WHAT IS IT ????????

Headless Engine

Courtesy of Russell C. Cooper, 408 South Park Drive, Salisbury, Maryland 21801

Russell C. Cooper

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I hope you can help me identify this engine. It has make and break battery ignition with hit and miss type governor. Also, this headless engine, with Serial No. 114306, has 20' flywheels, 3-1/4' bore and a 4-l/2'stroke. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

A combination tractor built by Chalmers Tractor Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1916, Model 8-16 HP pulling 3-bottom plow. It is steered by a team of horses. When they get in a tough spot, instead of shifting gears, they could poke up the horses and had the extra power when needed.

Pictured is a Waterloo Gasoline Tractor built by Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co., Waterloo, Iowa. 1892 Model, 20 HP.

My 1925 Row Crop Fordson when new. It was on steel, but is on rubber now and in my museum. The ditcher is a No. 1 Buckeye 1908 Model. When new it had a C.C gasoline engine for power. When it gave out, it was replaced with a 6 cyl. Chevrolet car motor, a Fordson tractor radiator and a Fordson gas tank - as picture shows on my farm in 1959.

This picture is of an engine which had gotten as far as the scrap yard before being rescued. It is in excellent condition, even the birator coil is good. I is headless, with valves removed through plugs on top of the cylinder. The cooling fan is belt driven from one flywheel, and crankcase is semi-enclosed with drip oilier and grease cups. Spark plug is 1/2 inch. There is no name or serial no. on the engine, could it be an Ideal? I would appreciate hearing from someone with a similar engine.

Here is a picture of an old engine I purchased last summer at the estate sale of Mr. Theo Beck of Enon, Missouri. It was made by Tanners Machine Shop of Jefferson City, Missouri. The cast brass nameplate simply stated - Tanners, Jefferson City, Missouri - no serial number, speed or horsepower.

There are no parts numbers anywhere on it but I was told by Mr. Beck that it was eight H.P. It could very well be as the piston is seven inches. It has solid brass connecting rods and splash oiled. The engine runs 'backwards' as you face it and both valves are operated by cams in the gear box on the right of the crankcase.

The governor operates by holding the intake valve closed except when firing, instead of holding the exhaust value open. Ignition is by spark plug and high-tension coil. A very large Splitdorf, which I have and it is the original.

The engine was purchased by Mr. Beck's father in 1906 and was used mostly to saw wood. There were supposed to have been only three engines made but I have heard of four and possibly five and these are all gone except the one I have.

So if they did make more and anyone has one or knows of another, I would like to know.

Pictured above, left to right, are Noel Nelson and father Norman. If you look closely you will note that in the background is a museum. This is the MINIATURE MACHINERY MUSEUM; not an ordinary museum. Inside is the finest display of scale steam engines, a scale model grain wagon and threshing machine. All built by Norman Nelson over a period of some 20 years.

Noel has restored 3 of the finest Huber tractors I ever expect to see. Son Arlen took us up to the show grounds just out of town, showed us the big 'Corliss' they have restored and turned us loose on the grounds to take pictures. We spent a time taking color shots. Unfortunately the show was on a future date so we could not attend. We will return some day to their show and to visit the Nelson's museum.