343 C. R. 18, Butler, IN 46721 would like to know the years of production and proper paint color for a HP Sattley air-cooled engine.

20/8/23Quirin L. Braun, RR 2, Box 119, Wheaton, MN 56296 is restoring a John Deere No. 7 combine. The galvanized sheet metal has a lot of iron stains on it. How can this be removed?

20/8/24 Bruce Gates, 241 Allegan St., Plainwell, MI 49080 has located an Otto like that shown on page 369, top-right-center of American Gas Engines. It carries s/n 3773 and has Schleicher, Schumm & Co. cast into the water jacket. Mr. Gates would like to correspond with someone relative to this engine, and further inquires if an 'Otto Engine Club' exists.


20/3/35 John Rex, who posed a question above, notes that regarding the Webster magneto Master Manual, he has thus far had no success in locating this material. Likewise, the Reflector, among several others has been looking for service data on these magnetos, but with only limited success. Mr. Rex notes Webster sold its line to three different companies, but the subsequent happenings remain a mystery.

20/3/12 Tom Crozier, RR 1, Ailsa Craig, Ontario NOM 1AO Canada writes that his replies to the problem of making new cork carburetor floats included the suggestion of laminating thin sections together. Some writers suggested the use of large fisherman's floats as a source of cork.

20/3/22 Regarding the comments on Deering Blue, Rev. John Bondy, 1220 Birch Lane, Cody, WY 82414 notes that he recently acquired a 1939 F-14 Farmall tractor which was obviously blue with red wheels. The original owner confirmed that the tractor was blue when he bought it. (This raises another interesting question, especially since International Harvester repeatedly gives 1936 as the changeover date from gray to blue to the familiar IH red).

20/3/8 Enoch S. Cook, 95 S. High Street, Bridgton, ME 04009 writes that he has an AG-6 Cletrac, s/n 3X434. It is known from the bill of sale to be a 1946 model. Since Mr. Miller's question in regard to his AG-6, s/n 3X8090 inquired as to the age of the machine, this information may be of help.

20/3/48 The Reflector is attempting to trace the owner of the marine engine pictured on page 10 of the May, 1985 issue under the above number. We omitted the owner's name in writing this one up.

20/3/36 Regarding the Adriance binder, Albert J. Ruhland, 8290 W. 280th St., New Prague, MN 56071 again replies that his 6 foot Adriance was bought new in 1916, has always been shedded, and is in excellent working condition. He would like to hear from anyone else with an Adriance binder, and will attempt to answer all letters in this regard.

20/3/14 John B. Mulford Jr., Penrith Farm, Lodi, NY 14860 writes that the 'Leader' engine from Field Force Pump Co., Elmira, NY was dark green in color. It had no pin striping. Field built most of these for use on orchard sprayers. Mr. Mulford also notes that he has located one of these engines, and after digging it out of the brush surrounding it, will bring it home. Another noteMulford's 1929 Case 25-45 cross-motor was battleship gray with red and yellow pin striping around the fenders and hood. So said the Case people, but Mulford's was a dark blue color when it was new. Any explanations for this one???

June issue, page 12, FBM Eclipse Regarding the Fairbanks Eclipse engine of Mr. Van Keirsbilck, are nameplates for this engine available? Leandre Nadeau, Box 133, Deauville, Quebec JOB 1NO Canada.

Hercules engine color John K. Stringham, Stringham Ranch, Belgrade, MO63622 sends us a photo of his Hercules with the original paint. It very closely matches John Deere green. (See photo on the following page.)

Oldest John Deere Tractor Frank Hansen, Rollingstone, MN 55969 writes in response to Ken Layher's recent letter regarding his JohnDeere Dain tractor. Mr. Hansen won a 1983 court suit against Deere & Company in which Deere was enjoined from claiming the Model D to be the first to bear the company name. In a detailed letter to the Editor, Mr. Hansen maintains his claim that his Dain tractor, s/n 191879 is the only complete John Deere Dain tractor in existence. As is a common occurence with this column, a simple lack of space precludes us from including Mr. Hansen's letter in its entirety.

20/3/18 Mr. Cook, noted in the previous answer, states that the Empire engine was blue. Notice the color illustration of this engine. Mr. Cook graciously loaned the Reflector a copy of an Empire catalog. Although undated, it illustrates these engines in 1, 2 3 5, 7, 10, 12, and 16 horsepower sizes. Low tension battery-type ignition was standard equipment, but a Wizard oscillating magneto could be furnished on special order. All sizes through 7 horsepower used a double weight flywheel governor, but the 10-16 HP sizes featured a gear-driven, 3-weight flyball governor.

Ron Kindred, 9560 Wellington Drive, Martinsville, IN 46151 inquires whether production of the John Deere 'A' began in 1937 or 1938. The book from Deere & Company entitled John Deere Tractors, 1918-1976 indicates that 1938 was the first year, beginning with No. 1,000. Mr. Kindred is restoring a small radiator Model A, s/n 3699. Some people say it is a 1937 model, and others claim it to be a 1938. Who is correct?


Sometime ago, the Reflector obtained a copy of From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932, by David A. Hounshell and published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hounshell begins with mass production technology of the federal armories in the early 19th century. Subsequently he deals with the sewing machine, the woodworking machine industry, the reaper, the bicycle, and finally, the automobile. Throughout, the thread of continuity attempts to show that mass production and accurate duplication of parts really did not occur until Henry Ford and the Model T came along.

Particularly in dealing with the reaper industry, we are almost led to believe that McCormick, Deering, and other reaper men were hardly more than country rubes, barely able to complete a machine, much less make them uniformly alike so that parts were readily interchangeable. The Reflector totally disagrees with this notion. Granted, Ford pushed the idea of mechanized production lines and the like, but in its own way, the reaper and grain binder industry was highly mechanized and certainly was able to reproduce interchangeable parts.

With many thousands of grain binders being sold during the last twenty five years of the nineteenth century, it takes little imagination to guess the outcry if parts were not interchangeable in the field. Farmers have a way of becoming impatient during harvest, and having to spend a week waiting for a part, then having to spend another couple of days hand fitting it seems absurd to us! Had this actually happened, we suspect that farmers in droves would have descended on the various reaper companies and their owners with the wrath of a swarm of July grasshoppers.

Having spent many years in an intensive study of the farm equipment industry, the Reflector suggests that had it not been for the pioneer manufacturing innovations of the McCormick's, the Deering's, William A. Whitely, and others, neither Ford nor anyone else would have been successful in adapting their manufacturing to a true mass production system for many years. We further suggest that far too often in today's historical tomes, the depth of research into farm machinery development is far too shallow for an accurate assessment. Anyone who has ever worked with a grain binder fully understands the idiosyncracies of the knotter mechanism. That it works at all is almost miraculous, even with today's technology. That it worked a century ago, and was actually able to work days on end with missing barely a single tie, is even more amazing when it is remembered that the farmer of a century ago knew as much about a grain binder as today's farmer

knows about bionic cattle. Having stated our position, we rest our case, strongly prejudiced in favor of the farm equipment industry as a leading force in American industrial development.