1102 West River Road, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017
Attention Mr. Rod Hill, 625 Secor Ave., Forest City, Iowa. In answer to your question in Jan-Feb. '68GEM page 23 on the 'Pine Tree Vacuum Engine'. These engines were made for the Pine Tree Milking Machine Co. by the Sandwich Com-of Sandwich, Ill. later the Company was merged with, or purchased by the New Idea Spreader Co., Manufacturers of Manure spreaders, corn shredders and pickers. Now all is part of the Avco Corp. The engine used a number of model 'T' Ford parts, including pistons, rings connecting rods, valves, valve springs, etc. Unless your engine has been re-bored the cylinder diameter would be 3 and ?' instead of 3 and 7/8 as you mention. I had one of them for about a year, about 1928 as I recall, but did not find it to be very satisfactory. It was rated 2? HP, and no doubt would develop that. I had it set up in milk-house and used it not only for milker but also belted it to a pump jack, soon after belted flywheel to a car generator for light's in cow barn. The top of the crankcase was not rigid enough to carry so much load and would spring alarmingly every time it fired, was afraid it would break. Also had oiling system troubles. The oil pump was of plunger type, and carbon would get in check valves and then neither engine nor pump would get any oil In order to clean out oiling system had to take top of crankcase, cylinder etc. off, tear down vacuum line etc., as well as retime camshaft. After doing this a few times decided to get rid of it, so I traded it in on a McCormick-Deering Type 'M' 1? HP which did the job for many years. The single flywheel was rather light and the vacuum pump permantly connected to the crankshaft, so it at times was difficult to start in cold weather.
The Pine Tree Milking Co. was bought out by Babson Bros, who in the middle 20's developed a suspension type of milker which was named the 'Surge Milker' There have been several makes of milker that have changed to this type in recent years including DeLaval and Chore Boy. The original slogan of the Pine Tree Co. was 'The Cow's Adopted Child'.
In regard to starting troubles, I was using a regular grade of gasoline at the time of a popular brand, and tried a high test brand at the time known as Staroline, mfgd. by White Star Refining Co. They must have folded up as I haven't heard of them for years. This was what they used to call a sour gasoline. It had a rather foul odor, resembling fried onions, and after using it for a couple of days the field man from the creamery called on me He couldn't understand where the odor in the milk I was selling them came from. Well, Rod hope that answers your question.
I'm sending you a picture of myself operating a one man cross cut saw. This I believe precedes the Ottawa and Witte. I bought it from a long time friend of mine who is now one of the senior citizens in the old home town. It was purchased new from the Folding Sawing Machine Company of Chicago, more than 50 years ago. It was said to be a man killer and was never used enough to wear the paint off the handle and is still in near mint condition. On trying it out I'd say it works easier than a regular two man saw and seems to cut quite fast. One is in an erect position while sawing, has the power of both arms as well as considerable form body sway. I'd say it's less tiresome to operate than a conventional saw.
It is adjustable and may be used for felling trees.
'Attention Gottleib' maybe we can start that lumber yard yet.
Have any of you readers ever had any experience with one of these?
Let's see the answers in GEM.
PS: In regard to the Pontiac Cross flow radiator, Page 26, May-June 1967 GEM I have recently noticed that a similar set up is in use on a Buick V-6 owned by one of my step daughters. So, I guess that has not become entirely obsolete after all.
Also have recently noticed some of the later Fords also use cross-flow radiators. However neither they nor the Buick seem to use the upper part of radiator to condense vapor like the original system on the older Pontiacs. Fairbanks-Morse at one time built a lighting plant using this system. I've driven a Volkswagen for several years and haven't paid much attention to recent design trends in American built cars.
Now I have a question: About 1930 Nash featured a 'Twin Ignition' system using two spark plugs in each cylinder of their cars, making great claims for it. They said that the mixture fired quicker giving more complete combustion, and due to the flame travel being shortened that the spark did not need to be advanced as far as usual. I don't believe any thing of the sort is being used any more. Why was this discontinued? The Ethyl Gasoline claims were that using Ethyl gasoline the speed of combustion was slowed down giving an action more like steam power, and the spark could be advanced further, giving in effect a longer power stroke. If either one was right, the other must have been wrong. Can anyone answer this?