Letters & Miscellanies

Notes and Responses From Readers

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Snake in the Gas (engine)

Last October, the Tennessee Valley Fly wheelers were invited to bring some of our engines and tractors and show them at a local shopping mall as part of their Fall Harvest Festival.

After checking them out to make sure they ran okay I loaded a couple of my engines on my trailer, one of which was my 6 HP headless Witte. I then covered the trailer with a tarp because it was supposed to rain that night. The next day I hooked up and drove to the show site, unhooked and leveled my trailer, unstrapped my engines and got ready to show.

I thought I would start the 6 HP Witte first, since it is my easiest engine to start and makes the best showpiece. As expected the Witte started right up and merrily popped along as I waited for an audience. After a few minutes, I glanced over and noticed something protruding up out of the water hopper - it was a snakehead. This snake evidently crawled into the water hopper the night before, probably seeking the warmth of the water still in it from my running it previously. Well, the engine was running, so I decided to let it run and see what would happen. I figured he would come out when the water got hot enough.

Hmmm, maybe we should be inspecting our engines a little more thoroughly before cranking them up. Lamar Hinds found this Rat snake hiding in the hopper of his 6 HP Witte.

One of our members, Bill Morgan, got a good picture of the snake just as he came out, slithered down the side of the hopper onto the trucks and onto the trailer. It was a rat snake about five feet long. Another member, Robby Crawford, asked, 'Would you like me to catch him for you?' I said yes, please do, so Robby caught him and took him off to some large shrubbery nearby and released him.

So, some advice: Before you take your engines to a show, be sure to get all the bugs (and snakes) out!

Lamar Hinds 12616 North shore Drive Knoxville, TIN 37922

IHC Plugs Found

I have discovered something that may be of interest to readers, namely some AC spark plugs -#73/73COM, #74/74COM, and #75/75COM - that have straight-sided insulators (no ribs on the insulator) and are in IHC-marked boxes. When packaged in 'regular' AC boxes these plugs have insulators with various types of ribs.

All indications are that the straight-sided insulators are specific to IHC, even though the plugs do not have the IHC logo on the insulator but the IHC logo is on the box. Most plugs for IHC prior to 1937-1938 that have the IHC logo on the insulator are packed in regular type boxes. It appears that IHC gave up the logo on the insulator in favor of the straight-sided plugs with the logo on the box only.

I am not sure if the same is true of the AC #77/77COM and #77/77L COM. I have not found any of these plugs with ribs on the insulator or in IHC-marked boxes. All I have ever found is the straight-sided plugs in regular type boxes without the IHC logo on the box.

Donald McKinsey P.O. Box 94 Wilkinson, IN 46186

Grain Seeder

I am a little late writing, but I was very surprised to see a picture of a grain seeder in your August 2001 Gas Engine Magazine. Enclosed is a picture of one that has been in my family most of my life. I am 75 years young.

I painted it and tried to get a canvas company to sew a bag for it but had no luck. My wife, Dot, and I found some material, and she sewed the bag on a home sewing machine. We laced the material to the seeder using nylon string.

B.L. Abrams Jr. 607 Mesopotamia St. Eutaw, AL 35462

Reflections Upon Reflections

I would like to give you a very special thought of appreciation. I have a personal philosophy that when anyone has a positive influence on me, I want the person to know the impact of that kindness.

A number of months ago some members of Mo-Kan Antique Power Association of Kansas City were helping me identify an engine. They referred the information to Gas Engine Magazine, and article was published showing my engine and requesting help (see GEM, October 2001, page 5). Responses came in from several different oil fields throughout the western U.S. The enthusiasm was universally supportive and informative, and contacts were made to identify the engine, determine its history, obtain parts and locate expert mechanical guidance. The engine turns out to be a 1948 Continental-Emsco CE-66 14 HP pumping engine, serial number 68117.

I realize the engine is not exotic, rare or ancient - but it is somewhat unique to this region and I like it. I have learned over the last several months that engines are often localized for several reasons, including function of the engine and where it may have been produced. This particular engine has an oil field purpose and is known to oil field people. The conversations at shows near Kansas City, north Missouri and central Missouri suggest few are aware of this type of engine in those areas. The questions have been precise and interesting. Shows at Ottawa, Kan., and Fort Scott, Kan., are closer to the oil fields, and people who are familiar with the engine have provided interesting experiences and specifics about its use.

Thank you for publishing the help request, and thanks to the readers of Gas Engine Magazine, members of Mo-Kan Antique Power Association and members of the Oil Field Engine Society for an exciting and successful restoration.

Daniel J. Muller 7316 Northwest Nevada Parkville, MO 64152 (816) 891-9174 daniel.j.muller@worldnet.att.net

Want a Sign? Buy a Tractor

Here's a picture of a sign that appears to be hand painted on sailcloth. It measures two feet by five feet. It has a few holes and water stains, but is in generally good condition. The original owner wasn't interested in selling it, but he had a Ford 8N and a line of Dearborn equipment he wanted to sell. Eventually, I bought the tractor and equipment with the proviso he would also sell me the sign - it was the only way he would part with the sign.

Gary Tennant 311 Sashabaw Ortonville, MI 48462 lsten@usol.com

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