Smoke Rings

old Smith Motor Wheel engine

Earl Rains

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Well, here we go with a very Happy New Year Wish to each of you as we begin the 10th year of publication for Gas Engine Magazine. Our Family has really grown and we are hoping to continue onto better magazines all the time. Write us, tell us your suggestions, hints as to what you'd like and etc. Not always can we follow through with the hopes of each one, but we definitely will read your letter and think upon it.

Also, Fellows, please be patient when I can't get all your letters and stories in as soon as I would like. And, if it seems too long that I've had the story, drop me another line and tell me so and I'll do my best to get your writing in - it is a problem, but we keep trying to please. Just bear with us and don't be offended when material doesn't hit the issue you think it should. I'm just as unhappy as you are that I can't get your articles into print faster, but we do have to stick to a limited amount of pages - but I do understand your feelings.

And onto letters from our Gas Engine Family - A. M. ZENNER, R. D. 3, Medford, Wisconsin 54451 writes:

I have become a recent subscriber to this magazine and enjoy it very much. I am living in the middle of a mystery. I still have the base for an engine that was built right here in my home town. It is a 1-1/2 h.p. air cooled. It had about three inch long fins on each spoke of the flywheel for cooling hit and miss, battery ignition with vibrator coil, which was built into the base as well as the gas tank.

It was of the flat head type, no rocker arm, the exhaust and intake were on one side of the cylinder. There were about 200 of these made here in Medford when they quit business. A. Wausare foundry took over the patterns and prints and they made a few also.

Myself and my brother, Leo, seem to be the only ones left around here that personally operate this engine. By the way, they also made these larger sizes 2-1/2 H.P. and 4 H.P. and also a 7 H.P. There were about 50 or 75 of these sizes made. They were hopper cooled.

Another thing these engines are not identified, no patent, no serial number.

I have a very sketchy picture of the two smaller ones, so if anyone thinks he might have it I'll oblige with a picture or come myself. I'm 68 years old now. This would be the happiest day of my life. Any help will be greatly appreciated and will be rewarded. Pictures would help.

WALTER L. SKRDLANT, 709 N. Second Street, Norton, Kansas says: 'I have been getting GEM for about a year now and I really enjoy it. I didn't realize so many people were interested in old engines and tractors. I have had a John Deere B and an IHC F-20 for about two or three years now. However, the other day I got a cement mixer with an IH engine on it. The engine is a 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 HP Type LB engine, 300 to 500 rpm. The serial number is LBA 111346. I would like to know more about this engine such as age, specifications and colors. I plan to restore it. Also, I wonder if someone would tell me if it is a fairly common engine or rare and about how much would it be worth - as I am new at this.'

And from the West Coast, this writing: 'I am a California subscriber of Gas Engine Magazine and have been for several years. I like the magazine very much - you are doing a good job. I don't hear much from our California Engine Family in the magazine and there is a lot of them. (Let's hear from you Californian Gas Buffs).

I need some help on a Witte diesel engine that I picked up. The nameplate is gone and some parts are missing. I don't know much about diesel engines, but this is an old engine and I would like to restore it. It has a fuel pump and fuel filter; the fuel injector system is gone and I don't know where to look or what to look for - I don't know what else is missing. I was told it was a Witte 9 H.P. It has a 4-1/4 in. bore and a 6 in. stroke, 21 in. flywheels. It is free and in good shape. I would like to hear from someone who may help me out. (I can hear a couple of you men out there now saying - Gee, wish I could walk right over to his house and take a look at it-bet I could help)! This man's address is ALBERT C. HIETT, Route 1, Box 1092, Delano, California 93215.

Here is a very gratifying letter - I know many of you will really appreciate, because sometimes when you help these fellow hobbyists, they don't let you know if they were thankful or not. This comes from MARV LONERGAN, 1448 West 2nd, Waterloo, Iowa 50701 - 'These magazines are priceless, as are the people I've become acquainted with since I bought my first engine a year ago. A special thanks to Kenneth Kass of R. R. Dunkerton for selling me my first engine. He has a beautiful collection of engines and a jewel of a Waterloo Boy tractor.

Another person I owe so much, is Hep Crowell of Waterloo as his knowledge of engines is endless. Although he is seventy-five years old, his mind and wit is much sharper than mine at forty-one. I have purchased engines from him and he gave me one. Also he gave my wife a large antique coffee grinder. We truly love this great guy.

Also Thanks to Dave Perry from Grundy Center, Iowa. I have purchased engines from Dave, they are beautiful. Dave and I are in the process of restoring a twelve HP Bessemer that I purchased from Jerry Boeddeker from Ft. Madison, Iowa. We call this engine 'Big Bessie' as she weighs 3490 lbs.

There are many more guys that belong to the Antique Acres Club at Cedar Falls, Iowa that really make folks feel welcome, they're just great.' (And that letter is just great, makes one feel pretty happy to know folks are really appreciative of those who are so willing to help them along with this hobby. I bet you're quite a guy yourself, Merv).

A note from DONALD H. GREEN, Sec.-Treas. of Historical Engine Society, Inc. Box 4061, Kirtland, Ohio 44094 who pens this short item - 'The Historical Engine Society of Kirtland, Ohio held the drawing August 11th for the Stover KA-1 gas engine that was advertised in July-August gas engine magazine. The engine was won by Robert Rice, Jr. of Warren, Ohio.

We wish to thank the many readers of the Gas Engine Magazine who purchased our raffle tickets and may you have better luck next year.'

More questions from MYRON NECKAR, 494 Bryant Avenue, Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137 - 'I own a Taylor gas engine which is horribly mutilated. The flywheels are both broken, by a sledge hammer and also the water jacket. One flywheel is whole, but broken off the hub. The other is in several pieces but I have them all-could I get these welded or do I have to get new ones made from the pattern?

Also, I have an Oliver 80 row crop style which I have overhauled, has the first Sears knobby tires. Wheels are flat metal rear. I think it was steel originally and I would like to know the year it was built and the horsepower rating.'

CLIFFORD A. CARON, R.R. 1, Box 102, Faribault, Minnesota 55021 says: 'I would like to ask if any of the readers know of a connection between the Waterloo Boy 1916 to 1923 and the Hart-Parr 1917 to 1929. I have noted the following similarities. No. 1 - The basic designs are the same. No. 2. -The 1917 Hart-Parr was also rated 12-25. No. 3 - The bore stroke and belt pulley are the same size. No. 4 -Waterloo is not far from Charles City. No. 5 - Hart-Parr claims to have built the first Oil Pull - could they have also built the Waterloo Boy?' (To the task and give this man some answers, Fellows):

EARL RAINS, 209 N. Olive Street, Eldon, Missouri 65026 writes: The July-August 1963 issue of G.E.M. carried an article and picture of my old Smith Motor Wheel engine. Recently I found among some old photos, this picture of the old Smith Motor Wheel engine mounted on a garden cultivator that I built. In the background was my (at that time) new 1938 Plymouth. The cultivator was a good implement but I believe that a mule would have been easier handled. Ha! I received many letters, pictures and one long distant phone call from a lot of fine people from various locations in the United States in regard to the old Motor Wheel. Although I tried to answer all letters I would like to take this opportunity to again thank all the fine people, especially Benito Deesi of Paso Robles, California who sent me a copy of an antique car magazine with six full pages covering the history of the Motor Wheel. From this information, I found that my engine is a 1917 model. I am sending another picture of the old engine as it looks today.