Identifying a Junk Yard Gas Engine

Lewis H. Cline asks for readers help in identifying a junk yard gas engine, and shares information on the Port Huron tractor.

Small Engine

Photo courtesy of Warren King, Adrian, Michigan.

PHOTO: JACOB VANDER HOFT

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G.E.M. readers are asked to identify a junk yard gas engine. 

This picture is of a small engine I found in the junk yard. The junk yard gas engine was painted red with a gold bell on one side, with the name printed through the bell. The name is not legible anymore. The bottom is all open so the crank and piston are visible, the firing mechanism is all gone, so I don't know what it looked like. The valves are on top with the pushrod and rocker arm gone also. There is part of a drip-oiler left on the other side along with two grease cups for main bearings. The pipe in top is what I put in, one side is exhaust and the other side for carburetor.

May be some of the G.E.M. readers could tell me more about this engine.

Does anyone know about a Port Huron tractor? Most people never heard of one. In the spring about 1918 I'd say, I attended a tractor demonstration on the Eber Farwell farm about 2 miles east of Coldwater (Michigan) and saw about a dozen tractors of various makes in operation. There was a large brown colored tractor with high wheels, the operators seat was quite high, and it had a top something like a buggy top. If I recall correctly it used friction drive and the motor was Waukesha. Port Huron was in large lettering on the sides of the hood. I have never seen one since that nor heard anything more about them. I never have seen them advertised in any farm magazine of that time.

I hope I'm able to explain myself. On page 29 in the November-December issue of G.E.M., you showed my mystery engine and I must say I'm more than surprised I did not get one letter to this date.

Now I must tell you, I showed this engine here at this fall's Minnesota State Fair where 1,359,750 people attended. I understand, of course, there was a small per cent of this total that looked at my mystery engine. But there were a few thousand that did and many made guesses as to who made the engine. Now I would like if you could run my request for identifying this engine once more and I will do as we did at the Minnesota State Fair. If someone can furnish a catalog or a newspaper ad or other means which will tell me who manufactured this engine and where it was made, I will give $25.00 and this I will make fair by the first date on the envelope.

Now I can give you a history story how this engine came to northern Minnesota, but the story don't tell who made the engine and there are no patent numbers, no nothing to identify the manufacturer of the engine.

I'm hoping to hear and see what this next issue can do for me.

I would like some information about a one-cylinder 2-cycle inboard small boat engine that I found at an auction sale. This engine is somewhere in the 2 to 4 hp range, bore 3 foot stroke 4 foot. The ignition system probably was a six-volt battery and vibrator coil similar to Ford Model T. The carburetor is missing but I believe a Model T Ford carburetor would work.

What I am puzzled about is whether the engine was lubricated by a gas oil mixture or fed with a drip lubricator as there is a one eight tapping through the water jacket into the cylinder about two-thirds of the way down the bore.

I believe the engine was built by a Notre Dame student as a project in the Engineering Department. The only marking on the engine is Notre Dame cast into the brass water pump.

This engine has the lower half of the crank case removable and the main bearings are one piece bushings lubricated with grease cups.

Any information that I can get on this will be greatly appreciated.

Courtesy of Clarence O. Myers, South Bend, Indiana.

Small gas engine made of steel, electric and gas welded together.