Letters & Miscellanies

Engine Memories, Igniter Points, Nelson Bros. Engines and Heider Tractors

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Old Engine Memories

After seeing the picture of the young man oiling the engine on page 6 in the September 2003 issue of GEM, I felt compelled to share these pictures. After all, the conversion of the 'pumpity' from gas to electric was no small task at this young age.

All kidding aside, the pictures (of me) were taken about 1949 at my grandfather's farm on Turkey Mountain just 5 miles out of Tulsa, Okla. My grandfather bought the farm about 1946. He was a lawyer, and every time he had business at the courthouse he would ask when they were going to run the electric lines out his way. They finally got the lines to the farm about 1949.

Although I remember the electric pump and its sound, I can't remember the Fuller & Johnson at all. Thanks for a great magazine, and to all of the collectors who contribute.

William P. Geyer P.O. Box 1029 Granbury, TX 76048.

Igniter Points

In response to a question raised by Steve Hay in the November 2003 issue of GEM (see query 38/11/2, page 9), I've had good luck using silver solder to retip points. The flat strip silver solder used to braze carbide bits on turning tools works best. Cut a piece to fit between the contact point and the igniter arm, apply flux, sandwich the pieces together and apply heat.

Ken Hollenbeck khollenb@dcwis.com

A much younger William Geyer checks out a Fuller & Johnson pump jack unit and its replacement electric motor (below) at his grandfather's Oklahoma farm in 1949.

Nelson Bros. Engines

In the October 2003 Letters & Miscellanies column you showed an illustration from a Montgomery Ward catalog, and the caption indicated that the air-cooled engine was a Nelson Bros. 3 HP VFG. I have a similar engine, but with a mixer, instead of the carburetor shown in the drawing. It was my first engine, and is still a favorite - I rescued it from the 'free pile' at a yard sale.

It was owned by a family who used it to pump water from the Spokane River. The nametag says 'Sattley' and 'Montgomery, Ward & Co.' C.H. Wendel's American Gasoline Engines Since 1862 mentions the air-cooled Wards line, but only briefly. Can you direct me to more info on air-cooled Nelson Bros, engines?

John Clark john@ccdlaw.com

Montgomery, Ward & Co. marketed the Sattley line of engines. A comprehensive review of Nelson Bros, air-cooled engines appeared in the March 2003 issue of GEM. - Editor

Heider Friction-Drive Tractor

Your article and photos in the October 2003 issue about the Heider 12-20 tractor and its friction drive is excellent. The tractor is not very common, and there are few people who understand how it works. The idea still remains in use in small lawn mowers.

In addition to the article information, you gave me another name to add to a growing list of Heider tractor owners. Gayle McDonald will be number 32 in a list that includes Heiders located in Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and the U.S. Please check out my Web site at: www.HeiderTractors.com

As for my name, I doubt my family is related to the original John Heider. In Germany, the Heider name is as common as Smith and Jones in the U.S.

John C. Heider jch@pdnt.com

Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St. Topeka, KS 66609-1265; e-mail: rbackus@ogdenpubs.com