Collecting Museum Pieces

International engines

Courtesy of E. W m. Timmerman, R.F.D). I, Box 85-B, Oakley, Illinois 62552

E. W m. Timmerman

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(From I &T, Feb. 7, 1963)

Dear Mr. Baker:

You have done a fine job on your history of cars. In 1938 a lady gave me a 1904 one-cylinder Cadillac that we restored at that time.

We have some very active antique clubs here in northern Montana. One guy has a 1917 Velie, all restored. Getting to the IHC car, there is one of them at Havre. The car even had a wooden frame, and since it is restored is quite a car.

A few days ago I acquired a 1913 Wm. Galloway catalog. At that time they built a farm truck. I happen to be a collector of old-time steam engine, separator and gas tractor catalogs. They come in handy to people who are re-storing old machinery.

When you tell about the EMF car, my neighbor tells about the people who had one and changed the name to 'Every-Morning-Fix.'

Ted Worrall Loma, Montana

Your letter, Ted, prods an idea that has been lurking in the Reflector's mind for some time. Here we have been collecting and restoring old steam traction engines and the separators they drove, not to mention saw mills, but if some persons and organizations don't get busy and rescue some of the key early gas tractors from the wire mill scrap piles, there won't be enough of them survive to make a museum department.

The writer has never been through the Ford museum at Dearborn, Mich., and there may be quite a collection there. But I doubt whether it includes some or many of the models that I think are important links in the chain of development. The following come to mind:

The older Rumely Oil-Pull was made by the M. Rumely Co., not Advance-Rumely. The 30-60 model would be best historically, and it should have (maybe all did) the patented Secor-Higgins carburetor that injected water in proportion to load so that the engine handled kerosene without destructive knocking with 90-lb. compression cylinders, if memory is correct In World War II we heard about the air force using planes with water injection as though that were something new. John A. Secor worked it out decades before.

Then for the apogee in 30-60's, there should be an Aultman-Taylor, the one that went out to Nebraska in 1920 and developed 58 hp on the drawbar. That year, the first of Nebraska tractor testing, many a tractor failed to come within 2 hp of its belt rating with the engine operating at 100 per cent capacity. The Aultman-Taylor nearly doubled its drawbar rating on the track test. Tom Campbell used Aultman-Taylor 30-60's when he became a millionaire growing wheat by automation, before the word was coined, on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. The Reflector heard Tom say from the lecture platform one time that the Aultman-Taylors were the only engines that would stand up to his expectancies. He had no time for hay-wiring field repairs.

Pictured are three of my International engines- 6 Hp., VA Hp. A.W., 1? Hp., L.A.

I have two of the L. A. models and first two numbers apart in serial numbers so they must have been made close together.

Then there should be a prominent spot in the museum for the Big Bull tractor. The Little Bull came first; about a 6-12. Then the Big Bull, a fast two-plow, with three wheels and one driver in the furrow, that sold by the trainload and made near millionaires out of a score of distributors, including Hall Bros. & Reeves at Kansas City. Guy Hall later was the practical visionary who snatched up the Bob Fleming baby combine and backed its demonstration to many, including Ed Johnston of the IHC, Harry Merritt of A-C, and incidentally the Reflector. Harry Merritt induced A-C to buy it and hired Walter Dray to refine it into a commercial product. The All-Crop combine came onto the market aimed at displacing the grain binder; today not a binder is made in North America, so far as the writer can learn.

The Titan 10-20 deserves a place in the museum. It came before the Big Bull and went a long way towards establishing power farming as a practical proposition, given horses for the row crop work. Its two-cylinder tank-cooled engine could idle all day on kerosene without fouling its ignitor or plugging its mixing valve. It had no spark plug or carburetor. Its roller chain drive enabled the relatively small engine to pull three bottoms at the speed best for plowing moist soil with the bottoms then used. The Titan 10-20 was so simple to build that when the company felt forced to drop the two-cylinder tractor for a four-cylinder (the 10-20 gear drive) the direct factory cost of the Titan, according to one bitter champion of the Titan in the 10-20 battle, was under $200 ($167 comes to mind). Put it this way: the Titan cost less to build than the cost of the gadgety frills and accessories we must build into and put onto tractors today in order to sell them. The Titan had a high, low and reverse gear. What more is needed, when you come down to it?

The next museum specimen could will be the International 10-20, which displaced the Titan. It was Harvester's answer to Henry Ford and introduced automotive manufacturing methods and precision into a farm machinery plant. A durned good tractor, too! In fact, a pattern tractor! Everybody else copied the 10-20, not the Fordson, to stay in the tractor business. Henry's hot worm seat did not make a hit with other producers.

Then, of course, place should be made for one of the first Fordsons, those made about 1916 or 1917, the ones with the ball thrust bearing trying to hold in the worm final drive end, the housing getting so hot you could fry eggs on it, 't'was said. Timken designed a thrust bearing to handle the load, and it did from then on. Everybody knows what the Fordson did to American farming and to the competitive tractor industry, till Bert Benjamin, backed by Ed Johnston, came up with the Farm-all, which showed Henry what competition was, for a change. The Fordson emigrated to Cork. Now it's coming back from Dagenham.

How about a place for the Wallis Cub, the big one made at Cleveland, which pulled four bottoms, not the Wallis Cub, Jr. made later at Racine? The Wallis Cub had a primitive 'frameless' structure-the drive parts mounting in instead of on, with the oil splashing around inside instead of being pumped, drop by drop, from a Madison-Kipp fresh oil pump. The Wallis-Cub Jr. is reported to have been in the inspiration for the original Fordson frameless design, using cast elements instead of the Wallis boiler plate, rolled to shape.

The Moline-Universal should be shown. It was a strong effort to banish the horse, and theoretically could. The important thing was that the second, larger, model of the Moline Universal with the high-speed four-cylinder engine designed by the Root & Vander Voort Engineering Co. of Moline (they also designed the Moline Knight engine) was way out in advance of the art at that time. The Moline R&V engine was as much a variable speed job as the new-generation John Deeres are today.

The Moline-Universal never was popular as an engine corn plow with many fanners because it was so awkward to steer and handle, being a two-wheeler, with the operator sitting on the cultivator trailer wheels behind. When Bert Benjamin turned the idea around, he had the Farmall.

Alongside the Moline-Universal, there should be place for a Bates Steel Mule. It was a chase-the-horse-out-of-the-cornfield idea in the form of a track-layer. It worked, but clumsily. Not even Cat tries to straddle the corn rows for cultivation.

Those Bates Machine Co. men at Joliet, Ill., must have known their cosines when many others counted on their toes and fingers, even though the Bates Steel Mule flopped. One of the Bates, I think it was Harry H., was pulled into the Cat dragnet, shang-haied out to San Leandro, and forced to sign up as vice-president in charge of engineering for Cat.

At the time when the Bates Steel Mule and its interrow cultivation were being advertised so persuasively in the trade papers, one of FIN's subscribers in Spain, I think it was the man who inherited the Alberto Ahles importing and distributing business in Madrid, became so enamoured with the Bates proposition that he arranged with the First National in Chicago to honor a sight draft in full purchase of a Bates Steel Mule to be shipped to Spain as a track-farming missionary.

But the Bates Machine Co. would not ship. So the subscriber wrote the Reflector asking why when money in full was on the spot. We wrote Bates and inquired. Bates replied frankly, honestly and modestly that they did not think it fair to ship one of their newly developed tractors so far from the factory that they would not be able to render service if trouble developed (which at that stage was likely to occur). This information we passed on to our Spanish (German-born) sub-scriber, whose ruffled feathers were smoothed down by the Bates display of idealized commercialism. Some things occur in business that never are reported in the Wall Street Journal, nor even the trade papers, until Reflections appear.

Finally, with a champ's wreath around the open-geared steering pillar in front, we should have the original Farmall (was it 1925?). It truly be-came a pattern machine. Its first-design pto connection is still standard, in spite of efforts to step up the 546 rpm to 1000 some years back, which seems to have been adopted only for industrial service.

There are unquestionably many other models and makes of tractors that should have a place in a representative historical tractor display. Those the Reflector has suggested at least can be a starter. Each was a key factor in the growth of the industry, one way or another.

This is a 1? Hp. Monitor gas engine with pump jack built in. Pump jack can be thrown out of gear so to use engine for belt work. Weighs about 300 pounds. Have it about ready to run at this point.