How Your Hobby Started Part XX

1925 John Deere 'D'

Courtesy of Gary M. Wolter, Wolter Jersey Farm, R. R. 1, Ocheyedan, Iowa 51354.

Gary M. Wolter

Content Tools

3904-47th Avenue, S., Seattle, Washington 98118

By the time this issue of G. E. M. reaches you the drab shades of our long winter will have given away to the bright days of spring. For many who have been looking forward to being able to get out and start new projects such as overhauling and reconditioning the stored-up equipment, surely the warm spring days will be enjoyable.

Of course there will be the modern tractors and implements to get ready for the season, but maybe, just possible in between chores or with a few hours for relaxation, a little time will be found to see if that recently acquired antique engine that you brought home can be restored and cleaned up with a shiny coat of new paint ready for the first show.

This hobby of writing fills in at any season. This past winter sparked the urge of many collectors to write me inquiring about all kinds of problems which has kept me in touch with our readers. While I have been kept busy answering letters with the best information that is available, it was a good way to spend many hours during the dark rainy winter months.

How interesting and surprising it was to hear from collectors who have been able to locate as many as seven more engines to add to their hobby these past few months. Several have mentioned finding two or three more. They must be good hunters. Their acquisition consists of several varieties and sizes of rare engines.

Other activities have helped fill the days as another diversity has caught on in model building of both gasoline and steam engines and boilers. This hobby is well adapted to the skilled machinist and engineers who enjoy creating replicas of famous antique engines and machinery that are now difficult to find any place outside of a museum.

Model engine displays have found a place and are sponsored by many of the historical associations at their annual shows such as the Rough & Tumble Engineers at Kinzer; Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club at Baraboo, Tri-State Gasoline and Tractor Ass'n. at Portland, Indiana, The Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Ass'n. at various locations, The Blue Grass Steam and Gas Engine Ass'n at Harrodsburg, Kentucky and the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Ass'n. at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and many others who have provided regular exhibition space and furnish live steam for the small model engine enthusiast. In the future it is the plan to devote a chapter to these men who build models and their achievements.

From the library of Roger Kriebel of Mainland, Pennsylvania comes very interesting literature on several engines often pictured in G. E. M.

The Angola Engine and Foundry Company of Angola, Indiana in a fine catalog, offered a line of high quality well designed stationary engines. They could furnish two-cycle machines, but preferred and advertised four-cycle units in sizes of 2? to 15 HP.

These were closed water-jacketed single cylinder type machines with water circulating cooling systems. Some units used a vertical tank mounted on the top of the cylinder, which in effect was a water hopper. These engines were built with a substantial cast-iron sub-base which carried the main bearings set at an angle to take the shock load of the explosion. The cylinder was bolted to this base by a horizontal flange on each side. A bevel gear-driven lay shaft on the governor side operated the fly-ball hit and miss speed control system. The exhaust valve was located in a vertical position under the cylinder head and was operated by a rocker arm and cam off the lay shaft. The automatic vertical intake valve was positioned on top of the cylinder head. The governor operates a lever arm to lock the exhaust valve open on the power--less stroke and prevents a spark to occur. The r.p.m. of the engine can be changed with the governor while it is in operation. A plunger type fuel pump is operated from a cam on the lay shaft and maintains a constant fuel level for the mixing valve, with an overflow back to the main fuel tank.

The mixing valve is of a simple design combining a needle valve and an air intake. The igniter is located in the center of the cylinder head and is tripped by a lever operated from a cam on the lay shaft. A drip oiler is used for the cylinder. Grease cups take care of the main bearings.

A compressed air starting system was offered for the larger sizes which consisted of an air tank and air compressor and a quick opening air valve. For smaller units a hand pump was used to fill the smaller air starting tank.

Battery and coil was employed for the starting of the engine and then switched over to a dynamo for continuous operation.

The Angola engines were built with several unique design features. The cylinder head was rounded at the end and contained the vertical intake and exhaust valves. The cylinder was set low into the cast-iron sub-base to provide a low center of gravity to the units. The dynamo was set on a bracket to operate by a friction drive pulley off the flywheel rum.

The portable units were mounted on a steel wheel truck with a screen type cooling system and an exhaust muffler under the rear axle. A large gear pumping engine unit was offered with the 2 HP engine. Offset from center on the large gear were variable pitman connections to permit stroke lengths for deep well water cylinders in order to accommodate the proper engine to pump capacity combination for the existing well condition.

The specification of the Angola gasoline engines are as follows:


2?150-4007 x 4?1?13? x 29?700
4150-35012 x 61?17 x 39?1100
6150-32518 x 72?20 x 492100
12150-26028 x 72 7/822 x 543200
15150-25036 x 8324 x 58?3800


15150-25036 x 83Steel Truck5000

The Bessemer Gas Engine Company of Grove City, Pennsylvania is one of the old reliable engine builders that was organized in the early days when they made small farm type gasoline engines and have continued through the decades until today. They build many types of diesel engines under the present name of Copper-Bessemer Company.

From one of their early catalogs it describes their firm conviction in the two-cycle design which they have adhered to and still advocate today in the larger engines they build. Much of this catalog is devoted to the explanation of the basic reason why the two-cycle engine was much more dependable than the more complicated four-cycle machine. The main reason of such assurance to their customers was the fact that the two-cycle engine has less than half the number of working parts, so there were fewer wearing surfaces to be replaced. These arguments have met the test of time and in today's large diesels, many of the designs are of the two-cycle principle for the same basic reasons, and also today, less parts bring down the initial cost.

Bessemer's slogan was an engine at 'The pinnacle of perfection.'

My 1925 John Deere 'D', shortly after I got it a couple years ago. It was in bad shape. This summer, my brother came and pulled it home and overhauled the engine, then drove it back again; which took about as long as the overhaul. It is in pretty good shape now, except it needs a different hood and a little paint.

The small size two-cycle engines were of a vertical single cylinder, two port, water-cooled type. They also built a horizontal style in laraer ratings.

The vertical units were very similar to the Detroit Engine. Both had similar fuel injection principles. The carburetor was arranged with a pipe from the closed crankcase to the upper part of the bowl on the carburetor. When the piston is on the down stroke it compresses the air in the crankcase and the by-pass pipe to the bowl is under pressure which forces a small amount of fuel through the discharge tube into the entrance of the intake port. As the port is opened by the travel of the piston downward, this fuel is carried with the compressed air from the crankcase into the combustion chamber for the following power stroke.

The Al New Family leading the parade at the annual Sidewalk Sales Days held in September, 1971, at Pendleton, Indiana. Headed by 20-30 Rumely Oil Pull Tractor No. W3438 pulling 12 h.p. Buckeye Gas Engine No. 382 with Jim New driving and Al New riding. Followed by 1927 Model T Ford roadster with Alan New driving and Mrs. Al New riding. All equipment owned by Al New Family.

The governor is a fulcrum arm weight attached to a flywheel spoke and spring loaded. This is connected to a loose collar around the inside flywheel hub. This collar moves around the axis as the speed and power requirements change. The right angle lever which is connected to the air valve inlet causes it to move up or down as the case may be to open or close the air inlet valve and control the r.p.m. of the engine. The governor is a simple yet highly efficient device.

Bessemer engines were supplied on hard wood skids with or without a cooling as the installation required. Battery ignition was standard, but a magneto could be supplied at an added price.

The specifications of these two-cycle gasoline engines were as follows:


26503? x 3?1?16340$ 80.00
46504 x 41 3/818400120.00
66504 7/8 x 4?1 5/820525170.00
85505 x 72?24700220.00
105506 x 72?25900270.00

These machines were furnished with spark coil, battery and spark plug ignition, shipped on skids, with double sight glass lubricator, muffler and water-cooling tank, wrenches and oil-can as standard equipment.

Combination outfits were factory assembled including hoisting units, electric generating plants, pumping systems and fruit spraying portable outfits.

The Bessemer horizontal engines were constructed very much like a steam engine, with crosshead and packing gland at the forward end of the cylinder. These two-cycle two-port machines had an air intake through a special valve under the cylinder with the air suction taken through the cast-iron sub-base, which also acted as an air filter. The air intake valve was a vertical flat disc plate with a series of small openings to the air duct. The valve was opened by the suction of the piston on the inward stroke. The fuel and air was drawn into the front end of the cylinder through a port. The exhaust opens approximately at the same time, causing the compressed fresh air to scavenge the cylinder and contains the fuel and air for the following power stroke.

Pictured is a miniature Saskatchewan grain farm, replica of the 20s, in a display that takes 250 square feet to set it up. I have shown it quite a bit in the last few years. I've made it all by hand on an approximate ? inch scale.

The Bessemer Company had a very liberal and strong guarantee to cover their engines. They gave a life time replacement on parts, and also a thirty day trial offer to the effect that if the customer was not satisfied, to return the engine and his money would be refunded.

The Bessemer decal was in the shape of a horizontal elongated diamond. A-round the edge were the words--'When you buy--you buy the best'--with the word 'Bessemer' in the middle of the decal.

The Backus Water Motor Company of Newark, New Jersey, an early manufacturer of diversified equipment, built various types of hydraulic wheels and the Backus Suction Gas Producers and gas engines. One of their earliest engines was pictured in G.E.M. Vol. 2--No. 2 as sent in by Paul E. Harvey. This rare antique was similar in design with some of the first Ottos, Hart-Paar, Nickerson and the Master Workman upside down, or upright types of engines.

The gas producer equipment manufactured by this company consisted of a generator in which the coal was burned, a vaporizer in which the eases were cooled before passing into the scrubber which cleaned the gas ready to be used as fuel in an engine. Such equipment was quite successful in parts of the country where the proper kind of coal was available for making producer--gas.

An excellent crop of wheat being harvested at the Cliff Koster Ranch, Vernalis, California. That is Cliff's 24 foot cut all wood Harris combine at his ranch in 1970. It has a 4 cylinder Atlas motor on it. The National Meet of the E. D. G. E. & T. Assn. was held there at the same meet. This year the Meet will be under the auspices of Branch No. 9.

Sizes were proportioned for engine ratings in the following range: 25 HP Gas Producer for engines of 10-12-15-20 HP. 50 HP Gas Producer for engines of 25-30-40 HP. 75 HP Gas Producer for engines of 50-65 HP. 100 HP Gas Producer for engines of 75 HP. 150 HP Gas Producer for engines of 100-125 HP.

Later the company built a regular line of gasoline engines in sizes of 3 to 15 HP. These were horizontal, single cylinder, four-cycle with closed water jacket. The cast-iron sub-base with open crankcase was arranged with the main bearings and flanges along the side to which the horizontal cylinder was fastened. An eccentric was located inside the main bearing on the crankshaft to operate the push rod for the mechanical exhaust valve and to trip the igniter. The governor was of the hit and miss type.

The ignition on the earlier engines was by a hot tube, which was later changed to use an electric ignition system. The mixing valve was of the simple type with a full valve and an adjustment to permit the proper amount of air to the automatic intake valve.

With various modifications of the design the sizes of one type were built in 20 and 30 HP and in the heavy frame and longer engine in a range of sizes of 40, 50, 65 and 75 HP. The largest type was built in 100, 125 and 150 HP units. The rpm and weight of these Backus engines were as follows:



































A small leaflet from Phil King, Granville, Massachusetts supplies information on The Boss Gearless Automatic Engine.

These engines were built by the Bluffton Cream Separator Company of Bluffton, Ohio.

As the name implies, these engines were built without a timing gear and the function normally accomplished by the timing gears was actuated by an eccentric on the crankshaft inside the double flywheels on these units.

This 1929 12 x 24 Hart-Parr is owned and restored by Percy L. Dezotell.

The engines were horizontal four-cycle single cylinder with water hopper cooling. The cast-iron base carried the main bearings in an open crankcase. The his and miss governor was controlled by the weights in the flywheel, mounted on wood skids which were extended to carry the battery box at the rear and a round gas tank in front. Ignition was by jump spark with a spark plug and a switch on the battery box.

The mechanical exhaust valve was operated by a push rod along side of the cylinder which was also arranged for governor control in holding open the valve on the idle stroke.

This type of Boss Gearless Engine was built in the following specifications:













5 x 7

6 x 8

7 x 10








24504 x 5?19325
24504 x 5?19360

Another catalog from Phil King describes the W. P. Callahan Gas and Gasoline Engines that were built in Dayton, Ohio and sold by the New England Engine and Supply Company of Boston.

The Callahan Company was long established, building various kinds of special machinery for some fifty years, before they started production of gasoline engines. They made steam engines and associated equipment.

The gasoline engines were single cylinder, horizontal, four-cycle, closed cool-ling water jacket, open crankcase and built on a cast-iron base which had the main bearings. There were no specifications shown in the catalog. However, there were pictures of a 4, 10 and 25 HP unit.

From these pictures such details of their design showed a side shaft which was driven from a herring bone gear on the crankshaft. A mechanical exhaust valve, fuel pumps and governor control all were a function of the side shaft. The design was straight forward and rather simple with few parts.

The governor was their own patent and was of the flyball type which would entirely stop the side shaft and all the fittings and functions thereof on the idle strokes of the hit and miss governor control. It was mounted on a bracket near the crankshaft and another bracket near the head acted as the side shaft bearing. The valve and pump cams were located on the sideshaft. There were two fuel pumps; one supplied the small fuel reservoir near the head while the second measured and injected the correct amount of fuel for the load on the engine. There was no mixing valve, as the air inlet was arranged through the fuel intake body.

The igniter is operated off the end of the sideshaft and the speed could be controlled by a knurled nut on the governor while the engine was in operation. A lever on the governor also permitted the operator to stop the engine by cutting out the operation of the sideshaft and all its functions.

Double flywheels had safety caps over the hubs and also a cover over the gears on the side shaft drive. The Callahan engine catalog stated that engines up to 100 HP were built, and various ratings of smaller horsepower, however no specifications were included in this particular catalog. The engines were printed according to colored pictures, a dark red or maroon.

From Bulletin No. 28 and by the courtesy of the Broken Kettle Book Service, this report on Cook Engines is available. These engines were manufactured in Delaware, Ohio by this company. At the time this particular bulletin was published they had been in business for nineteen years. They specialized in contractor's equipment applications such as hoisting machines, well drilling rigs, electric light plants, pumping outfits, air compressors, power shovels, cranes and farm engines.

The Cook engines were of the vertical single cylinder, four-cycle, closed crank-case design, very much resembling the vertical F. M.

Type 'T' or the International Famous engine--these engines were built on a cast-iron sub-base having a fuel tank in the base. The crankcase was closed with the camshaft extended to operate a fuel pump on one side and a mechanical lubricator on the other side. The flywheel governor actuated the hit and miss system of speed control by holding open the exhaust valve on the idle strokes. This type of engine had mechanical exhaust valve and automatic intake valve, while on the throttling governor style the valves were both mechanical with overhead rocker arms and push rod adjustments at the top of the rod.

A cooling tank could be supplied on the single cylinder engines attached to the side of the cylinder to provide a thermo-syphon cooling system. Separate vertical tanks were used on the larger sizes with a circulating pump for continuous duty operation.

Tom Thumb E. D. G. E. & T. Assn. 'Gas-Up' Manteca, California, that was Branch No. 13. We had one of these Tom Thumbs 60 odd years ago.

2 hp Waterloo Boy and a 4 hp Fairbanks-Morse gas engine.

The larger engines having two vertical cylinders were made up of the same size bore and stroke single cylinders and rated at about double the single cylinder rating. Large hand hole inspection openings were arranged in the crankcase for bearing inspection. Shaft extension would carry a friction clutch drive pulley or arranged to direct connect to a generator or compressor.

The carburetor for two cylinders had a flexible hot air intake pipe to an exhaust manifold fitting for warm air to facilitate starting in cold weather. The flyball governor was driven by a bevel gear in the crankcase to a vertical shaft with the unit at the top above the cylinder head. A mechanical lubricator supplied the cylinder and bearings.

For application on a well drill, a special flywheel with a cast-on clutch band was made up and also extended crankshaft to adapt to other drive equipment.

The specifications of the Cook Engines are as follows:




































2 7/8


K. S.




3 3/8













3 7/8






3 7/8


A quick response to the question raised in the last issue concerning the origin of the English Southwell engine, has been solved by his Honor Lester Roos, Mayor of Geneseo, Illinois.

Lester sends a parts list of a 1908 Stover vertical engine and he has a 5 HP unit that is a dead ringer of the Southwell, with only a few exceptions of minor details. So apparently the Southwell, which as the picture shows, was made by the Stover Manufacturing and Engine Company of Freeport, Illinois.

It is these interesting instances of learning historical details of the antique gasoline engines that makes this hobby of mine so interesting, and a big thank you to his Honor in solving this one.

A 20 HP IHC Mogul Type C that Bill Krumwiede and I bought from Tom Ternent, Homfield, Homfield, Manitoba in 1965. Tractor had been fixed up by Tom and it runs nice. We have it at the Makoti Show on loan. Have a soft spot for the old IHC tractors. Standing by the truck is Cisco Lodahl and Ed Titterud of Crosby. They hauled it for us. Cisco, on the right, was the driver.