A Brief Word

Novo engine


Carroll Pederson

Content Tools

Ye olden Reflector has recently returned from Antique Power land at Brooks, Oregon. On July 29 & 30 they put on their show, along with the National Meeting of Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association. We were delighted with the show ... there were lots of engines and tractors on hand which we had never seen before! Of particular interest to this writer was the big three-cylinder, 80 HP, Fairbanks-Morse Type R engine. It was belted to a big centrifugal pump, and was an impressive sight, in addition to providing some beautiful stack music.

Many other fine engines were present, including a Mery, a Regan, a Woodpecker, and others too numerous to name. Models abounded, but we were especially taken by John Palmer's Oil Pull model, built completely from scratch except for the magneto and spark plugs.

All the talks were very kind to us, and this was greatly appreciated. We made a lot of new acquaintances, and also renewed many old friendships. Also of mention were the large selection of tractors, many of them being one-of-a-kind, or at least, very rare.

On Saturday evening, July 29, the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association held their Annual Meeting. Among other things, safety and insurance considerations were discussed. As an interested observer, the point came across loud and clear that safety at the shows is becoming an ever increasing concern. For instance, we noted that many of the engine displays were surrounded by two ropes or twines, one at about 1 feet, and the second at about 3 feet high, ostensibly to keep little tykes from blundering into an operating display.

What with today's society, hell bent on lawsuits, we came away with even more conviction that it is imperative to police your own area, and allow others into your display only with your permission. We suggest keeping your displays far enough away from the fence so that spectators don't wildly wave their fingers about and get them entangled in the mechanisms. Keep fuel cans out of harm's way, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Another point of discussion was the matter of having a clean-up kit handy in case of a fuel or oil spill. Government regulations (and regulators) are getting more intent on setting an example, and we'd hope that none of you are the recipients of their regulatory balderdash. However, to be on the safe side, we'd suggest that you try to avoid fuel or oil spills, and if this should happen, that you clean it up before there's a problem.

Following the EDGETA business meeting, several people were inducted into the National Gas & Steam Hall of Fame. Among those inducted was ye olden Reflector, presumably because we've been writing about old engines and tractors for 25 years. We feel greatly honored by this award, and a bit humbled. Even after a quarter century of writing, and having amassed a sizable collection of materials on the subject, we find new things almost on a daily basis. In visiting with some of the folks at Antique Power land, we discovered some new engines and new tractors that had previously escaped our notice. Purchasing a small cache of old magazines yielded still further data on engine companies which we'd never heard of before. So for this writer, being inducted into the Hall of Fame is certainly a landmark along the path of life. Perhaps its greatest legacy will be to goad us further into new writing projects.

Largely as a result of our visit to the Brooks Show, we have decided to move forward with another major book on gas engines, somewhat in the style of American Gas Engines. If you have information and/or engines that you'd like to see included in a future volume, kindly drop us a line here at the Reflections column. We'll file these letters separately, and when we move into actually writing the book, we'll be able to contact you further in this regard.

Our first query this month begins with:

30/10/1 Novo Engine Q. See the photo of a recently acquired Novo engine, s/n AG37225. It has a 2 inch bore, stands 18 inches high, and has a 10-inch flywheel. I would like to know the horsepower, and the type of magneto and carburetor used on this engine. Carroll Pederson, 22122 - 61st St E, Sumner, WA 98390.

A. Since this engine was designed primarily as one half of a contractor's pump, we're not sure that it was horsepower rated. At least none of the literature we searched gave any indication. There are some of these engines still about, so perhaps some of the current owners can provide some information.

30/10/2 Reproduction Nameplates? Q. Is there anyone out there in GEM land making reproduction nameplates? Some miscreant stole mine. Also when was a 1 HP Model Z Fairbanks-Morse engine, s/n 452607 made? Stirling K. Welch, 1208 Truman SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.

A. We can answer your second question; 1921.

30/10/3 Dempster Q. See the photo of my 3 HP Dempster Class 'E' engine. I would like to hear from anyone who has one or has information on same. Mine is s/n 5261. Kent Zobel, RR 1, Box 35 A, Monroe, NE 68647.

30/10/4 Fairbanks-Morse Q. See the photo of an upright Fairbanks' Morse engine, one-cylinder, Model 1B-7, s/n 66-297622, 2 HP. The plate reads: Manufactured for Fairbanks-Morse Company by D. W. Onan & Sons. What year was this engine made, and how many were built? Dale Warden, RR 2, Box 488, Underwood, MN 56586.

A. We're not sure of the production period, but it appears to have been in the early 1950s, and then for only a short time. Even the company's own records are silent on this point; when we compiled the centennial history of the company we worked with numerous people at Beloit. The Onan-built engines, like several other products bearing the F-M name, have no records there, except for an occasional advertising piece.

30/10/5 Babbitt Bearings Q. I would be interested in any information you might have on casting Babbitt bearings. I would like to cast them as shells and insert them in the carriers, as opposed to casting them in place.

As to safety and experience, I operate a small backyard foundry, using green sand, and cast aluminum, brass, and bronze. I made both the aluminum pot furnace and the bronze crucible furnaces myself. I spent seven years as quality manager in a commercial grey and ductile iron foundry, now closed. I use safety equipment such as aluminized jackets, chaps, and face shields whenever I handle molten metals. Any help will be appreciated. Art DeKalb, 51 Van Alstyne Dr., Pulaski, NY 13142.

A. Casting bearings in shells is comparatively easy. After making the suitable mandrel and shell, we prefer to blacken it with acetylene smoke so the Babbitt doesn't stick. By using a hollow mandrel, it's easier to preheat everything. We like to preheat up to about 250 degrees or so. Getting the mandrel too hot will cause blistering and air pockets. This eliminates a lot of problems with cold shots, and gives any dross a chance to come to the top. The various radii can be machined as part of the pouring jig to eliminate a lot of hand work later. The only major problem we see with this plan is in anchoring the shells to the carriers or connecting rods later. Particularly if the latter arc not machined, we would prefer pouring in place. By using a nice clean shaft over multiple main bearings, it's easier to align the crank to its bearings after pouring. Depending on the alloy used, the pouring temperature will range from 625 to 700 degrees on lead-base Babbitt. A good gauge is that the Babbitt will partially darken a pine stick plunged into the pot. To all, we issue the usual warning ... use heavy gloves, face mask, and other body protection! Babbitt rite and Duxseal used to be available (and may not be anymore) for plugging up the leaks. If not, good stiff clay or fire cement are possible substitutes.

30/10/6 IHC Engine Q. We recently found an old McCormick-Deering engine, 6 HP, s/n CW18424. We'd like to know when it was made, and if it is in your book. Mario Morin, CSP 334, Magog, Quebec J1X 3W9 Canada.

A. Your engine was built in 1930. It is pictured on page 249 of American Gas Engines, and on 138 and 139 of 150 Years of International Harvester.

30/10/7 Woolery Engine Q. See the photos of my 5 HP Model A Woolery engine, s/n 2700. I would like help on age, color, pinstriping, and general restoration. Raymond Wickham, Box 402, Dumont, IA 50625-0402.

A. Could any Woolery owners be of help here?

30/10/8 Standard-Walsh Q. I am restoring a Standard-Walsh garden tractor. Can you tell me the paint colors for this tractor? Everett Verdon, Star Rte, Box 74, Roseboom, NY 13450.

A. Some help here would be appreciated.

30/10/9 Sears Waterwitch Q. I have a Sears Waterwitch twin-cylinder outboard motor (see photo). Any information on this would be appreciated. Also I have a one-cylinder Sea-Bee, s/n 522531, Model 025-3574, and would like any information on it. Brad Cannon, 2820 Sunset Ln, Lot 18, Henderson, KY 42420.

A. Is anyone familiar with these out-boards?

30/10/10 Viking Twin Q. I recently acquired a Viking Twin garden tractor. I have mechanically restored it and would like to complete the job by cleaning and painting it. However, I am unable to find out the proper color scheme. It was made by Allied Motor Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I would also like to know when it was made; s/n 401CF 1265. Mark Ostrander, 14488 Bierman Rd., Rigo, MI 49276.

A. Would the Viking owners please step forward?

30/10/11 FIMACO Lawn Tractor Q. See the photo of a FIMACO 58 Lawn Tractor. I'm told it was produced in the Lancaster County (Pa.) area. Does any one have any information on this tractor or the company that built it? Ralph Walters, 37 Cepp Rd., Perkiomenville, PA 18074-9697.

A. Can anyone help on this one?

30/10/12 How About This?

Dave Dickinson, 6190 Keller Ave., Newfane, NY 14108 writes: Here is a picture of me shortly after I told my wife that I had bought my fourth engine of the week ... the Little Jumbo 1 HP engine and mud sucker in the background. (Note that all we can see of Dave is his toes... apparently, he's flat on his back, either asleep, or ???????)

30/10/13 Prodigy Service

My purpose in writing is to inform you of a new line of communication that can be accessed by computer users who are subscribers of the Prodigy service. Fellow engine enthusiasts and collectors have established the 'engine net' in the Antique and Collectible bulletin board (bb). Simply get 'on-line' and get into the 'collecting 1 bb' category, then click on to the topic 'other' and you will see three or four antique engine categories that can be viewed. We even have established an unlisted 'chat' room for private chat between members. The password will be given out upon request through the individual's mailbox.

This has opened up new avenues of communication and assistance among fellow engine hobbyists from all over the country. I have 'met' friends that I haven't yet met personally, but hope that someday I will.

Also see photo 13A of a Ford F4 truck with a F-M Type Z, 3 HP engine and a McCormick-Deering Type M, 6 HP engine. They are belted to a com cob grinder and a grain grinder made by the Marvin Smith Co. of Chicago. Photo 13B shows a ? scale Associated Hired Man belted to a working pump jack. Photo 13C is a half scale Domestic. Joe Kelley, ID #DZGE58A, 25 Wessnette Dr., Hampden, ME 04444.

30/10/14 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an engine no one has identified so far. It was found on a farm in the upper peninsula of Michigan. This engine has a 2 inch bore, L-head, and four-stroke design. It is splash lubricated. The speed is governor controlled at a preset level, with a separate hand-operated throttle valve for 'no-had' operation. The base appears to be a very dark green. All the parts have a 'GM' prefix. Someone told me of their vague (?) recollection of Delco once building a line of stationary pumping engines. Could this be one? Any and all help will be appreciated. Donald J. Armstrong, 2844 Deborah Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

30/10/15 Domestic Engine Q. I have just acquired a 4 HP Domestic engine and pump, s/n 22096. Could anyone tell me the year built? Also, what is the original color scheme? It is currently a light gray, but I don't know if this is original. An additional question: the Domestic name is cast upside down on the base. Was this typical, or simply a mistake in the foundry? Dr. David E. Rotigel, RD 4, Box 143, Greensburg, PA 15601.

A. We're not sure whether any Domestic engine records still exist. Can anyone advise? Likewise, we do not have a color match for the Domestic engines. If someone can send this information over to us, we'll be glad to put it on file.

30/10/16 Fordson Q. See the photos of a mid-mounted Junior Mower, s/n 1893 made by the Detroit Harvester Co. I am currently fitting it to a Fordson F for which it was designed. Can you tell me anything of the company or the colors used on this mower? There are traces of red still visible. The gear box which has a reciprocating action is mounted directly to the differential housing of the tractor.  John Caldwell, Kelk Cottage, Crosshouse, By Kilmarnock, Scotland KA2 0BG.

A. Detroit Harvester was an early manufacturer of mounted mowers, designed particularly for mowing roadsides. The company continued manufacturing similar machinery for some years, and apparently specialized in these products. It, or a subsidiary, may still be involved in this endeavor. Whether the company was somehow connected to the Detroit Tractor Company of 1914 is unknown.

30/10/17 Curtis Compressor Q. See the photos of a Model B Curtis compressor, s/n 7665, size 3 x 3, and 250 rpm. Could anyone advise when this machine was built? Also what went in the opening in the block? Any kind of information would be greatly appreciated. George T. Benge, Rt 2, Box 41M, Lovington, NM 88260.

A. Does anyone have information on Curtis air compressors?

30/10/18 Empire Engine Q. I have found another engine; it is an Empire 1 HP, s/n 62535. The engine was originally blue, and the nameplate in-decades that it was built for Cockshutt Plow Co. Ltd., Brantford, Ontario. This engine has a 2-piece water hopper, just like a 1 HP Alamo. Can anyone advise any history on this engine, or when it was built? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Kevin Bergen, #202 - 1966 Pandosy St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1S1 Canada.

A. This engine was likely of the same color as the Alamo Blue Line engines, namely, GM Corporate Blue.

30/10/19 Kirloskar Engine Q. See the photos of a Kirloskar engine. I would appreciate any information on this unit. Wm. Spoerl, 5531 Fond du Lac, Dubuque, IA 52002.

30/10/20 Agri-Cat Q. See the photo of my Agri-Cat. It was built in California by Roost Mfg. Co. Any information on this unit is appreciated.

Also, I have a Holt dozer built at Independence, Oregon, by Francis Holt. It has a 172 Ford engine, Sherman forward-reverse box and a Clark rear end. I'd like to correspond with anyone having information on this unit. Les Greenstreet, PO Box 2007, Palmer, AK 99645.

30/10/21 Morton Engine Q. Can anyone out there help me to obtain further information on the Morton engines, as illustrated on page 319 of American Gas Engines? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Louis Moore, PO Box 522, Edgar Springs, MO 65462.

30/10/22 Hayes Engine Q. See photos of my Hayes engine. In the past thirty years the one included in Reflections of June '95 (30/6/9) is the only other I have found. As you can see, mine is much different. In 1965 I bought it from a neighbor for $5.00. I contacted the Galva (Illinois) Chamber of Commerce and some old employees concluded that Hayes didn't actually build the engines. This conclusion was reinforced when I found that my engine looks like a Deyo-Macey on page 133 or a Gifford on page 206 of American Gas Engines.

My engine is a 1 HP model with s/n 641. Color is a somewhat faded pea green. The decal in 22A has been repainted but the one in 22B is still original. Colors of the decal are quite plain: the circle is outlined with black, the large circle is green; darker than the engine, but not as dark as the green in the photo. Black letters say 'Hayes Farm Tools and Pumps, Galva, Ill.' The cross is black with 'Hayes' in both directions in red and the four blank spaces are a shade of orange. This engine is high quality and runs well. It uses a buzz coil and has a built-in set of points. The gas tank is cast in the base. It used to run woodworking equipment in a shop fry means of line shaft. Dar-rell Reichow, 20340-195th Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307.

A. Unfortunately Darrell's photos slid down behind our computer and we couldn't locate them in time for publication in the September issue. We apologize for the delay.

30/10/23 Letz Grinders Q. I have a Model 6 Letz grinder, Type A. The tag also says, 'Crown Point, Indiana.' Yet, on the hopper there appears to be part of the word 'Minneapolis.' Is there a connection? Most importantly, I need to know the proper colors, and the design of the logo on the hopper. Mike Turpin, 7028 Mustang Rd., Shepherd, MT 59079.

A. The colors are orange and blue, but we don't have a color match.

30/10/24 Lister Engine Q. Can anyone supply information on a 2 HP Lister Model D engine, s/n 82123, SPC-11D2? When was it built? Was it made in England or in Canada? Any information will be appreciated.  Hal Opdyke, 4960 Sioux Way, Okemos, MI 48864.

A. So far as we know the Lister was built in England, although a great many were shipped to Canada. Beyond that, we must defer to our British collectors, or perhaps to some of our own American collectors who have researched the Lister line.

30/10/25 Information Needed Q. In April 1990 I discovered that I had russets and it has gotten progressively worse (which means better) over the years. I'm now recovering from a side effect of this ailment (a hernia) and thought it a good time to sit down and share through the Reflections column.

Photo 25A is of a Brown wall, s/n 36XX with a 6 x 7 inch bore and stroke. It is headless with a cast-in-place valve chamber. I would like to know the horsepower, when built, and the color. Photo 25B is of a Domestic side shaft, 5 HP, with the original wagon, seat/battery box. I would estimate this engine to have been made about 1917. Photo 25C is a 3 HP Waterloo Boy Type H, complete with Wizard magneto, crank guard, and belt pulley. When was it built? Any information, instructions, etc. on these three engines would be greatly appreciated. Paul Spence, 1543 Laguna Lane, Lakewood, NJ 08701.

30/10/26 What Is It? Q. See the two photos of an unidentified tool. It was found in a barn near Chicago, Illinois. The machine is marked Defiance Button Machine Co., New York, New York, Machine No. 29. Edwin H. Brede-meier, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441.

30/10/27 Stover Engine Q. I have a Stover Model Y, s/n 137106 (see page 31 of Power in the Past, Volume 3). The engine was supplied to Piker's of Paris, France, in 1920.

I am now restoring the engine to original condition and need the bracket which attaches to the exhaust push rod (' round) and holds the push finger journal for the Webster magneto. However, this is not listed in the parts lists. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Barry Buckley, 12 Bennett Close, Welling, KentDA163HU England.

A. The Webster parts and linkages apparently came from Webster, or as part of a magneto assembly, and usually don't show up in the parts lists. Perhaps some one of our readers might have a Stover 2 HP Y engine with the Webster magneto, and might be able to furnish photos and dimensions of same to you.

30/10/28 Information Needed Q. Can anyone supply information on the following tractors:

McCormick-Deering 22-36, s/n TG157526MB. This serial number is higher than the listings shown in the book, 150 Years of International Harvester, but it I guess it is 1936.

English Fordson, Model N, s/n 979037 Massey-Harris 25, s/n 73634. This tractor is a three-speed '25' but is styled in Australia (Sunshine, Victoria) by H. V. McKay to resemble the new Pacemakers. They were known out here as a 'Red 25' or Pacemaker. H. V. McKay and Massey-Harris came to an agreement in 1930 that allowed Massey-Harris to distribute McKay's 'Sunshine' harvesting equipment in North America. This also allowed Massey-Harris equipment to be sold in Australia under the H. V. McKay name.

Any help would be appreciated. L. G. Polgreen, PO Box 5, Arthurton 5572, South Australia, Australia.

A. All of our serial number lists end with TG157477, so we'd assume your 22-36 is at the very tail end of the run, probably 1935, or perhaps 1936. The starting s/n for the English Fordson in 1938 is 826779, so we'd assume yours to be of that year. We have no further serial numbers on this one. Our lists for the '25' aren't very informative, but we know that the beginning number for 1931 was 69000. Thus, we'd believe yours to be a 1931 or a 1932 model.

30/10/29 General Electric Q. See the photos of a General Electric 25kw generator set. These units were made by General Electric in the early part of the century under a contract with the US Army. The sets were installed in coastal defense fortifications to supply auxiliary power to the rifle batteries. Approximately 250 units were produced and installed in batteries both in the United States and overseas.

The Fort MacArthur Museum is located in Battery Osgood-Farley on the Upper Reservation of Ft. MacArthur. Volunteers have restored the Power Room to nearly original condition. All that's missing to finish this restoration are the two generators. The location of a handful of these sets is known. One set is in a museum at Ft. Stevens in Oregon, another at Ft. Moultry in South Carolina, and some at Ft. Monroe. There is a generator rumored to be in Hawaii, but no one can verify its existence. The museum has made attempts to retrieve the remaining generators located in the Panama Canal Zone without success. The government bureaucracy is a quagmire.

Not many people know that GE provided this type of equipment early in this century. A visit to the Antique Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California, gave me the opportunity to question the docents and mechanics there. No one seemed to know anything about these machines. Chances are slim that we can find a set, but someone might recognize the equipment in the photographs. Any information or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Patrick Mur-man, 17311 Lee Circle, Ft. MacArthur Museum Association, Huntington Beach, CA 92647.

Readers Write

30/7/27 Unidentified Engine

I believe this to be an Olds Type R, 1 HP model, which unfortunately, is not illustrated in American Gas Engines. Possibly this is a photo of a prototype, as I see some possible differences to the production engine; the base cut-out seems to be shallower, and the governor weight is hinged differently; third, I see no evidence of carburetion or exhaust which should come straight upward from the head. Yes, the Olds Type R has two flywheels. Leonard Spoelman, 3221 Brookshire SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.

30/7/1A Unidentified

I have this same engine. There is no tag stating it is a Fairbanks-Morse. The crab and exhaust manifold are separate units. The flywheels, crankcase and cylinder are the same. There are numbers cast on the crankcase (A7318), cylinder (A1313), and each flywheel A3157, and A3156. Houston Sliger, PO Box 235, High Island, TX 77623.


The engine belonging to Len Bontje is either a Scott or a Jowett engine, built in Yorkshire, England. Len will be able to find these names, together with the serial number, stamped into the crankcase casting immediately below the governor linkage on the left hand side of the engine. For the benefit of your readers, this is a two-cycle engine developing about 4 horsepower. Cooling is by induction, that is, air is drawn down over the cylinder and out through the flywheel, not updraft, as stated in the letter. They were made between 1936 and 1965, and were used to drive a 2.75 kva, 130 volt, three phase generator. The engine and alternator were housed in a steel cabinet which also contained petrol and oil tanks and the electrical control gear. So it's not a marine engine, but a piece of military hardware. These generating sets were used to supply power to Bofors guns, and many saw action in WW2. About 1100 of these engines were built and only some 14 have survived into preservation, so it is now quite rare. Phillip Gallimore, 36 Stakehill, Largs, Ayrshire KA30 9NH Scotland.

Modelmakers Corner

Eddie Mittelstadt of Eddie's Eldorado Engine Company, PO Box 957, Eldorado, IA 52175 sends along some pix of his model making adventures over the past year. MM-1 and MM-2 are a Parsell & Weed model. Eddie writes, '. . . Ed Chick of Winona, Minnesota, had the original blueprints for it, so I could make the parts; it is not a practical engine as it is frail in many places. George Archer of Des Moines owns it. He calls it a 'shelf engine.'

Photos MM-3 and MM-4 are of a Perkins engine. Eddie writes:

The Canadian Perkins is a real nice engine and runs good. Jim Sylling of Mabel, Minnesota, got the castings for me. They came from Canada.

Photo MM-5 is a half scale model of a Lake Breeze hot air fan, called a Little Breeze. The castings came from Paul E. Jacobs, Toledo, Ohio.

Our compliments on some more fine models from Eddie!

A Closing Word

The November issue will come to you without our multi-page ramblings we'll be off somewhere in Switzerland or Germany with the Gas Engine European Tour. During our one-issue sabbatical, Linda will provide expert answers to your questions.

Since we also realize that this issue will come right after the Mt. Pleasant Show, we'll take the liberty of thanking all of you in advance for having stopped by our stand during the event.

Your letters and conversations over the past year have now convinced us to go ahead with a second book on gas engines. We really don't want to replace American Gas Engines, nor do we plan to. However, we realize that there is a tremendous amount of material and additional information available now that wasn't there a decade ago. When we're ready to move forward with it, we'll let you know right here in GEM, and then we'll solicit your comments on additional companies and engines that aren't in American Gas Engines. Please be patient; it's going to take some time to do another engine book!