Smoke Rings

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Our best wishes to all our GEM Family for a prosperous and Happy New Year, and for February, may all your Valentines be nice ones!

I can scarcely believe we are starting our sixth year of GEM -- but we are and by the looks of things it will continue to grow. We appreciate all your writings and pictures -- I just wish I could get all the material to you faster, but this isn't possible right now -- so be patient with me.

HENRY BREMER, JR., R. D. 1, Ellendale, Minnesota 56026, asks us this: 'Has anyone ever taken count on how many engines are in the U.S. and how many different makes are still around? Also, who has the oldest engine in their collection?'

Well, fellows, there's something to work on -- I'm sure I don't know the answers -- but I'll bet some of you have some opinions on these questions.

A letter from CLIFFORD E. WOLF, 1031 Grandview, Owatonna, Minnesota 55060, writes: 'I have just bought a real good Woolery 5 hp. section car engine just like on page 40 of Jan.-Feb. 1970 GEM - A 100 Woolery H.A.S., Cyl. Bore 4-093 -- What can you tell me about this engine? Who made it? Where was it made? How many were manufactured and during what years was the company in business?'

Well, Veterans -- there's some more quizzes -- can you help Clifford out? I don't mind playing 20 questions, but it's no good when I don't even know the first four.

The next few letters are regarding the What Is It pages that are often printed in our GEM. First a letter from NORMAN M. MULLINGS, Box 93, Grandy, Connecticut 06035, who states: 'In answer to Mr. Simbeck's question in Vol. 5, No. 5 page 31. It is a Fairbanks-Morse, 1? hp., Type Z. When the Type Z was introduced in 1915 this was the 1? hp. size used. It was an updated and rerated version of an earlier engine, the 1 hp. Jack, Jr. This style was made until 1919 when it was replaced. A dish flywheel version of the replacement can be seen in Vol. 5, No. 5 pg. 28, upper right hand picture. With a serial number of 240069 I would say Mr. Simbeck's engine was built in 1917. Fairbanks-Morse informed me the Type Z records have been moved to the Mexico office. The Z is still being made down there. The address is: Manufacturera Fairbanks-Morse SA Dr. Valenzuela 37, Apartada Postal 10757, Mexico 7, D. F. Mexico.

I can also answer Mr. Burgin's question in Smoke Rings column. Information on Witte gasoline and kerosene engines can be obtained at: Mr. A. L. Hestwood, Garland Works, Oilwell, Division of United States Steel, Box 308, Garland, Texas 75040. Please note -- they do not have records of diesels. These are still at the Kansas City office.

Thanks for all information, Norman -- I'm sure the folks appreciate it.

A short informative letter from CARL F. CRAMER, SR., 8562 South Newport Rd., Box 113, Newport, Michigan 48166 tells us: 'I'm writing you in reference to 'What Is It?' in the Sept.-Oct. 1970 issue, page 31. It is a 1? hp. Fairbanks-Morse hopper-cooled engine governed at 500 rpm. I have an engine like it No. 275896, has Sumter Magneto and make and break igniter. It has a flyweight governor in the 1 h. flywheel. Name-plate should be fastened to front of engine with two slotted head screws. Intake valve also is in side of block bolted in front of exhaust with two hex. cap screws.'

Threshing wheat at the Pioneer Gas Reunion at Fairville, New York. Eighty year old Wm. H. Johnson on Model C Case Tractor can do a record time job of lining up and belting up along with the best of them -- an old steam thresher of way back.

A. E. Johnson, owner of the case 22 x 37 thresher and tractor is checking the elevator and grain as it comes in the weigher. This outfit is at the annual reunion every year. It also does threshing every year on the home farm.

Hope to see many of you good folks at P.G.E.A. Reunion July 24, 25, and 26th. In background, behind C Case tractor is McCormick Deering corn husker and shredder which was in operation the last two years of the reunion.

R. C. Case tractor running a nine inch Kelly Duplex Burr Mill. Quincy air compressor used to clear out oil holes and blow dirt out of mill -- the first time the mill was run in a long time.

In background, International pick-up and tractor used to bring mill home. Outfit belongs to A. E. Johnson. Paul Smith, handyman, helps to get things under motion. We were grinding corn cobs. The old mill did a fine job. Paul is a feed grinder man. He grinds corn and wheat flour for friends.

Well now, there's a good bit of info in just a few sentences. Thanks Carl. JOHN D. JAEGER, 325 Lakewood Parkway, Snyder, New York 14226, sends us this communication: 'Regarding 'What Is It?' on page 37 of Nov.-Dec. 1970 GEM, the engine pictured is a 'COLLIS' -- formerly the Pierson Superior, designed by E. B. Cushman. It is rated 5 lip. 950 rpm and made by the Collis Company, Clinton, Iowa. These engines were used on crop dusters, manufactured by the Niagara Sprayer Company of, Middleport, New York, and merchandised around 1920. The name-plates are usually illegible due to the chemical reaction of the crop dust on the aluminum plate.

The engine pictured seems original except for carburetor and expansion tank cap which are different than those I have seen in this area of Western New York. The carburetor appears to be a 'Zenith' that has been adapted (maybe by a manufacturer's casting). My engine has an overflow bowl, puddler type venturie, cast iron carburetor with exhaust manifold cast in.

The tank cap looks suspiciously like a wheel bearing cap; both my gas tank and expansion tank cap are flat, star-wheel shaped, die-castings.

These engines had surprisingly smooth castings and the workmanship was superior to most engines of the period.

A message from ERNEST SCHEN-STAD, Zahl, North Dakota 58856 -'This fall I was able to attend the old-time Steam Threshing Shows and at the Makoti Show they have a 1913 30-60 Pioneer Tractor like Mr. R. L. Hunts-perger of Morristown, Arizona, wrote about in the column, Smoke Rings. I think he could get information and serial number of this tractor from one of the owners, Schenfisch Brothers of Nakoti, N. D. or from John Knutson, Makoti, North Dakota.

And on page 31 of Sept.-Oct. 1970 GEM the What Is It engine is a 1? hp. Fairbanks Morse 'Z'. I operated one like it in my teens, to pump water for some 26 Holstein milk cows and young stock.

'Mr. First' D. C. Sage of Bradford, Pa., was the first out of state exhibitor for South Carolinas first steam and gas show at Antique Acres. D. C. will receive a permanent 'Mr. First' plaque, ei- if he is back down here for our 2nd annual show April 16-17-18,1971.

The F-M 'Z' was about worn out when my Dad bought it from the blacksmith shop in Hanks, N. D. It had been changed over from low tension magneto and igniter to spark plug and Hotshot battery and Model T coil. A timer was a contact on the cam gear that rubbed on another spring contact that was bolted to a piece of wood clamped to a ? inch pipe screwed into a threaded drain hole on the side of the cylinder hopper. It was my job to keep water in the stock tank -- and help with the milking and keep fire in the tank heater in cold weather.

I recall in 1935 I had surgery on my foot and I walked on crutches that winter so I got out of the milking etc. -- until Feb. of 1936 when temperatures hung around 30 to 40 degrees below zero. I had to get out -- crutches or not -- and get the pump engine going, when my Dad or brothers couldn't get it to run. I got it going one morning when it was 50 below zero. This F. M. 'Z' was a good engine. We also used it on the first portable grain loaded we bought in partnership with a neighbor.

I have a friend who does cylinder head and block welding, magnetic inspection, surface grinding, welding and machining of all types of cast iron and aluminum head milling. He has been doing this kind of work for over thirty years and is really good at it. I thought he might help someone get his engine going. His name and address is: Clarence E. Belisle, Highways 2 & 85 North, 1 Block East Pines Motel, Williston, North Dakota 58801.'

That's it for this time and remember -- The best way to keep a New Year's resolution is -- to yourself.