A Brief Word



Ron Larson

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We're unable to give any details as yet, but we're optimistic about a 1993 engine tour in England. So far, we've received a substantial number of responses, but on the other hand, we've not yet been able to determine anything about exact dates, and other details. We'll be working at this in the coming weeks and months, and as soon as possible, we'll present further details. In the meantime, if you're interested, be sure to send in your response. Chances are that the tour will be limited to 50 or 60 people. Getting the tour too large makes it nearly impossible to handle from the logistical standpoint. This will probably be our last request for your response. If interested in a 1993 engine tour of England, drop us a line at: Tour Survey, Gas Engine Magazine, PO Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.

From time to time, people ask us why we talk about diesel engines, power house engines, and other internal combustion types outside of the ordinary farm engine. There are several reasons we suppose, and we'll attempt to explain our position:

First of all, the so-called farm engines actually made up a rather small portion of overall gas engine output in the half century ending with 1940. In terms of total horsepower, there's no doubt that more engines were sold for commercial and industrial duty than for farm duty. Curiously, Fairbanks, Morse & Company stands alone as the major builder of both the farm engines and the large gas, gasoline, and diesel engines. Comparing only the farm engines, it appears that International Harvester was probably the greatest competitor to the Fairbanks-Morse gas engine line. Stover, Witte, and Galloway built substantial numbers, as did John Deere. However, for sheer numbers, it appears that the Fairbanks-Morse line stands at the top of the heap, with International Harvester being perhaps nearly equal. Exact numbers are now impossible to obtain, but given a review of the various models and sizes, we believe that Fairbanks and IHC were probably neck-and-neck.

Yet, the farm engines were but a part of the overall development of gas, gasoline, and diesel engines. The development of the automotive engine, multiple-cylinder tractor engines, and aircraft engines are each of vital importance. Development of the diesel engine design is yet another important step, and virtually tons of books, magazines, theses, and papers have been written on the various aspects of all. In fact, the technical literature for the farm engines is in short supply, compared to that for engines of other types. Yet another factor is the simple fact that the farm engines which we so avidly collect really existed for only about a half century.

In the opinion of ye olde Reflector, maintaining and preserving the heritage of early engine development is paramount, particularly as applied to the so-called farm engines. Yet, we also feel a definite need to preserve the heritage which has come down to us regarding those other types . . . those large engines in which a single piston and rod weighs nearly half a ton . . . and those very large engines with dimensions that defy an honest description.

The point is that we try to maintain some sort of balance in what we bring to you each month. We've had several articles on the Brons engines, which here in the U. S. are called Hvid engines, and which are typified by the Thermoil, and others of its class. Some of you are excited by these engines, while many of you have little interest in them. The same could be said for many other categories-Maytag compared to Mogul, hit-and-miss compared to throttling governors, or Stickney compared to Sattley. All have their protagonists, and all have their detractors. That's the interesting part of our hobby-there are lids to fit every jar! And, we'll try to bring you new and different jars every month!

Our queries this month begin with:

27/10/1 Wards Powerlite Q. I have a Wards Powerlite electric plant, model 64mx4930-A, from Montgomery Ward, Chicago. It has a two-cylinder, four-cycle engine, with no maker's marks I can find. Generator is 3 kva at 1800 r.p.m., and has 12 volt electric start, and battery charger built into generator. I would guess it to have been built in 1946. Can anyone supply a copy or information on the operating instructions and/or wiring diagram of this unit? John O. Leer, 5202 Bean Road, Eau Claire, Wl 54703.

A. Can anyone be of help?

27/10/2 Help Needed Q. First of all, photo 2A shows my 8 HP IHC Famous of 1911 vintage being pulled by my two-kid team of Cindy and Nick. Photo 2B shows an unidentified engine. The nameplate reads: E2, 5/8 HP, 1750 r.p.m., s/n E2 121134- No make is listed. Any help will be appreciated. Ron Larson, 22251 Pillsbury Ave., Lakeville, MN 55044.

27/10/3 Thanks Andrew Szurek, 2809 Silver Lane NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421 sends us a photocopy of a manual for the Indian motorcycle. Needless to say, it's already in the files!

27/10/4 Waterloo - Cray Bros.? Q. On page 435 of American Gas Engines is the Waterloo 1?  and 2 HP engine. My friend has one like this, but the nameplate reads: Cray Bros. Gas Engine Co. No. 124334, V/2 HP, Cleveland, Ohio. Patented Aug 7, 1900; Dec 3, 1901; Oct 7, 1902; Aug 6, 1907; patents pending. Can you explain this? Andrew Richley, 1456 Rt 354, RFD 1, Attica, NY 14011.

A. Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company at Waterloo, Iowa built this engine for Cray Bros, and they attached their own nameplate, or had the folks at Waterloo attach it for them. Waterloo built engines for several different companies.

27/10/5 Unknown Tractor Q. See the photo of an unidentified tractor. It uses a Hercules IXB-3 engine, hydraulic brakes, and is painted red. It has 28-inch rear wheels, and 16-inch fronts. Any information will be appreciated. Dave Grube, Box 88, Ringgold, PA 15770.

27/10/6 Unidentified Engine Q. Can anyone identify the engine in the two photographs? It is of four-cylinder, four-cycle, air-cooled design, but 1 can find no name, model, or serial numbers. P. S. Brooke Jr., 830 E . 35th Ave., Spokane, WA 99203-3162.

27/10/7 Hallet Diesel Q. We found here in Fort Bragg, California a two-cylinder Hallet Diesel, Model D2MS, s/n 9444. It was made in Englewood, California. Can anyone supply any information on this engine or the Hallet Company? Andy's Appliance Service, 32501 Mill Creek Drive, Ft. Bragg, CA 95437.

27/10/8 Thanks! To Max F. Homfeld, 7964 Oakwood Park Ct., St. Michaels, MD 21663, for sending along some useful background information on various subjects.

27/10/9 Fairbanks Eclipse No. 1 Q. What is the purpose of the 'valve' at the bottom of the fuel inlet? How should this engine be oiled? Should a certain amount of oil be put in the crankcase? And should the crankcase be vented? What is the normal operating speed? Is unleaded gas okay to use? What is the significance of the numbers 1,2,3 stamped on top of the needle valve? Rod Petree, 629 Santa Paula Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086-3417.

A. We assume that by 'valve' you mean the fuel tube and check valve beneath the needle valve. The check valve at the bottom holds fuel at the proper level in the fuel tube. Of course the oil cup on the side of the engine must be filled. The crankcase holds oil up to the level of the small plug near the bottom of the base, opposite the flywheel side. The rated operating speed is 700 r.p.m. for this engine, although for show purposes you may wish to cut this back considerably. We find no problem in using unleaded gas whatever. The numbers on the needle valve are simply reference points.

27/10/10 Jumbo Engine Q. I have a Jumbo engine, Model TA, s/n 19511, 1? HP. Can you tell me what year it was made, and the correct color? It appears to have been a bright red at one time. Any information will be appreciated. James S. Harries, 23 Wales Rd., M o n s o n , MA01057.

A. We have D u P o n t 2015 Green listed as a comparable color match for the [Nelson Bros.] Jumbo engines. There is no serial number information that might date the engine. It may well have been red as the original color, especially since it may have been sold by a jobber other than Nelson Bros.

27/10/11 Fire Pump Q. See the photo. It shows a Ford flathead V-8 connected to a 750 gpm pump. It was used by Fleet Aircraft Industries in Fort Erie, Ontario as a backup fire pump. The whole thing is mounted on a heavy cast iron base. The tag on the engine reads: General Power Inc., Quapaw, Oklahoma, Unit No. V8-2538. There is also a tag which reads: Consolidated Engines & Machinery Co. Ltd., Montreal and Toronto. I would like to know the year of the engine and if the company still exists today. Any information will be appreciated. Ron Boer, 2652 Upper Apt W, Hwy 3, RR 1, Port Colbome, Ontario L3K 5V3 Canada.

27/10/12 Storm Boring Bar Q. I have a Storm Model NS boring bar, and very much need an operators manual and parts list. The automatic shut-off doesn't seem to work. I think there is a part (or parts) missing. The company states, 'There is no one else, and no one still living, that will be able to answer your questions.' Can anyone be of help? Any information will be greatly appreciated. K. D. Jefferson, 108 East Drive, Gallipolis, OH 45631.

A. Aside from some catalog data, we have nothing on the Storm boring bar. Can anyone help?

27/10/13 Information Needed Q. I have a marine engine, 2 HP, s/n 10452 built by Canadian Fairbanks Morse. Where were they made, what year, what color, and what happened to the company?

I also have a Cushman 4 HP Model C, made in Lincoln, Nebraska, sin U1519. What year, what color, and what carburetor?

Is there a history of the Schebler carburetor, and perhaps a catalog or parts book?

Can anyone advise where to secure the sight glasses for the Manzel force-feed lubricators?

Any help will be appreciated. F. A. Holmes, 2791 Trillium Place, North Vancouver, BC, V7H 1J3 Canada.

A. We wish we could tell you something about Canadian Fairbanks Morse but we have never found any information on this company.

All of the Cushman verticals used a Schebler carburetor, while the horizontals used Cushman's own carburetor. We do indeed have some Schebler information, and we will try to incorporate it into a coming issue of the magazine. Can anyone advise whether Manzel parts are available?

27/10/14 Information Needed Q. Can anyone supply information on this engine: Kootz & Stroehman Machine Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia; also a Perfection Pumping Power, Tag No. 890. It has a 7-inch bore. Any information will be greatly appreciated. John G. Lazar, RD 4, Box 453-A, Leechburg, PA 15656.

Thanks Again! To Andrew Szurek, 2809 Silver Lane NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421, this time for sending a photocopy of the manual for the Whizzer bike motor.

27/10/16 Fairfield Engine Q. See the photo of a Fairfield engine, s/n 5053, 4? HP. 1 would like to know the year made, the proper color, and other information on this company. Marion Sickel, RR 1, Box 125-A, DeValls Bluff, AR 72041.

A. The Fairfield was built by Fairfield Engine Company, Fairfield, Iowa. It first appeared about 1915 and disappeared after a few years. This engine is pictured on page 168 of American Gas Engines. We do not have a comparable color match, but there are a few of these engines in existence, and perhaps a Fairfield owner will be inclined to send you the paint information.

27/10/17 Aurora Engine Co. Q. From a 1906 magazine we glean the following: The Aurora Engine Company has been incorporated in Stockton, California for the purpose of manufacturing gas engines for use in operating combined harvesters. Gas engines for this use will have a ready sale and the company anticipates a large demand for their engines.

Can anyone supply any information on this company or its engines? If so, contact: Ye olde Reflector, Gas Engine Magazine, PO Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Readers Write

Thanks to Herbert H. Eltz, RFD 1, Box 109, Juniata, NE 68955 for sending along information relative to several queries, as follows:

27/6/1 Stewart Tire Pump You are right that some early cars used them. I have one that Dad had. Also another one which has a short stroke and quite large diameter cylinder. They were not run from open gears on the motor but used an extra drive gear on the crankshaft or an open pump or magneto shaft.

27/7/4A Remy Generator The Remy generator is an automotive job. I have one like it, don't know what from. Most of the old generators were large, they were slow speed. The large Auto-Lite generator would start generating when spun over by hand. I used one on a wind charger; in a strong wind it would put out 32 volts, run directly with a 40 inch, 15 blade windmill wheel. It was built in 1937, and I still have it.

27/7/24B Ringer This was a ringer used at a switchboard to replace the hand crank.

27/7/16 Hercules Engine This is a follow-up regarding an earlier reply. I found another ad from the Pacific Rural Press showing a single flywheel vertical Hercules and another view of the two-flywheel Hercules vertical. Carl Mehr, 12513 Elnora Dr., Penn Valley, CA 95946.

Carl also sent along a list of West Coast engine builders from 1890 to about 1930, and our thanks to him!

27/7/44 Husker-Shredder This is a U. S. Standard Husker-Shredder made by the U. S. Wind Engine Company, Batavia, Illinois. A good picture of this machine is on page 323 of Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors. Paul Fischer, 5194 St. Marys-Kossuth, St. Marys, OH 45885.

26/11/24 Speedex Thanks to the many people who responded to my query. Since then I've found a four-wheeled garden tractor with the name of Baird on it. It was made in Stratford, Connecticut and has a 1950 patent date. Any information on this one will be appreciated. Edward Pedrick, PO Box 393, Santa Maria, CA 93456-0393.

Brons and Hvid Patents We have at hand another letter and additional information in this regard, and in addition to that which we published earlier. Thanks to J. Vegter, Hoofdweg 107, 9628 CM, Siddeburen, Holland for this interesting data!

The original U. S. Patent for the Brons system was issued to Jan Brons and Nanno Timmer on October 22, 1907 under No. 868,839.

Brons and Timmer developed the system, but they used it primarily on vertical engines; Hvid modified it for use primarily on horizontal engines. This required a different precombustion chamber, and that was the major change which Hvid effected. However, Hvid did not invent the pre-chamber, it was invented by Brons and Timmer. Rather, Hvid modified the pre-chamber for use on horizontal engines. All told, it appears that R. M. Hvid Company paid Bronsmotoren Fabrik about $45,000 for non-exclusive rights to the Brons patents. The contract was signed on August 12, 1914.

R. M. Hvid Company was established at Battle Creek, Michigan during 1912 by men who were formerly connected with the Advance Thresher Company. At that time, Advance was taken over by M. Rumely Company, and the Advance tractor was discontinued by Rumely. Mr. Bush, a director of Advance, along with Mr. Hvid, who had designed the Advance tractor engine, were the organizers of the R. M. Hvid Company, and their firm was capitalized at $40,000 for the purpose of securing the manufacturing rights on several firms of oil burning tractors and leasing these rights to various U. S. manufacturers. As is now known, the rights were sold mainly to engine companies, and the result was a number of different oil engines such as the Thermoil, the Evinrude, the Burnoil, and several others.

Modelmaker's Corner

Matthew Clarke, 520 45th Avenue, Norwalk, IA 50211 sends along a couple of nice photographs (MM1 & MM2). One is of a new IHC Tom Thumb model, and another is of an IHC Famous model. Both models use the same back half.

Mr. Clarke scaled both models, including making the patterns and pouring his own grey iron castings. Our congratulations to Mr. Clarke for his efforts. Modelmaking has become very popular in recent years. Due to the scarcity of some engine models, due to the problems of storing full-sized engines, and due to the innate desire some of us have to work at a lathe, more and more modelmakers are appearing on the scene. As always, we encourage this activity.

Ye olde Reflector has accumulated a tremendous amount of machine shop data and information... we have rather complete runs of American Machinist and of Machinery Magazine going back to their nineteenth century beginnings. For years, we've wanted to include some of this material in the 'Reflections' column, and we've even thought of incorporating some of the significant ideas into a book of some kind. Unfortunately, we have but two hands, and with each passing year, it seems they accomplish just a little less. As someone once said, 'When you're over the hill, you begin to pick up speed!'

A Closing Word

Among our research collection is a small run of Gas and Oil Power, a journal published in England. The March 1949 issue carries an article illustrating a new single-cylinder, four-cycle diesel engine introduced by Nordberg Mfg. Company. This new engine, the Model 4FS-1, was built with a 4? x 5? inch bore and stroke, and was rated at 10 horsepower with a speed of 1200 r.p.m. Proof of its heavy construction is obvious when it is noted that this engine used a crankshaft with a diameter of 3? inches. It also used a 3-inch piston pin. We have never seen or heard of this engine outside of the above article. Do any of these engines still exist?

Recently, ye olde Reflector toured the Navistar engine plant at Melrose Park, Illinois. We were invited on the tour by Mr. Leonard Squinto, Chief Engineer for the company. Watching the construction of the Navistar (formerly International) engines from rough castings to an operating engine was indeed an interesting tour!

Every engine coming off the assembly line is placed into a test cell and operated for a period of time. Beyond this, some engines are run for extended periods, and many more test cells are used for experimental engines. In fact, we understand that Navistar uses over 800,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year, just in the test cells!

As some of you may know, Navistar is working on their NGD (New Generation Diesel) engines with fully electronic fuel injection. This is an entirely new concept which eliminates the injection pump with which we are all familiar, and replaces it with a programmable circuit board. The inner workings of this radically new design are far more complicated than we are able to explain here, but within the next few months, we'll probably be hearing more about this new design.

Some of you are probably wondering if there's a point to this discussion. There is! The engines we so avidly collect are only a part of an evolutionary process that began with the Otto Silent and has continued unabated for over a century. Our very collectible engines will become even more so as time flies by. Yet we wonder whether we aren't at the threshold of seeing some radically new developments in engine designs. In many applications, the gasoline engine has already come and gone, being almost entirely replaced with the diesel. In the 1920s, air injected diesels were the accepted practice. Then came various types of mechanical injection pumps, and they have seen many, many changes during the years. Now it appears that before long, the mechanical injection pump might be largely replaced with a new generation which combines hydraulics and electronics into a neat package. And the march continues!