Smoke Rings

Wagon load of engines

Courtesy of John M. Hamilton, 2015 Arthur, Charleston, Illinois 61920.

John M. Hamilton

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It's such a busy time around here, what with school off to a flying start and then too Dana and Hubby found a small house to rent near us and it has been quite a busy time fixing up and moving -- little Ryan keeps the grandparents pretty busy while Mommie and Daddy are busy. He's on the way to five months now but is so extremely active and alert -- seems much older. And of course our little Tommie is in Kindergarten, that is, he was until one day he decided not to go. But with the 'hand to the rear area' and a lot of psychology talk, Mother drove him to school that day (as he had missed the bus) and since then, things are going pretty well -- hope he doesn't see my fingers crossed behind my back each day. All this and Halloween's coming up too!

I have quite a few letters I know you folks are interested in so I'll get on to them. Paul M. Coleman of Belvue, Kansas 66407 writes: 'Anna Mae, we enjoy your magazines very much. I've farmed with tractors and power machinery all of my grown life. I've ridden the stub tongue on a grain binder behind four horses many hours when a youngster. I've seen tractors develop from headaches to the excellent ones we have today. I miss the old steam engines though. I've worked in the 'hole' pitching to a thresher many long hours. In fact, my last check earned in the season of 1926 the amount of $96.32. I Bought a new suit, etc., bought a license and got married! I've never lost my love for machinery. I own a full set of corn, wheat and bean equipment and run a welding shop on the side, so I'm busy.' (Just thought that was a nice letter to print for all you friends.)

A request from James P. Riley, New Bridge Road, Rising Sun, Maryland 21911 --'I was just wondering Anna Mae, if you would do us old engine nuts a favor? Several of us would like to get authentic decals for Hercules engines. Maybe if someone knew of this interest they would have them to sell to us.' -- Well, how about it fellows, can you answer these men's request?

Donald McVittie, Box 508, Alliston, Ontario, Canada tells us: 'In July-Aug. issue on Page 10 is pictured a buggy and horse. The buggy has a very unusual set of wheels. Now in our local museum is a set of wheels very similar in appearance to those in GEM. On speaking to the curator, he says years ago some fast talking salesman sold stock in a 'Spring wheel buggy' company and those who invested, lost all their investment. On the local set of wheels is written 'Patented 1910, Toronto, Canada.' Would be interested in hearing from someone familiar with picture in GEM or owner of same picture. Any assistance along this line will be sincerely appreciated.' So -- there's another call for Help-Gang.

John D. Benner, Jr. 313 Ruby St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603 wrote a short letter along with his renewal to GEM. 'I thought I'd like to tell you that thanks to you nice people, I got a couple of real nice letters in the mail concerning Oil Pulls. Thank the boys for me. I should have been more accurate as to what I wanted to know -- as to what makes them run, type of fuel, etc. ignition, all that kind of stuff. I guess some thought I meant power ratings, serial numbers, etc. Oh well, if at first you don't succeed, try try again! Only one complaint -- not enough information on really restoring these engines in detail. They are for the most part, so old, rare and different that most of us new guys are really up a tree when it comes to getting some of this stuff to run; carb settings, point gap and timing of valves and igniters, etc. Well, that's all I have to complain about. I think you have a very good little magazine. In closing, did anyone ever hear of an old power mower called the 'DAVIS' (the engine)? I have not seen the mower but heard about it from a friend who has it. And Thanks again to all.'

Pictured is an unusual 3 hp. Witte, serial number 21669. It is kept running by horseshoe nails driven in place of broken cogs in the timing gear. It is owned by John Tichenor, Charleston, Illinois.

Bob Woodfall and Roy Goble of Charleston, Illinois. They have a wagon load of engines. They are: Fairbanks and Morse Model Z 15 hp; two Gray engines (2? and 4 hp.); a John Deere 1? hp and IHC Type M 1? hp.

We are now preparing for our first show in Central Illinois. It will be held May 29 to June 1 at the Charleston Fair Grounds.

Oscar L. Carson, Rt. 1, Pleasantville, Pennsylvania 16341 sends his comments: 'I was interested in seeing the International Portable Engine on the cover of the September-October issue of the Gas Engine Magazine, as I have one like it. My father bought it new and used it for many years. We threshed with it till 1946 and then we started using the tractor.'

Makes us happy to get comments as above as we try to make the little magazines interesting and enjoyable. Without your help, it wouldn't exist, so keep writing and please don't get too discouraged if your material isn't used as soon as you think it should be, but if it is a good while, drop me a line and I'll try and dig that particular item out and push it, for I try to cover all states, contributors and variety of engines to make each issue worthwhile, but I look for constructive criticism and nudging if need be on any particular article. I'm not an expert in this classifying of most important material -- just what I learn as I go along. I'm glad to hear from any of you folks!

Preston Foster, of 3231 Randolph St. W., is an Instructor in Power Mechanics at Warren Western Reserve High School, 200 Loveless, Southwest, Warren, Ohio 44485 and sends us an interesting bit of news. Mr. Foster lends an old twist to a new power mechanics program at Warren Western Reserve High School where students are learning a lot from restoring stationary gas engines. It's a great challenge and creates much motivation and a high degree of personal satisfaction when a group of boys gets one of these old one lungers fired up. These old engines have been a real boost to the program. He says that the students just love them and they have shown a few of them under the school's name there locally

I am the owner of a spark plug and coil unit and a double head spark plug, pictured above. I thought maybe some of your readers would be interested in these pictures.

I have a suggestion to make. Every month you publish a picture of an engine and the owner wants help to identify the name of engine. I know he must get lots of letters, but I would like to see the answer published in a later magazine or following issue. This way the other subscribers will know the name of that month's engine question answered.

(Whenever we get any letters of this type, Bennie, I always put them in - many times they are in my column - Smoke Rings - and sometimes if it is a long letter it is put on the What Is It page. We don't always get the answers though, but when we do -- they are put in. - Anna Mae.)

Elmer just had another stay in the hospital -- he was there for a week, but we are all happy he is back home and up and around and still able to be our nice 'Boss Man.' He was 81 September 5 and we're hoping he's around a good while yet. We're thankful he's 'Perkin' again.

That's going to be it for this time and do have a good Holiday Season coming up and when I see you next time GEM will be in its fifth year -- how about that -- our baby is growing.